Horses To Follow » Man Of Action

Man Of Action

Man Of Action is the main horse to take out of the Totesport Mile at Glorious Goodwood on Friday. He was drawn widest of all, stall 20 of 20, in what is probably the biggest draw race on the calendar, in which you simply have to be drawn low (what used to be high before the draw changed for right-handed tracks). In the previous 10 renewals, only once had the winner been drawn higher than seven, and 17 of the 20 horses placed first or second were drawn seven or lower. In the 2008 renewal the first five home came from stalls one to five in that order and even the seventh and eighth home came from stalls seven and eight respectively. That is how pronounced the bias can be. In this race, the first three home were drawn one, six and three in that order. As well as that, the winner led all the way, the second was never out of the first four or five and the third was never out of the first three. You had to be drawn low and you had to race handily, so Man Of Action was, in hindsight, facing an impossible task from the highest draw of all and held up.

Saeed Bin Suroor’s horse wasn’t helped by the fact that The Rectifier played up in the stalls and was withdrawn before the start, as he was drawn four and would surely have challenged ultimate all-the-way winner Boom And Bust for the lead, which would have put more pace to the race and would have helped to negate the draw bias. As it was, however, Hayley Turner was granted a largely uncontested lead on the winner and was able to set a pace to suit her horse. That meant that they were all stacked up in behind. Man Of Action was third last going around the top turn and so needed more luck than most to have any chance of getting a run. He travelled well and was making progress early in the home straight, Frankie Dettori went for a gap along the rail, but that was closed off by Green Destiny, so he pulled out and went among horses. By this time they had quickened from the front, so he never really had a realistic chance of winning the race, but he picked up nicely and ran on strongly all the way to the line under just a hands and heels ride to finish best of all and take sixth place. Dance And Dance was just in front of him two and a half furlongs out and he managed to sneak up the rail before Green Destiny and stable companion Sooraah closed the gap on Man Of Action, and Ed Vaughan’s gelding was able to close right up to the winner’s tail before the door was shut in his face too inside the last 100 yards.

It could well be significant that Dettori chose to ride Man Of Action in preference to the other Godolphin runner, Namecheck, who had run out an impressive winner at Newmarket on what was possibly the slowest part of the track on the day on his previous run. Man Of Action had run with credit at Sandown on his previous run at a time when his stable was still struggling for any sort of form. He does wear blinkers, but he stretched his neck out here and raced willingly. This was just his second start in the headgear and it could still elicit some further improvement. Further improvement or not, this was a big run from the Godolphin horse and with a low berth he would surely have gone very close indeed. A reproduction of this effort could well be enough to see him win a similar event, and there still seems significant leeway in his mark of 95, given that he is still really lightly raced, this was just the seventh run of his life. He is related to two good US dirt sprinters but he gets the mile well.

29th July 2011