Horses To Follow » Royal Tune

Royal Tune

Royal Tune should be worth following after finishing what was in the end a disappointing third in a three-mile handicap chase at Ascot on Saturday, given that had traded at long odds on turning for home. This was a strange race, they went far too fast on the soft ground early on, so fast that Iconoclast, who was almost tailed off after a bad mistake at the fence in front of the stands, and who traded at 900 in-running, was able to get up and win in the dying strides. Royal Tune should probably have won the race, he travelled and jumped really well off the fast pace but his rider sent him up to challenge for the lead much too early, just on the run out of Swinley Bottom with six fences to jump. To add to that, once the son of Green Tune got to the front at the fourth last, his jumping started to deteriorate, he began to jump and hang to his left on his own in front. Despite this he still looked all over the winner entering the straight, before Iconoclast got going and the ultra-game The Sawyer began to respond to pressure. That pair passed him before the last and he couldn’t respond. Contrary to popular post-race opinion that his rider was too lethargic and confident on him in the straight, he lost this because he had nothing left in the tank.

Royal Tune was almost certainly the best horse in this race, but he was a tired horse in the home straight, a horse running on empty on his first try over three miles. He deserves another try at three miles, held up for longer, and he would be interesting as well dropped back down in trip. It may also be that he will be better again returned to a left-handed track. He was really impressive on his British debut at Ffos Las in a two-mile-five-furlong handicap chase, for which the handicapper raised him 16lb. He is unproven on good ground, but he showed here that he should be well able to win off his mark of 140, and if connections can find a decent race for him, probably on easy ground, he would be very interesting.

19th February 2011