Horses To Follow » Oceanway


Oceanway did really well to finish as close as she did in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury on Saturday. She was the only one of those who raced handily, who helped set what was probably too strong a pace, to be involved at the finish, with the first four home coming from the rear. Oceanway was rousted along early to get a handy position from a wide draw, four from the outside, after missing the break a little. She was really wide around the home turn, four wide, which meant that she lost her prominent early position, then she found herself out in the middle of the track, looking as if she was going to be swallowed up, but she battled on really well until she was hampered inside the final furlong. Even at that, she ran on again to take sixth place.

Mark Johnston’s filly is tough and genuine and has withstood plenty of racing this season. She reportedly returned from running at Dundalk in August with a slight heart defect, but she ran again in a Newmarket handicap just 13 days later, where she was badly impeded early on, the worst affected by severe scrimmaging as the field bunched just before the turn into the home straight. She had no chance from there in a race in which it paid to be prominent. She ran much better next time, on her last run before Saturday, dropped down to nine furlongs on softish ground at Goodwood, when she came under pressure quite early but stuck on well to get up for fourth place on the line. She was in good form at the end of June and through July, and although she has had a rough time of things as of late, she has now put in two really encouraging runs in a row. Her turn may be soon in coming again.

Her two runs in August came at a time when the Johnston yard really wasn’t firing, they had a particularly quiet time of things for a few weeks then. The yard is in much better form now. Oceanway stays well and may well benefit from a step up in trip. She has plenty of entries over the weekend and she deserves a second look wherever she runs, if indeed she is to run, and while the drop back to nine furlongs may not entirely be in her favour in the Cambridgeshire or its Silver equivalent, she will be of interest next time she races in a contest in which stamina is at a premium. The handicapper has dropped her 1lb, and there could be a decent prize in her now off a mark of 93.

17th September 2011