Horses To Follow » Noble Citizen

Noble Citizen

After two really good runs at Ascot in the middle of last summer, Noble Citizen had been disappointing since in two runs towards the end of last season, and when well beaten on his first run of this season. He showed much more last Thursday though, when finding only the well-handicapped-on-turf Primaeval too good in a Class 2 seven-furlong handicap at Goodwood.

Noble Citizen was slow leaving the stalls and was held up out the back, Laura Pike deciding to drop right in rather than risk being too wide around the turn. He was still just about last as they came inside the final furlong and was checked in his run, Pike was looking to angle out between Thunderball and Mr David, but she had to wait for a few strides. Once the horse got out he flew home, passing everything bar the winner. He probably wouldn’t have won even if he wasn’t held up in his challenge, Primaeval won quite readily, but given the way Noble Citizen finished, he probably would have got quite close, and his superiority over the rest would have been more marked.

Primaeval, the winner, Yair Hill, who finished fourth, and Bronze Prince, who held on for fifth, all raced much more prominently than Noble Citizen and had far easier runs through the race. Primaeval, in particular, despite being hampered at the start, was able to track the pace, pull out to challenge with a quarter of a mile to run, and kick on half a furlong out. Noble Citizen was a big price here, he had been weak in the market through the day, and he is probably being readied for something at Ascot now, where he is at his best. It would be no surprise to see him run a big race in the Buckingham Palace Stakes, or even the Wokingham now, and, even if he doesn’t feature at the Royal meeting, he should be kept in mind for the International Handicap at the track in July, he has finished a close second and third in the last two renewals of that race.

24th May 2012