Horses To Follow » Arctic Cosmos

Arctic Cosmos

Arctic Cosmos was entitled to win the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton on Saturday well, but he did, despite the fact that he was weak in the market beforehand and that the 10-furlong trip should have been a fair bit shorter than ideal, especially considering it is on the inner circuit at Kempton.

He was helped by the fact that one of his main rivals in the market, Fair Trade, ran very freely on his first run for 18 months and pulled away his chance, but William Buick soon took the 2010 St Leger winner to the front and in control of the race. He slowed the pace turning into the back straight before increasing the tempo from three furlongs out, and he immediately had all his rivals in trouble. He continued to draw away up the home straight under just a hands and heels ride, and the winning margin was six lengths at the line despite Buick having eased him up through the last half-furlong. The time was good as well, the only time that dipped below standard on the day and less than 0.4secs outside Kandidate’s four-year course record, even though he wasn’t pressed inside the final furlong and was eased down.

After winning the St Leger in 2010, John Gosden’s horse was off the track until the end of last season having picked up a serious cannon-bone injury when being prepared for the Canadian International, but he remains lightly raced and interesting, if perhaps a little fragile. Gosden said after the race that the plan was the John Porter Stakes at Newbury now for the son of North Light, back up at a mile and a half, before possibly the Yorkshire Cup over a mile and three quarters.

We know that Arctic Cosmos stays well, and he could well make up into a Cup horse this season, but he showed here, albeit against inferior opposition, that he has the pace to be effective at shorter trips. It is not impossible that he will prove to be good enough for Group 1 company over a mile and a half this season, and he may be under-rated, at least at middle distances.

31st March 2012