Horses To Follow » Caledonia Lady

Caledonia Lady

Caledonia Lady was a high class sprinting two-year-old last year, narrowly beaten in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes as a maiden on just her second start, she went on to finish fourth in the Group 2 Lowther, a close third in the Group 2 Flying Childers, before finally breaking her maiden in the Listed Harry Roseberry Stakes at Ayr. She has returned this season as good as, if not better than, last year based on her two runs to date this spring. Beaten only a head by Beyond Desire in a listed fillies’ sprint at Bath on her return, she is worth noting now after things didn’t go all her own way in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.

She was just a fraction hesitant leaving the stalls and Eton Rifles jumped right from his stall next door and just squeezed Caledonia Lady out after a couple of strides, with the result that the filly was last through the early stages. She travelled well in behind horses but was held up in making her challenge as the gap between Margot Did and Night Carnation was blocked by the weakening Jonny Mudball. By the time she was able to be asked to improve, the leaders had got away, but she picked up well among horses, away from the pace as the race developed between Mayson and Definightly on the far side. Caledonia Lady, together with Night Carnation, finished best of all, making up really good ground through the final furlong, just missing out on fifth.

It will be hard for Jo Hughes’s filly this year as a three-year-old sprinter, but she proved last year that she is high class, and there will be opportunities for her. Margot Did showed last year that a three-year-old filly can cut it in the top sprints, this was a good quality race and things didn’t drop for her, she is probably even better than she was able to show here. It may well be that we won’t see the best of her until next year, but she can win races this year, perhaps even a handicap off her mark of 104, and she may continue to be under-rated for a while as a three-year-old filly and hailing from a smallish yard.

5th May 2012