Horses To Follow » Photo Opportunity

Photo Opportunity

Photo Opportunity did well to finish as close up as he did behind Hujaylea in the seven-furlong September Handicap at Leopardstown on Saturday. Not too far behind a frenetic pace in the early stages of the race, the Dermot Weld-trained colt was short of room and shuffled back a little as they left the back straight. Then, just as he was recovering his equilibrium on the crown of the home turn, he stumbled quite badly, he could have come down, as a result of which he was much nearer last than first as they straightened up for home. Despite that, he kept on admirably up the home straight. He was short of room and had to be switched inside the final furlong, but he ran all the way to the line under just a hands-and-heels ride from Leigh Roche to finish fourth, just two lengths behind the winner.

This was a fine performance from one so inexperienced. The son of Zamindar had run just once before Saturday, when he battled on well from a bad draw to win an eight-and-a-half-furlong maiden at Killarney last month, a race from which the filly that finished fourth, Move, has since come out and won. It was a brave move by his trainer to pitch him into an 18-runner handicap on just his second ever start, and if he had been a little more battle-hardened he would surely have done even better, but he should have learned a lot from the experience. The handicapper has raised him just 2lb for this run, but his new mark of 91 could under-estimate his ability quite considerably. A half-brother to Famous Name, he should progress significantly from this run, and he will be of interest wherever he runs next.

4th September 2010

© The Irish Field, 11th September 2010