Horses To Follow » Al Khaleej

Al Khaleej

Al Khaleej had shaped encouragingly at Goodwood on his first run since leaving Ed Dunlop – sold at the July Sale for £30,000 – and he stepped up on that effort with an impressive performance to win a competitive seven-furlong handicap at Newmarket on Saturday. He travelled well on the near side, held up off the pace, and picked up impressively to take it up inside the final furlong, keeping on really well to beat Manassas, despite that runner hanging into him throughout the final furlong, and the pair of them coming clear of the rest.

Al Khaleej did it well here, he was probably unsuited by the really fast ground at Goodwood on his previous run, he seemed to appreciate getting his toe in here, and the move to David Simcock’s stable may have rejuvenated him. He was slightly disappointing on his last two starts for Dunlop, but his overall form is more than respectable, he was a close second to Zaahid in last year’s Victoria Cup and he ran two decent races in Dubai before the start of the season. He got this one-mile trip well, his breeding suggests he should be better over further and he could be a Cambridgeshire horse. The handicapper raised him 7lb for this performance, but it still only brings him up to a mark of 102, the mark to which he was raised after that Victoria Cup run last year.

7th August 2010