Horses To Follow » Opinion Poll

Opinion Poll

Opinion Poll put up a really good performance in circumstances and conditions that were not ideal to win the Lonsdale Cup at York on Wednesday. Firstly, he travelled out the back in the early stages off a sedate enough pace that Richard Hills was allowed set on Akmal. Secondly, he had to make his ground up the centre of the track, away from the favoured stands rail, and he was still able to pass just about every one of his rivals. And thirdly and crucially, the ground was changed to good, good to firm in places before the first race, which should have been too fast for the Michael Jarvis-trained colt. He is at his best on soft ground, and he just about lets himself down on good ground, according to his trainer, but he is not a fast ground horse, which is why Jarvis withdrew him from the Ascot Gold Cup.

The son of Halling is a hugely exciting prospect for the autumn now when the ground gets a little softer. Winner of a good heritage handicap at Ascot last October over a mile and a half, he is still relatively lightly-raced, he is still progressive, and he could make up into a really high class stayer. He would have a big chance in the Doncaster Cup if the ground happened to come up on the easy side for that race, and he could be a Prix du Cadran or a Prix Royal-Oak horse, again, if the ground came up on the soft side in France. He proved that he was well able to travel when he landed a listed race at Chantilly in June and, out of a Shirley Heights mare, he relaxes so well through his races at the back of the field that he should have every chance of getting the two and a half miles of the Prix du Cadran.

18th August 2010

© The Irish Field 21st August 2010