Horses To Follow » La Vecchia Scuola

La Vecchia Scuola

La Vecchia Scuola put in an eye-catching performance when finishing seventh, beaten just four and a half lengths, in the competitive 14-furlong Mallard Stakes Handicap at Doncaster on Friday. Jim Goldie’s mare was always well back in the field, she was still third last as they turned for home, which wasn’t ideal off a sedate enough early pace. It took a while for the Mull Of Kintyre mare to get going, she was behind a wall of horses and trying to make ground into a quickening pace, but rider Gary Bartley switched her out two and a half furlongs from home, and she finished really strongly. She may have been even closer as well had her rider switched his whip earlier, he kept it in his right hand as the mare hung a bit to her left when she began to make inroads, with the result that he had to put his whip down to straighten her up a furlong out, which just slowed down progress for a couple of strides and checked her momentum.

La Vecchia Scuola actually finished third in this race two years ago off a mark of 88, she was racing off a mark of 94 here, a career-high, but there could be more to come from her still, especially over a longer distance. She is proven over two miles, she stayed on really well here over an extended mile and three quarters, and she should be suited by a return to two miles or even further. She has been running consistently well this season, she wasn’t that far away in the Northumberland Plate, she was really impressive in a 12-furlong handicap at Pontefract on her penultimate run before Friday, and she put in a decent effort to finish a close up sixth in a good listed handicap at Chester on her previous run. She missed the whole of last season with a tendon injury but she has looked better than ever this season and she looks interesting again now after this. As a bonus, the handicapper has dropped her 1lb. She is in the Cesarewitch, and she would be an interesting outsider in that.

10th September 2010