Horses To Follow » The Confessor

The Confessor

The common consensus is that the stands side, the near side, is the place to be in the straight at Sandown when there is cut in the ground. However, Philip Robinson showed on Dunn’o on Brigadier Gerard evening that not coming across can prove beneficial, since staying on the far side means you don’t have to forgo any ground by coming right across to the near side. At the Esher track on Saturday, the majority opinion once again was to come across to the middle-to-stands-side in the seven-furlong handicap, but two jockeys didn’t, Silvestre De Sousa on Law Of The Range and Luke Morris on Perfect Silence, and those two ended up finishing first and fourth respectively. The ground may not have been as soft as people were expecting and hence there may not have been as much advantage in coming over as there might have been. As such, The Confessor’s effort in finishing third can be marked up as he came just about widest of all down the straight.

Dane O’Neill was always anxious to come right over, he angled his mount out wide soon after the start despite being drawn in stall one, right up against the inside rail. This meant he not only had to forgo the most amount of ground in coming widest into the straight, but he also gave up a lot of ground round the turn as he raced noticeably off the rail through the first half of the race. It looked like the extra energy he expended had told a furlong out as he seemed to be weakening but he stuck on really well for third, despite drifting back over towards the far side. He was beaten by two other progressive four-year-olds, the winner stuck over on the far side and the runner-up, although he came down the middle too and was quite far back turning in, was right over on the far side of the middle group and ended up right back on the far side at the line.

This was a really encouraging run from Henry Candy’s horse on his first run since last August. The two who beat him were both race-fit and, perhaps more importantly, in fine form, coming here on the back of good wins. Reported to have done really from three to four, The Confessor has deliberately been kept back until the ground was a little easier, and it may not have been soft enough for him on this occasion. There is a day in him this season, he is clearly on a competitive mark, and he could win a nice handicap in the autumn if not before.

11th June 2011