Horses To Follow » Holberg


Holberg put up a really nice performance to win a good listed race over a mile and a half at Goodwood last Friday evening. Frankie Dettori let the son of Halling lead from the outset. He travelled well throughout and he had most of his rivals in trouble over two furlongs out when still on the bridle. Dettori never had to get serious with him, he just pushed clear, the horse picking up nicely to win easily by six lengths.

This was a highly promising return to the track from last year’s Queen Vase winner. He had a decent field in behind, Opinion Poll and King of Wands are both useful and had the benefit of a run coming into this, while the second horse Manighar, a recent recruit to Luca Cumani’s stable, was a Group 2 winner in France last year. Holberg seemed to improve when stepping up to two miles last year when winning the Queen’s Vase for previous trainer Mark Johnston, he drew clear from a quality field including subsequent St Leger winner Mastery. He is a fairly lightly raced for a four-year-old, he has had a few injury problems, and this was only his ninth career start but he clearly has an abundance of talent and should get better with more races.

He could be a Cup horse this season, he stayed every yard when winning the Queen’s Vase at Ascot over two miles, but trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said after the race at Goodwood that there are no immediate plans for him and that a mile and a half is his distance. He is in the Hardwicke Stakes and the King George, and he is also in the Irish St Leger, where the distance of a mile and six furlongs could be perfect for him.

4th June 2010