Horses To Follow » Afsare


Afsare ran his best race of the season in the Listed John Porter Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. He was quite keen early on as he was trapped slightly wide around the first turn but soon settled a little better in fourth place. He travelled well down the straight until the three-furlong marker when he had to switch to the near side around Verdant for a run as Sabotage made ground to try to tackle the leader Jukebox Jury towards the far side where Afsare had been. He made ground when in the clear out in the middle of the course, quickly passing Verdant as they hit the rising ground and looking like he was going to get to Jukebox Jury, but he just couldn’t get there and in the end had to settle for a share of second place with Cavalryman, who made his challenge on the far side of the winner.

The winner Jukebox Jury is a Group 1 winner who was returning from nearly a year off the track, he was well fancied and well backed and he enjoyed the run of the race un front, unchallenged for the lead. Afsare had to make up ground from well back when he was switched to the near side, so he probably ran better than the bare result suggests. As well as that, Luca Cumani’s colt shows a little knee action, but his trainer has always said that he is better on quicker ground, and so he can do even better than this on faster ground (he was unbeaten in three runs last season on good to firm, including in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot). The rain that arrived at Sandown on Brigadier Gerard night was said to scupper his chance in that contest, but he still ran more than respectably to be fifth to last year’s Derby and Arc hero Workforce. The step up to 12 furlongs seemed to suit him well here, and he is going the right way again now. Four-year-olds often find it hard on their first few runs in all-aged Pattern races, and the son of Dubawi is one to note on his next few starts.

25th June 2011