Horses To Follow » Expense Claim

Expense Claim

Expense Claim marked himself down as a rapidly progressive colt by winning the London Gold Cup at Newbury on Saturday.

He was drawn poorly (14 of 14) and had to race three wide around the home turn as Jimmy Fortune wanted to adopt a prominent position, but he travelled really well into the home straight. He cruised to the front at the two-furlong pole and immediately took several lengths out of his rivals, at which point his rider actually just sat up for a few strides and waited. He had been in front plenty early enough at Salisbury on his previous run, when he idled, but he was better here, he kicked clear and had the race in the bag passing the furlong marker, before keeping on well all the way to the line to beat Hajras by a couple of lengths with the rest of the field a further two lengths and more behind.

Thomas Chippendale had been all the rage for this race beforehand, but, while he should come on for the run and probably wasn’t helped by racing wide and keenly, and being forced even wider in the straight as Silvestre De Sousa on Al Saham wanted to race a little away from the others towards the centre of the track, Expense Claim emerged as much the best horse in the race.

This is almost always a good race, the last two renewals have been won by Al Kazeem and Green Moon, and Expense Claim beat some useful types here, probably with plenty in hand. The handicapper has raised him 10lb for winning this, but that was to be expected, he could have raised him even more given the ease with which he beat a good field, and he is surely a Pattern race performer now. Connections mentioned the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot for him, but handicaps may be a thing of the past for him now. He is also in Friday’s Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood, and he has to be taken very seriously wherever he runs next. He is exciting.

19th May 2012