Horses To Follow » Await The Dawn

Await The Dawn

Await The Dawn put up a hugely impressive performance to win the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes, run over 10 furlongs at Leopardstown on Saturday. Always travelling well in second place, just up on the outside of British raider South Easter, Johnny Murtagh was motionless on the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt until just before the home turn. At the point, Tom Queally kicked South Easter on in front, and everything else in behind came under pressure, but Murtagh just gave his horse a squeeze, and he easily moved past the leader. Murtagh asked him to lengthen then from the two-furlong pole, and he duly did, coming right away from his rivals in really taking fashion, putting nine lengths between himself and South Easter – who kept on well for second place – by the time they reached the line.

Admittedly, this race was almost certainly of no better than Group 3 standard. The second and third, South Easter and the evergreen Nanton, were rated 107 and 105 respectively, while Await The Dawn’s main market rival, the 110-rated Cashelgar, raced like he probably needed the run, his first in over a year and his first for Dermot Weld. However, it was difficult not to be hugely impressed by the winner’s performance, he travelled like a good horse through the race and he cleared away impressively when his rider asked him to pick up. Also, the time of the race was good, comparatively the second fastest time of the day, second only to the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, which was run at breakneck pace, and Await The Dawn could probably have gone faster had he been pushed harder.

This was just the Giant’s Causeway colt’s fourth ever race. Thought good enough by his trainer to travel to Doncaster at this time last year to contest the Group 2 Champagne Stakes after winning his maiden on his racecourse debut, we didn’t see him this year until he appeared at Cork last month, when he had to be ridden out to win a three-runner conditions race. Saturday’s performance was a huge step forward. He seemed to enjoy the easyish ground, and he galloped on strongly up the hill, leaving the impression that a step up in trip might bring about even further improvement. His pedigree shouldn’t hold him back in that regard (he is out of a half-sister to Curragh Cup winner Memorise), but he also has plenty of pace, he should be well able to step up in grade now over this trip. He is exciting.

4th September 2010

© The Irish Field, 11th September 2010