Horses To Follow » Acclamazing


The evidence from York’s May meeting and from subsequent meetings so far this season is that the stands side is the place to be down the straight. Lexi’s Hero was bounced out of the stalls and from his draw in 18 of 20 was able to race flush against the stands side rail for the whole of the six-furlong trip. Many of the principals were drawn out in the centre and while they were given a decent tow into the race courtesy of hat-trick-seeking Elusive Prince, none of them could get to Lexi’s Hero. Acclamazing, from stall two, was one of the most poorly drawn, which meant he had to make his ground widest of all, right out in the centre of the track as they largely congregated towards the near side. He probably did really well to force a dead heat for second with Cocktail Charlie, who was drawn in 16, and he left the distinct impression he is a fair bit better than the bare form of this performance.

On top of this, Marco Botti’s gelding was carrying 9st in a race in which the lower weights tend to dominate. The highest weight carried to victory in the race since 1980 is 9st 3lb, and that was by Sheikh Albadou, who turned out to be a Group 1 winner. Only two horses have carried more than 9st to victory in the last 10 years, Orientor and Swiss Diva, and both of them proved to be Group performers.

Acclamazing has been most progressive this year, rising from an opening mark of 76 to a mark of 98 for this race. He has been put up just a further 2lb for this fine effort, which is not overly punitive at all, and he should still be competitive off 100. He had looked unlucky on his previous run at Ascot when unsuited by the steady pace and managing to find traffic problems despite the small field. The winner of that race franked the form, running a fine third to Sagramor in the Silver Bowl at Haydock and filling the same position in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. Marco Botti had his son of Acclamation entered in a Listed race at Salisbury over the weekend too, and he may well be up to that level sooner rather than later, but there is still mileage in handicaps off his mark.

11th June 2011