Horses To Follow » Rashaad


Rashaad ran well to finish fourth behind Royal Destination in a competitive Class 2 handicap at Doncaster on Thursday. Barry Hills’s gelding missed the break, but he travelled well for most of the race. He was short of room early in the home straight, stuck behind Ella who was fading and hemmed in a little by Greyfriarschorista, who didn’t appear to be making much progress either. He did eventually manage to extricate himself, and when he did he stayed on nicely, with his rider Richard Hills not overly hard on him when his chance had gone.

This was only Rashaad’s fifth ever start, his first run in 84 days and his first start since a gelding operation. He was an expensive yearling and much was thought of him when he won his maiden on his only run as a two-year-old, but he had failed to live up to the high expectations that connections obviously had of him earlier this season, with only a couple of fair performances in two listed races and a mid-division finish in the King George V Stakes handicap at Royal Ascot to his credit. However the break and the gelding operation seem to have had the desired effect. This was a really good effort in what looked like a decent race run at a sound pace. The three horses who finished in front of him all look more than useful, Royal Destination and Sweet Lightning took form from a good handicap at York into the race while Spanish Duke is a progressive sort, he was a good winner of a 10-furlong handicap on his previous run and he was a well-backed favourite here.

Ten furlongs is probably Rashaad’s optimum trip, his full-sister Communique was Group 1 placed over that distance. He is entitled to come on for this run, this was just his fifth ever race, and he will be interesting wherever he goes next.

9th September 2010