Horses To Follow » Class Is Class

Class Is Class

Class Is Class gave himself no chance on his step up to Group 2 level in the Sky Bet York Stakes on Saturday with the way he raced. He pulled far too hard early, he was free all the way to the home straight, amounting to more or less half the distance of the extended mile and a quarter contest. He still looked a likely winner as he struck for home three furlongs out, and given the fierce way he had raced he did remarkably well to stick on for fourth place, just two lengths behind the winner Twice Over.

This was a good race, but a messy one, Tadhg O’Shea was allowed to set a stop-start pace on Tazeez, and in the end they all rather finished in a bit of a bunch behind Twice Over who quickened past them all on the far side. Class Is Class had got warm and sweated up at the start, and had drifted in the market accordingly, 10/3 out to 4/1 in the minutes before the race. In the circumstances, therefore, it was an admirable effort to finish just two lengths behind the Group 1 performer Twice Over. He should do a lot better back behind a fast pace.

Getting the fast pace that he needs is always going to be a worry now that he has stepped up out of handicaps up to Pattern class and he does have previous for pulling fiercely, interestingly most notably also at York last year in a first-time visor. That said, you would hope that he would learn to settle better as he gets used to the slower tempo of Pattern races.

He has been a much-improved horse this term, narrowly denied by a back-to-form City Leader in a Listed race at Goodwood on his return before running out a really impressive winner of the Listed Gala Stakes at Sandown on his previous run. He settled much better on that occasion and readily pulled clear of some useful rivals in the straight. The manner in which he stuck on here offers hope that he can continue his progression granted a better gallop. He is not one to write off yet in Pattern class.

23rd July 2011