Horses To Follow » Fallen Idol

Fallen Idol

John Gosden’s Fallen Idol ran much better than his finishing position suggests on his first run at four in the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown last Friday. Steadied coming out of the gates, he was settled well out the back in the early stages, he was stone last of the 11 runners as they turned for home behind the sedate enough gallop Richard Hills had been allowed to set on Tazeez. With no passage to the outside he was forced to make his ground among horses, and he just didn’t get the gaps when he needed them, Robert Havlin constantly having to angle around looking for a way through. He finished really well when an opening emerged and was fifth home, but he may well have been third if Black Spirit hadn’t squeezed him up on the rail inside the final 100 yards. The time of this race was good, below standard, the only one on the day to dip below par, so the form should be strong.

This was an encouraging return from Fallen Idol. Class Is Class tracked the pace set by Tazeez, who was given a fairly easy time of it on the front end, and won well, while Black Spirit, the third home, raced prominently throughout. While hold-up horses are hostage to fortune at Sandown, Fallen Idol was unlucky that they didn’t go faster up front given the size of the field, as it really paid to race up towards the pace in this race and at this meeting. Fallen Idol was quietly backed for this but it was his first start in 328 days and he should come on for it. He does love Sandown, he ran two crackers here early last season, cosily landing the Esher Cup off a mark of 89 before narrowly winning the Listed Heron Stakes, so ideally he would return here for another Listed race or a Group 3. He was an exciting horse early last season after those two wins, but he wasn’t ideally suited by soft ground in the Group 3 Prix Paul De Moussac at Chantilly or in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.

There is no reason why he cannot continue his progression now this season. He is a bit of a forgotten horse, but he remains of significant interest.

1st July 2011