Horses To Follow » Moriarty


Moriarty was an eye-catcher on his seasonal return in the Fielden at the Craven meeting and is now worth noting as one to follow after his second in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh on Irish 1000 Guineas day. Aidan O’Brien had won 10 of the last 14 runnings of this 10-furlong contest, including the last five, so it was no surprise to see good money for his pair here, with his first string Alexander Pope going off favourite. That one duly made it 11 wins in the race for O’Brien with a one-and-three-quarter-length victory over Moriarty, and he can go on from this, but he is obvious, and there may be more value in following the runner-up now.

In face of the money for some of the others in the race (Parkers Mill was well touted beforehand too) Moriarty was weak in the market. He was held up last which wasn’t ideal as they didn’t go a great pace up front, and he had to make up ground from very far back as the pace quickened entering the straight. On top of this, he hung left as he was pulled out and ended up very wide down the straight, with Alexander Pope enjoying a much more comfortable trip through the race, towards Moriarty’s inside up the straight. The winner seemed slightly more at home on the quickish ground and was able to pick up better than the second a furlong and a half out. Moriarty took a while to fully find his stride, but he stayed on well when he did, cutting back the winner’s advantage late on, and just getting up for second.

This was a first try at 10 furlongs for Richard Hannon’s horse and he got the trip well, indeed he may even get further despite being related to a sprinter. He is quite a big horse and didn’t seem entirely at ease on the surface here, he should be more suited to some ease in the ground. The Gallinule is often a good race, last year’s victor Jan Vermeer went off favourite for the Epsom Derby on the back of this race, while future Grand Prix de Paris, St Leger and Coronation Cup winner Scorpion was beaten a short head in 2005, and the front two from this year’s race both look useful, the winner having been considered forward enough to go over to Meydan in the Spring to contest the UAE Derby where he finished a very creditable sixth. The Hannon stable has not had as good a May as it often does, and there could be a lot more to come from Moriarty.

22nd May 2011