Horses To Follow » Oriental Cat

Oriental Cat

Oriental Cat was an impressive winner of a 10-furlong handicap at Nottingham on Wednesday. He missed the break slightly, but William Buick looked happy to anchor him in at the back, last of the 11 runners and he eventually settled well, much better than he did on his previous run. They went a fair clip, which probably helped, but John Gosden’s horse was still last and had a lot of work to do up the straight. By the time Buick angled him out to the centre of the track to challenge three furlongs out, he had fully six lengths to make up on the well-fancied and well-backed Captain Dancer, who had kicked for home under Michael Hills. But Oriental Cat picked up really well and made up the ground fairly easily, collaring the Barry Hills-trained horse before the furlong pole before going on to win well.

Oriental Cat was a really impressive winner of his maiden at Hamilton earlier this season, on his seasonal debut and only his second ever start, a race from which the third and fourth have since won. But he disappointed on his next outing behind Royal Ascot winner Monterosso in a Newmarket handicap. He had been left off for a while after that and he only reappeared at the start of last month in a 12-furlong handicap at Lingfield, where he pulled way too hard, and faded badly three furlongs out. He settled much better here and this looks like a more accurate indication of his ability. The manner in which he picked up and responded for pressure out in the middle of the track was impressive, and he was well in command by the end, over three lengths clear of Captain Dancer, with an even bigger gap to the third horse. You can easily excuse his previous run now, it is probable that he just needed that to bring him on again after a long break. He could be a useful sort, this was just his fifth-ever run, he won with plenty in hand here and he should be able to continue to progress.

6th October 2010