Horses To Follow » Fanunalter


Having won a Listed contest early last season, the Doncaster Mile, Fanunalter struggled to make an impact in Group 3 events through the rest of last year, although he did run respectably in the Group 2 Premio Carlo Vittadini at San Siro on his run after that Doncaster success. The suspicion is that that contest was a fairly weak one though for the grade, and Fanunalter was rather disappointing through the middle part of the season before returning from a six-week break to dead heat for another Listed contest on the Polytrack at Kempton. He ran two likeable races at the Dubai Carnival in the spring and has returned this season a seemingly much improved horse, showing really good acceleration, especially given that he was keen early in the race, to win the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom on Derby day from a good field. He ran his best race yet on Saturday, however, in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot where he ensured Dick Turpin had to be on top of his game to beat him.

There were only five runners in Saturday’s race, and inevitably there was no great pace on early, which wouldn’t have suited Marco Botti’s big, long-striding son of Falbrav, who was held up last. He quickly came past high class rivals in Side Glance, Red Jazz and Fareer in the home straight, and, while he wasn’t gaining any more on Dick Turpin late on once he got to within three parts of a length, that rival is top class, a genuine Group 1 performer on his day. Dick Turpin has a terrific turn of foot and he was able to put that to good use in this race so Fanunalter did remarkably well to run him so close, attempting to come from behind him. Marco Botti’s horse will be better suited returning to a larger field or to a race with a stronger pace.

Fanunalter’s sire Falbrav improved with age and it looks like his son is doing the same, his two runs this term probably being the best of his life. He is bred to get further, his dam finished second in the Italian Oaks and two of his sire’s best performances were in 10-furlong events, the Juddmonte International and Hong Kong Cup, but Fanunalter has enough pace for a mile, although it may be that the nine furlongs of the Diomed is his optimum. That being so, the Group 2 Prix Dollar run over nine furlongs and 165 yards at Longchamp on Arc weekend could be a feasible end of season target. In the meantime connections will no doubt be looking for more domestic Group races for him, although he does always have the possibility of going back to Italy at some point too. There is a slight suspicion that all of his really good runs have come when he has been fresh, he has to prove he can put another really good run in on the back of his two runs this term, but it could be that he is simply an improved performer this term and doesn’t necessarily need to be rested now.

9th July 2011