Horses To Follow » Berling


Berling shaped like a high class horse when finishing fifth in the King George V Stakes Handicap at Ascot on Thursday. Drawn 20 of 20 on the inside rail, it seemed as if Eddie Ahern just wanted to take his time early on, but the horse went to sleep through the first couple of furlongs and Ahern actually had to roust him along for a stride or two, with the result that he was well back in the field. It is really difficult to win a middle-distance handicap from too far back at Ascot and the difficulty of Berling’s task was compounded by the sedate pace of the race. This resulted in the field being well stacked up turning for home with a wall of horses in front of Berling, and Ahern was forced to pull Berling back into last place and go wide to get racing room. Berling finished best of all from here, but he was never really going to get to Dandino and London Stripe, and he was a fairly unlucky loser.

The King George V Stakes is usually won by a progressive three-year-old who is a fair way ahead of the handicapper, and there were no shortage of potentially high class horses in this year’s field. But the pace was quite poor in the early stages, and the first four home were all ridden prominently. Berling had to make up a serious amount of ground into a quickening pace, he was last at the two-furlong pole, but he still managed to get into the race. He had to have gone very close had he got a better run early in the straight.

The son of Montjeu may be a little bit quirky, but he is obviously very talented, he was a bit reluctant to go with the field early on here and he had his race in the bag at Newbury last time before veering badly to the right all the way over to the other side of the track, but he still managed to win readily. On the evidence of this run, Berling could be high class and he should be worth following. The handicapper has only raised him just 2lb to a rating of 89, which seems fairly lenient, and he will be a major player wherever he goes next.

17th June 2010