Horses To Follow » Stand To Reason

Stand To Reason

Stand To Reason is a really progressive four-year-old and, although he was just touched off at Chester on Thursday in the Class 3 Cheshire Oaks Handicap, it looks as though there could still be a lot more to come from him.

He has been a fairly slow-learner – this was just the sixth run of his life – he was coltish in the paddock before the race, and in the end it may just have been inexperience that cost him the race. He tracked the front two in third, he looked to have the perfect tow into the race, but Resurge was pulled out wide as they began to turn into the home straight and quickly made ground around the outside. Stand To Reason may just have been caught a little as Resurge had his momentum up coming into the straight, but Mikael Magnusson’s horse picked up well and the pair of them pulled clear and fought it out all the way to the line. Stand To Reason actually edged on 50 yards from the line and looked the most likely winner, but Resurge dug in and had his head right down as they passed the line and just got the verdict. If Stand To Reason had been a little more battle-hardened, he may well have won.

The pair of them pulled a full 13 lengths clear of Calaf, who had won his previous race and who was well backed on course. Resurge, though he had been below par at the end of last season and again on his reappearance this season, had dropped 11lb in the handicap in his four previous runs and that gave him a big chance here off a mark that was 8lb below his previous winning one.

The time compares favourably with the other races on the card, it was the joint-fastest comparatively of the day, an identical time to that that Marcret clocked in winning the Group 3 Huxley Stakes earlier on (Marcret was rated 108 in Dubai and had the 114-rated pair Wigmore Hall and Questioning back in third and fourth).

Stand To Reason had won well at Newbury on his run before this, his first run since last July, and though he had been given an 8lb rise for that run, he is going forward fast. He has been raised another 5lb for this effort, but that should not stop him being competitive in top handicaps now. By Danehill Dancer, he handles easy ground well, his dam is related to both Moonstone, an Irish Oaks winner, and L’Ancresse, an Irish Oaks runner-up, so there could be even more improvement from Stand To Reason when he steps up to a mile and a half.

10th May 2012