Horses To Follow » Dafeef


Dafeef was mentioned here after he won at Salisbury earlier this season, and he is worthy of another mention after he won a hotly-contested Class 2 six-furlong handicap at Newmarket on Saturday. He was a little free early on, just racing beside the stands’ rail, in behind runners, but well in touch for jockey Ted Durcan. The pace was only fair in the first half of the race, and when the tempo increased as they went past the three-furlong pole, Dafeef quickened up really impressively, nipping through on the inside rail, showing an impressive turn of foot to go clear and then keeping on well to hold the late challenge of Deacon Blues, with Bated Breath back in third.

A lot of the attention pre-race and in the aftermath was on Bated Breath here, who didn’t appear to enjoy a lot of luck in-running, but it is unlikely that he would have beaten Dafeef even if he had had a clear run, on this soft ground. Dafeef had the near rail against which to race, and that is often an advantage on Newmarket’s July course when the ground is on the easy side, but it wasn’t conclusive that there was an advantage there on Saturday.

The son of Medicean might be a bit of a quirky individual, he seemed to shirk the issue a bit behind Oasis Dancer on his previous run, but he is clearly talented, and it may be that he has been struggling for stamina rather than aptitude over the seven-furlong trips over which he has raced on his last four starts, it may be that this six furlongs is his optimum trip. He handled the easy ground well, and it was on the soft side of good when he won at Salisbury at the start of the season. This was his third win from seven runs, he finished second in three of the other four starts, and he is still improving. He has been raised 4lb for this to a mark of 106, but he is worth his chance is listed or Group 3 company now.

14th August 2010