Horses To Follow » Bourne


Bourne ran another good race on Saturday in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock, putting his previous disappointing effort at Epsom well behind him. He was drawn wide in 14 of 17 and was forced to race very wide as he could not get any cover just behind the front rank. He was as many as four horses wide around the top turn before making ground in the centre to challenge approaching the final two furlongs. He could never quite get on terms with Halicarnassus, who had enjoyed the run of the race, but he kept on well to get past pace-setting Bowdler’s Magic for second place close home.

This was another solid effort from the grey son of Linamix. He didn’t enjoy a good trip through the race, in contrast to the winner, a dual Group 2 winner in his time, who was always in a good position up front, and who was able to take a lovely tow into the race from Bowdler’s Magic. The winner is back up to a mark of 103 again following this, but his position through the race probably exaggerated the ease with which he won, and Bourne can be rated quite fortunate to be raised just 1lb for this effort.

Bourne won his only two starts last season, five and a half months apart, off marks in the 70s, and has continued that progression into this season. He was an eye-catcher when staying on for fourth behind Modun in a good handicap at Newbury early in the season, and he built on that to win off a mark of 83 at Haydock on his next run before his disappointing run when favourite at Epsom on his last run before Saturday. He may have just not have taken to the cambers of Epsom, many horses don’t, and he was back to form on this occasion, proving he stays 12 furlongs well.

Bourne shaped here as though he would be better on easier ground or over a longer trip, or both. As such he could now be an Ebor horse. That is a race in which his trainer Luca Cumani does particularly well, and odds of around 14/1 about him for the York handicap look fair at this stage. He is still lightly raced and is still on the upgrade.

2nd July 2011