Horses To Follow » Dragon Pulse

Dragon Pulse

Dragon Pulse was impressive in winning the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at The Curragh last month, Fran Berry rode him with confidence and he won with plenty in hand. He was just as impressive, if not more so, although in defeat, in the Group 1 National Stakes back at The Curragh on Saturday.

Berry once again held him up on Saturday, he tracked his main rival Power all the way through. Seamie Heffernan, though, rode a clever race on Power, he delayed his challenge just enough knowing that his horse, as a winner of the Coventry Stakes, probably had a slightly better initial acceleration than Dragon Pulse. He could have gone for his horse as he pulled to the outside of Strait Of Zanzibar coming to the final two furlongs, but he just sat on him for a few strides before asking him to pick up. When he did, he probably stole a length from Jessica Harrington’s horse. Dragon Pulse got after him and closed him down all the way to the line, but Power kept on well and Dragon Pulse just couldn’t get there. Two other well-regarded Aidan O’Brien-trained horses, David Livingston and the quietly-backed Furner’s Green, were third and fourth, and there was a big break back to the fifth horse, the talented Tough As Nails.

It would be no surprise were Dragon Pulse to turn out the better of the front pair in time. This was just his fourth run whereas it was Power’s fifth, and perhaps crucially, Power has had more big-race experience – Dragon Pulse probably didn’t actually learn a great deal from his Futurity Stakes win as he did it so easily there. There was good money for Jessica Harrington’s horse on Saturday, he was backed into favouritism ahead of Power on course, and it is significant that he had been supplemented for both the Furturity Stakes and this race, as, of course, his erstwhile stable companion Pathfork was when he did the Futurity Stakes-National Stakes double last season. Dragon Pulse is obviously held in similar regard to Pathfork at home.

It is hard to say what the plans might be for the son of Kyllachy now. Pathfork didn’t run again last year after winning this race, and it may well be that Harrington puts Dragon Pulse away for next year now, although it would be no surprise to see her shoot for another Group 1 with him. He clearly gets seven furlongs well and it is a possibility that he will be stepped up to a mile for the Racing Post Trophy, although he would have to be supplemented again for that race and it may well be that the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, run at Longchamp on Arc day, is the race for him. British and Irish trained horses have a good record in that race and Dragon Pulse would be a leading player in that if he took his chance. If he did, he could be under-rated on the PMU.

9th September 2011