Horses To Follow » Mont Ras

Mont Ras

Mont Ras had been well backed through last week for the Spring Mile, the Lincoln consolation race, at Doncaster on Saturday, but he was really week in the pre-race market on the day of the race (through the morning and again on course), a factor that was probably significant, given that he hadn’t run since July.

He broke well, he was immediately to the fore and he travelled strongly in the front rank. He was just in front passing the three-furlong pole, and he picked up well from there, he and the eventual winner, the 50/1 shot Norse Blues, pulling a little way clear a furlong and a half out before Mont Ras just seemed to tire, and he just surrendered second place to Kyllachy Star.

The unlucky-looking horses Captain Bertie and Shamdarley are the two that people have focussed on from the race, and there is no doubt that they were unlucky, Captain Bertie particularly, but everyone has spotted him, it is unlikely that there will be any value in the Charlie Hills horse when he next runs, and Mont Ras may be the one with more scope for progression anyway, even at the age of five. He was with Ed Dunlop in his younger days, he ran just three times at three, all in maidens, reaching the frame on one occasion, and ended up with a handicap mark of 62, before joining current trainer David O’Meara before last season.

Having been gelded, he easily won his maiden over seven furlongs on his first run for his new stable, and he then won two handicaps on the bounce, the second of them really impressively at Haydock in June. Despite not quite being able to win his fourth and only other subsequent race last season, at York in July, he still ran with credit to be fourth in a competitive handicap (having been weak in the market), and the fact that he didn’t run after that last season suggests that all may not have been completely right with him. Saturday was just his eighth lifetime start, his fifth for his current trainer, and just his fourth in handicaps. Considering that he was up in the front rank throughout in a race in which it paid to come from behind (he and the winner were the only two horses in the race who were ridden handily and who finished in the first eight), and given how well he kept on, he may even benefit from stepping up in trip to nine or 10 furlongs now.

31st March 2012