Horses To Follow » Rain Delayed

Rain Delayed

Rain Delayed was held up out the back in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday as the race developed up front, and the race had probably gone for him before he found a gap to move out of last place, but he finished best of all to take second behind the all-the-way winner Tangerine Trees. This may not have been the greatest sprint ever run, not the best Palace House ever, the first five finished within half a length of each other and the first 11 finished within two lengths of each other, but Rain Delayed was probably the best horse in it.

He had been a progressive sprinter for Ger Lyons a couple of seasons ago as a three-year-old, putting in some noteworthy efforts, including when a close second in a big handicap at York’s Ebor meeting and when second in a Listed race at Dundalk. He won a Listed race and finished second in another in his first three races at four but then seemed to lose his way after that, right up until the last couple of weeks. After failing to sparkle at the Dubai Carnival in the Spring and again in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster on Lincoln day, he has burst back to life on his last two starts. He travelled really well back in handicap company over five furlongs at Newbury at the Greenham meeting, but the progressive Noble Storm (incidentally the same horse who had beaten him in that York race two seasons ago) had the run of the race and got first run. Rain Delayed travelled sweetly through the race towards the rear on the outside though, and he did well to get to within half a length of him.

This run was another step up for his new trainer Michael Dods back in Group company. There is every chance he can go on and prove up to winning at this level. He seems to be most effective coming off a fast early pace on quick ground and while most of his best form is over five furlongs rather than six, he shouldn’t mind stepping up to six furlongs now. He is one to follow in this sort of form.

30th April 2011