Horses To Follow » Lightning Cloud

Lightning Cloud

Lightning Cloud is worth noting after finishing first horse home down the middle of the track in the seven-furlong Victoria Cup at Ascot on Saturday.

Kevin Ryan’s gelding was slow from the stalls and was held up behind horses in the centre of the track before making smooth progress just after halfway. He was one of only a few horses still on the bridle two and a half furlongs out, he moved through to join Pravda Street in front of the centre-to-near-side group just inside the final quarter of a mile, and he didn’t have anything to take him any further into the race. He took a while to fully master Pravda Street, but he pulled out more late on to forge clear of his rivals down the middle, suggesting he could have done much better had he been racing on the far side. He is a horse who is at his best when he is covered up and delivered for a turn of foot.

Kevin Ryan’s four-year-old is still progressive, he had won five of his last seven at three last year, and he had finished second in the valuable lady riders’ race at Ascot on one of his other starts. He was the chosen mount of Amy Ryan here over her old friend Advanced, and there is a race like this in him now when he is better drawn. He appears best at this seven-furlong trip, he has a high cruising speed and sees the seventh furlong out well, he clearly goes well at Ascot (he has run really well on all three visits to the track now) and, as such, the Buckingham Palace Handicap at the Royal meeting looks like the race for him now. The handicapper has left him on his mark of 95, which is more than reasonable.

12th May 2012