Horses To Follow » Tin Horse

Tin Horse

There was plenty to digest from Longchamp last weekend, but one of the most eye-catching performances was the one put up by Tin Horse in dead-heating for second place behind Wootton Bassett in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. Settled out the back in the early stages by Thierry Jarnet, he got caught in behind King Torus on the rail when Paul Hanagan on Wootton Bassett quickened up from the front early in the home straight. By the time Jarnet had managed to extricate his horse from his pocket, the winner had effectively gone beyond recall, but he stayed on well to dead-heat for second place, bravely going between horses and running all the way to the line. He started his run from behind the favourite Moonlight Cloud, and he finished it a length in front of her.

Impressive in winning on his first two starts, this was just Tin Horse’s fifth ever race, and it was another step up on his second to Dream Ahead in the Prix Morny, which was a significant step up on anything he had done before. On Sunday he was competing over seven furlongs for the first time, he was racing on ground that was softer than he had ever encountered, and it appears that he improved for the extra emphasis that the combination of distance and ground placed on stamina. There wasn’t any hanging around here, Hanagan set a good pace on the winner and Tin Horse picked up well off it. There is plenty of speed in his pedigree, but he is by Sakhee and he is a half-brother to an 11-furlong winner, so it is hardly surprising that he improved for stepping up in trip. He has a nice progressive profile, and he can continue to improve.

It might be a mistake to under-rate the form of this year’s Lagardere. Wootton Bassett is a real live Guineas contender now, Moonlight Cloud was unbeaten and highly regarded coming into the race, and it appears that she ran her race in finishing fourth, and the time of the race was really good, the third-fastest comparative time clocked on the main track on the day, third behind the Arc and the Foret, on a day of Group 1 races. Tin Horse is an interesting prospect for next year but, because trainer Didier Guillemin is not among the household names, he may continue to be under-rated. He should get at least a mile next year, and he could be a French Guineas or Prix du Jockey Club colt.

3rd October 2010

© The Irish Field, 9th October 2010