Horses To Follow » Main Sequence

Main Sequence

Noted as a horse to follow after his second win at two in a nine-furlong nursery at Newmarket in October, Main Sequence is worth noting again now after winning the Lingfield Derby Trial on Saturday to extend his record to four from four.

He was restrained from the stalls as he had been on each of his previous two starts after starting slowly on his debut, he raced in seventh of the eight runners here, before being relegated to last early on the second circuit. He was still last with two and a half furlongs to run, Ted Durcan had a tight hold of him as he tracked the favourite Shantaram through. There wasn’t much room for him, he had to wait for Shantaram to make ground before he could follow through, but once he got to the top of the home straight and was switched towards the inside, he really picked up well to race past Shantaram and win nicely.

There is a little worry that Shantaram doesn’t like being in front, he had looked all over the winner of a maiden at the Craven meeting when quickening to the front before appearing to ease up once in front and allowing Model Pupil to get back past him, and he has finished second now in all three of his races. However, the front pair came clear of several progressive and in-form rivals, and Main Sequence was ultimately quite comfortably on top at the line, even though the winning margin was only three parts of a length. Ted Durcan said afterwards that the horse was just idling, and that he picked up again when he felt the runner-up coming at him.

David Lanigan’s colt proved here that he stays a mile and a half, for all that it was only a steadily-run mile and a half, he can relax and settle off a steady gallop and he has a smart turn of foot. The time of this race was good, faster than standard, almost two seconds faster than the Oaks Trial won by Vow, who is now all the rage in the Oaks market, and faster comparatively than the time clocked by the 109-rated five-year-old Retrieve in the 10-furlong conditions race later on the card.

Main Sequence is highly progressive, and he appears to be improving with every run, he looks very professional for a horse at this stage of his career. He did flash his tail a couple of times when hit by the whip inside the final furlong here, as he did at Newmarket, but it didn’t stop his forward momentum. Crucially, unbeaten in four runs now, there is no knowing how good he could be.

He was supplemented for the Derby in early April at a cost of £8,000 and he heads to Epsom now. The way he won here suggests he should be well suited to Epsom, he can travel and quicken, and Ted Durcan was not concerned about a strongly-run mile and a half for him after this win. He is interesting for the Derby at 16/1 now.

The Lingfield Derby Trial doesn’t tend to be as good a trial for Epsom these days as it was, no winner at Lingfield has followed up at Epsom since High-Rise in 1998, but three horses won both races in the 1980s, and this year’s renewal was probably one of the strongest in some time. Remember also that Lanigan sent out Meeznah to finish second in the 2010 Oaks as a 25/1 shot, beaten just a neck by Snow Fairy.

12th May 2012