Horses To Follow » Fiorente


Nathaniel was a good winner of the King Edward VII Stakes on the Friday of Royal Ascot, but the two horses to take out of the race for me are the second and fourth, Fiorente and Mijhaar. Ryan Moore decided to take Fiorente over to the far side under the trees, but he missed the kick so he had to be bustled along to get in front of Mijhaar, the only horse drawn wider than him and the only other one to head over under the trees. There may or may not have been an advantage to be gained from going over to the far side early on, the pair of them were right back towards the rear when they rejoined the rest at Swinley Bottom, but that was the aim, to get cover, so it is hard to tell what affect the manoeuvre had. Fiorente got himself well back before the turn for home but ran on like a lion up the straight to pass them all bar Nathaniel, now the clear St Leger favourite.

He was caught quite wide as they tacked back over to join the main group and he couldn’t go the mid-race pace, maybe through pacelessness, maybe through inexperience. This did at least mean he wasn’t wasting energy racing right on the outside of the field, but he would have been nearly 10 lengths off the leader as they passed the three-furlong pole and swung for home. He got into top gear in the straight though, getting to within five lengths of a winner who gets the trip strongly and who wasn’t stopping, pulling nicely clear of the rest in the process, with two lengths back to the third, himself a Group 3 winner on his previous run.

This was just Fiorente’s third ever run. He had caught the eye when fifth in World Domination’s maiden before comfortably getting off the mark dropped to 10 furlongs again at Newbury. This was a huge step up on those two runs, and he should come on a good deal for this run too. It is interesting that Sir Michael Stoute opted to pitch him in this Group 2 rather than exploit his handicap mark of 92, he is clearly well thought of. That is no surprise though given that his dam is out of a half-sister to Islington and Mountain High, and Fiorente, by Monsun, could make up into a Group 1 performer himself in time. The St Leger would seem like the logical target at this stage but he has been declared an unlikely runner in the final Classic at this stage by connections (the trainer has Sea Moon for that) so it is unclear at the moment how the rest of his season is going to pan out. Considerable progress can be expected on the back of this though wherever he turns up next.

17th June 2011