Horses To Follow » Halfsin


Halfsin was really progressive last season as a three-year-old, winning a maiden in April before landing back-to-back handicaps over a mile and a quarter and going up 15lb in the process. He ran another good race when going down narrowly to the much-improved Barbican in a conditions race at Newmarket after that, but he slightly disappointed on his only other start of the season in a valuable handicap at Ascot, when a mile and a half might have been too far for him. He ran a much better race than his eventual finishing position of sixth suggests in the City and Suburban Handicap at Epsom last Wednesday, however, on his first run this season, and he can go on from this again now.

Having sweated up beforehand and having been uneasy in the market, he got across from stall eight to make the running at a decent pace. He looked to have stolen a march on his rivals two and a half furlongs out, but he had to give best a furlong out. To his credit he stuck on fairly well once he had been headed and he only faded into sixth when passed by three rivals close to the line.

Significantly, he stayed towards the far side, which is usually not where you want to be when the ground is soft or heavy at Epsom, as it was on Wednesday, and the main protagonists all raced up the centre of the track. Staying over on the far side must have disadvantaged Halfsin at least a little, and possibly quite a lot, and Adam Kirby may just have been a little too aggressive on him on his seasonal debut.

This run should have brought Marco Botti’s gelding on, he has been eased 1lb in the handicap, and he can resume the thread of his progression from last season now. He has plenty of pace for this 10-furlong trip, but he could get a mile and a half this season if he is ridden less aggressively. He is interesting now for some of the big handicaps on a mark of 97.

25th April 2012