Horses To Follow » Dandy Boy

Dandy Boy

Dandy Boy continued his progression this season when he finished a fine second behind Beethoven in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes run over a mile at Leopardstown on Thursday. David Marnane’s colt raced freely through the early stages on the rail. Even though Akdarena set a fair pace, they still weren’t going fast enough for Dandy Boy, he needs a really fast pace over a mile, which is hardly surprising given that all his wins to date have been gained over six and seven furlongs. He still managed to find plenty in the home straight, however, much more than he should have been able to find given how freely he raced through the first four furlongs, to pass Emulous and appear as a major threat to the winner Beethoven inside the final furlong, before going down by just three parts of a length in the end.

Beethoven is a high class performer, he is last year’s Dewhurst winner who has taken a little time to produce his best this season, but who had shown lots of promise in his previous two runs, and the time of the race was just 0.13secs per furlong slower than standard, by far the fastest comparative time of the evening.

Winner of the Victoria Cup at Ascot in May over seven furlongs, this was just Dandy Boy’s third run over a mile. He finished 15th and 24th on his two previous attempts at the distance, but there were mitigating circumstances – the ground was heavy when he was 15th in the Irish Cambridgeshire last year, and he was drawn on the wrong side in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot this year. He shaped here as if he stayed the trip well, and he is well worth another shot at the distance. He could actually be very effective over this trip if he learns to settle a little better through the early stages. As such, he could be better in a big field where a strong early pace is more likely than in a small field like this. He is entered in the Group 3 Solonaway Stakes at The Curragh on Irish St Leger weekend, and that looks like an ideal target for him now.

12th August 2010