Horses To Follow » Kirklees


Kirklees ran a cracker in a good 10-furlong listed race at Ayr on Saturday, on what was his first outing in 336 days. The Godolphin horse travelled into the race well from off the pace and he looked the most likely winner under Ted Durcan passing the two-furlong pole before lack of a recent run seemed to tell just inside the final furlong. But he was still only beaten a total of a length and a half in the end by his better-fancied stable companion Vesuve, and it was really pleasing effort, on which he can build on next time.

This was Kirklees’s first run since he finished a close up seventh in last season’s Caulfield Cup. He was due to go to the Melbourne Cup after that race but connections aborted that plan as they felt he wasn’t 100 per cent. He had just come into good form prior to that run last year, winning the Group 2 York Stakes and the Group 3 September Stakes in good style, and he looks to have come back better than ever this season.

This race was run at a really fast pace, the time was well over a second faster than standard, which would have tested the race-fitness of Kirklees to the limit, and it was significant that Frankie Dettori chose to ride the winner Vesuve instead of him, suggesting that Kirklees was expected to need the run. He is still a high class horse, he won a Group 1 race at San Siro as a two-year-old, he has kept good company since then and this run should bring him on a lot now. He should be fresher than most at this time of the season as well and he will be of interest wherever he shows up next.

18th September 2010