Horses To Follow » Talwar


Talwar stepped up massively on his debut seventh in a Class 5 maiden at Doncaster to comfortably win a maiden upped to seven furlongs at Sandown in early July, and he has stepped up on that again on his latest two starts, the most recent of which was back at Sandown on Saturday when he was a wide margin winner of the Group 3 Solario Stakes.

The son of Acclamation had got the better of a prolonged tussle with Trumpet Major on his previous start in the Listed Winkfield Stakes at Ascot on King George day, the pair of them pulling a long way clear of the rest. Trumpet Major had gone on to run out a wide margin winner of a conditions event at Newmarket on his subsequent run, beating Elkhart, who had not finished too far behind Chandlery in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes as Goodwood on his previous start. Richard Hannon’s colt had seemingly improved again from the Ascot run and he was really well backed on Saturday. Talwar had been favourite in the morning, but Trumpet Major was backed from 2/1 into 6/4 on course and Talwar drifted out to 9/4.

Jimmy Fortune sent Talwar straight to the front though, and he never looked like losing, picking up nicely in the home straight to go away and win impressively, handling the rain-softened ground well. The others were all hard at work by the two-furlong pole whereas Fortune had only just started nudging Talwar along. When he asked Talwar to pick up, he steadily drew clear through the last furlong and a half, with Fortune barely having to use his whip. The five-length margin of victory could easily have been a fair bit more.

It could well be that Talwar was the only horse that handled the conditions, the race was run in heavy rain and the ground had officially been changed to soft before this race. Talwar does have an action that suggests he should not be inconvenienced by soft ground, there was cut in the ground for his Ascot race, and Trumpet Major had looked so impressive on quickish ground at Newmarket last time. However, Talwar had won his maiden on good ground, and it could also be that he is improving rapidly, he had finished in front of Trumpet Major on his previous run after all, and he took another step forward here. Actually, the ground may not have been that bad by the time this race was run, it was only the second race of the afternoon at Sandown and it had only started raining just beforehand. The fairly steady pace was probably just as big a contributor to the final time as the ground.

While Talwar did have the run of the race out in front – and sticking to the far rail would have made it harder for the others to get past him – the performance was still impressive. Also, the fact that Jeremy Noseda’s horses are not going well at present makes this performance even more commendable. Noseda’s only three winners in August before this one had all been short-priced two-year-olds in maidens, and several of his horse have run well below form. Talwar has a whole host of entries for the latter part of the season, from six furlongs to a mile, and he will be interesting now wherever he turns up, especially if there is some ease in the ground. The Champagne Stakes at Doncaster could well be the race for him.

20th August 2011