Horses To Follow » Dorcas Lane

Dorcas Lane

Put up here after winning the Pretty Polly at Newmarket on Guineas weekend, Dorcas Lane is worth another chance after a creditable effort in the mile and a half Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday. She hated the ground, it had rained most of the morning and the ground was cutting up really quite badly on the round course, and so she did remarkably well to finish third.

It is often hard to make up a lot of ground from the rear on the round course at Ascot, so given where she came from, in a share of last place as they passed the half-mile point, her effort can probably be marked up even more. She picked up nicely when Paul Hanagan gave her a squeeze at that point and she quickly got herself attached onto the heels of the leading five or six, but Field Of Miracles, who had enjoyed the run of things, kicked off the front as they turned in and stole a few lengths on the field. The ultra-tough and bang-in-form Banimpire set about chasing her down and eventually did so in a tussle that lasted all the way to the line, and Dorcas Lane could not get to the front two, a combination of having to make so much ground from the back, hating the ground and having no one to race with through the last quarter mile all counting against her.

She impressed with the manner in which she picked up when given a squeeze, going past several fillies in a hundred yards or so, but she had to begin her move on ground she didn’t like from further back than ideal. It was a similar story at Newmarket on her previous run, when she picked up well when asked going into the Dip. She is a classier filly than she was able to show here (and probably at Newmarket as well, given that she bore the full brunt of the strong wind there) so is very much one to look for next time.

The Pretty Polly was probably a stronger race than it appeared at the time judged on Izzi Top’s subsequent efforts, winning the Listed Swettenham Stud Fillies’ Trial race at Newbury from Dancing Rain and then finishing third to the same filly in the Oaks. Lucy Wadham’s daughter of Norse Dancer can go on and be a big player in the Lancashire Oaks now, and possibly even the Yorkshire Oaks. She showed real toughness here and may still be under-rated given how far she finished behind the front two.

16th June 2011