Horses To Follow » Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was really impressive in winning his maiden on his racecourse debut at Dundalk on Friday night, and is surely a horse we will be hearing a great deal more about this season.

Joseph O’Brien worked his way to the front turning into the back straight and he was able to control things from there. The horse travelled powerfully out in front, seemingly going well within himself down the back straight and around the top bend despite having everything else in trouble by the time they had rounded the home turn. He picked up well from the two furlong marker when his rider shook the reins at him to draw clear all the way to the line, the winning margin of 10 lengths achieved with just a flick or two down the neck and being punched to the line.

The time was good, faster than the other two races run over the 10-furlong trip on the card, more than eight and a half seconds quicker than the winner clocked in the 50-80 handicap. It is hard to know what Ernest Hemingway beat, but Handazan, who had shown promise on all three of his runs last year, was well backed and was ultimately beaten 19 lengths.

Aidan O’Brien’s horse is well bred, by Galileo out of Cassydora, who won the Lingfield Oaks Trial in good style in 2005 before going on to win a Grade 3 race in America, who herself is out of Claxon, whom John Dunlop trained to win several listed races and a Group 2 contest over 10 furlongs in Italy. Ernest Hemingway has earned himself a crack at a Derby trial now, it is interesting that he is entered in the Dante and the Derrinstown, and he could well be a Derby horse. He handled the turns of Dundalk with aplomb here, and that is encouraging in the context of an Epsom challenge. It will be very interesting to see how he progresses now, but it would not be at all surprising if he were to emerge as a real live Derby challenger.

13th April 2012