Horses To Follow » Nehaam


Nehaam was weak in the market for the Class 2 Eagle Rock Handicap at Ascot on Sunday but did really well to come from second last to win the slowly-run mile-and-a-half contest well. Carrying joint second top weight of 9st 11lb, he was keen early on as the tempo was steady. Indeed, several of the runners were keen and straining their jockey’s arms on the run around Swinley Bottom, indicative of the sedate pace being set by the unhassled Star In Flight on the front end. Inevitably the race developed into a bit of a sprint up the home straight and Nehaam was not in the ideal position, still second last as they levelled for home, five lengths off the leader. It is to his huge credit, as a horse who has proved his stamina for two miles, that he was able to come from where he did and make up the five lengths and, having been forced a little wide, another length and a half.

The son of Nayef was a highly regarded three-year-old two seasons ago, he was sent off only an 8/1 shot for the 2009 Dante having won his first two starts including the Tattersalls Timeform 3YO Trophy. He was steadily upped in trip though his three-year-old campaign, a season that culminated in two very good runs to go down narrowly to the good stayer Akmal, in the Listed Noel Murless Stakes and the Group 3 Jockey Club Cup, both at Newmarket. He had been off the track for a year and a half before he returned with a moderate run in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown in May. He was reportedly unsuited by the easy underfoot conditions on that occasion, it had rained quite heavily through the evening, and he was right back to his best on the drying ground on Sunday, his first run since Sandown.

Not only did he prove that he was over whatever had kept him off the track for such a long time, but he also proved here that he can perform away from the undulations of Newmarket. Given that he stays two miles well, but clearly has not lost any of his pace, and should progress again from this run, he could well be an Ebor horse now. He raced here off a mark of 99 having been dropped 6lb since his Sandown run, and so will be able to race at York off this mark with a penalty, which would give him a big chance if he is allowed take his chance in the race. Current odds of 33/1 about him for that contest would be very big if you knew that he was an intended runner. Looking further ahead, his trainer will no doubt have more Pattern races lined up for him later in the season.

24th July 2011