Horses To Follow » Thimaar


Thimaar was highly thought of as a juvenile and through the early part of this season, he has reportedly always shown a lot at home, but he has been largely disappointing on the track. He was beaten twice in maidens this year at odds-on having finished second to Al Kazeem on his sole start at two. He did win his maiden over a mile and a half in July but then failed to cut any ice in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, and he disappointed again on his first start in handicap company over a mile and a half at Ascot.

Dropped 3lb to a mark of 89 after that, he returned to form back at Ascot on Friday when stepped up in trip to two miles. He didn’t get to lead, as he has been doing, but he happily sat behind the leader Red Kestrel before going on at the top of the home straight and keeping on well. The favourite, Cunning Act, who was proven over two miles, came at him through the last quarter-mile and so Thimaar had to knuckle down and gallop to the line, which he duly did, winning quite comfortably in the end, with a length and a half back to the runner-up and a bigger gap to the third.

John Gosden’s horse was well backed beforehand, connections were presumably confident that he would stay, and in fact the step up to two miles could be the making of him. He could yet fulfill his early promise now at this longer trip. Thimaar is by Dynaformer, who imparts a lot of stamina on his progeny, and he is a half-brother to a winner over a mile and six furlongs. He is from a very good family – his dam is a grand-daughter of Salsabil, winner of the 1000 Guineas, Oaks and Irish Derby. There is also plenty of stamina in his pedigree, he saw out the trip well here and, while he was only winning off 89 here, he could go quite a long way over staying trips now. Interestingly he is entered in the Group 3 Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day. While he would have to improve again a fair amount to even be competitive there, as a three-year-old he would be in receipt of 11lb from his elders, and he has now proved that he handles Ascot. His entry, even were he not to take it up, is a measure of the regard in which he is held. He might just make up into a horse good enough to contest the Cup races next year.

30th September 2011