Horses To Follow » Sea Moon

Sea Moon

Sea Moon, fancied for the Derby through the winter and spring, finally made his reappearance on Saturday at York in a Class 2 three-year-old handicap over the extended 10 furlongs on the Knavesmire, having not been forward enough to get back to the track before now. He was ring-rusty through the race, fluffing the start and then pulling too hard in rear, racing rather keenly for the first few furlongs before looking in trouble when he came under pressure at the top of the home straight. He found plenty when Ryan Moore got serious with him though and in the end impressively collared Flag Officer and went on to win well. He won by almost two lengths in the end, the first pair pulling a long way clear of the rest.

This was a decent performance from Sir Michael Stoute’s colt on a track which favours those who race prominently, and he is now firmly back and going to be shooting for some big targets later in the season. Racing off a mark of 92 here on his first run in a handicap, having had just two starts last October in maidens, winning the second of them at Yarmouth having been beaten a short head on his debut, the weight of money which forced his price into 4/6 shows how highly he is regarded. Of course, he really should have been winning a race like this fairly easily off this mark, but it is the style of his victory, ultimately well on top despite doing a good deal wrong through the race, that suggests he is going to be much better than a handicapper.

A son of Beat Hollow, he is out of the Park Hill winner Eva Lina, he is closely related to the St Leger winner Brian Boru, and to other Pattern class performers, as well as to the dam of Workforce. Indeed he gave the distinct impression here that he will be better suited stepping up to a mile and a half, and he may even bid to emulate his three-parts brother with St Leger glory. He is still in the Irish Derby at this stage, and while his trainer is not one for running his horses in big races before they are ready, Sea Moon should come on a lot for this race, and he is bred to be a Classic horse. Raised to a mark of 103 for this, if he does not go to the Curragh then it would be no surprise to see him turn up in a Leger trial somewhere, the Gordon Stakes or the Great Voltigeur, with Stoute bringing him along slowly with Doncaster in mind. His racing style and his breeding suggest that he will stay the St Leger trip. It could be his optimum distance.

11th June 2011