Horses To Follow » History Note

History Note

Joseph O’Brien judged the fractions to a nicety aboard Empowering in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday, dictating the pace out in front and making all from a wide draw, this despite not being able to claim his 5lb allowance in this Group 3 race and having to put up 1lb overweight. This was a fine advert for the young man’s talents and this could be a very important season for the 17-year-old as he looks set to get some big rides in some big races as his father has not brought in a replacement stable jockey after Johnny Murtagh left his post at the end of last season, although his weight is always going to be an issue.

It may be that Empowering was the best filly in this race, she did after all have a length and three quarters’ superiority at the line and was well backed beforehand, with a lot of the Ballydoyle horses seemingly ready to roll first time out this season. She did have three runs’ worth of experience as well, and she had the run of things out in front. History Note, on the other hand, came into this on the back of just one run last backend and was a real eye-catcher. John Oxx’s filly was well drawn in stall two, but she got checked up against the rail after about two furlongs and as a result was probably further back in the field than Johnny Murtagh would have wanted going around the home turn. From there she made up a tremendous amount of ground on the far side in the home straight, finishing best of all to thrust between runners and join in a four-way go for the runner-up spot behind, and that despite a slight false step 50 or so yards from the line.

Fast-finishing unlucky-looking losers are often over-bet on their next runs, but there was a great deal to like about History Note’s performance. For starters, the race was run to suit those who raced handily. Empowering led all the way and the other three fillies who got involved in the four-way go for second all raced prominently. History Note was the only filly to get into the race from the rear. And there was that false step which unbalanced Murtagh for a couple of strides, but for which she would in all likelihood have claimed second.

It is hard to see how the Azamour filly is not going to prove a good deal better than this. She didn’t seem to get fazed by being shuffled back early on or that stumble near the finish. There was a lot to like about her only previous run, in a seven-furlong contest at The Curragh last October. She showed a willing attitude that day under just a hands-and-heels ride from Fran Berry to get home by a cosy short head from the Kevin Prendergast filly Rose Bonheur, who had had the benefit of a previous run, going down by just a short head in another maiden two weeks earlier.

History Note is a full-sister to Aznavour, who looked really good in winning on his racecourse debut at Gowran Park last April. Their dam was a winner over nine furlongs, and has produced two 12-furlong winners, while the sire, Azamour, stayed 12 furlongs himself, so it is probable that this seven-furlong trip would have been on the sharp side for History Note. She had been strong in the market all day for this so has obviously been impressing at home and is probably much better than she was able to show. She could prove to be very useful indeed.

27th March 2011