Horses To Follow » Gabrial


Gabrial showed a remarkable turn of foot to swoop down the outside and win the Silver Bowl Handicap at Haydock on Saturday, and he continues to look like a horse very much on the up.

He was restrained from his inside draw, he was last as they turned out of the back straight, but things didn’t look too promising as he was being niggled along from some way out. Still just about last with two furlongs to run, he was taken to the outside, and, despite edging in quite badly to his left, hampering his two stable companions in the process, he quickly passed the entire field and won easing down.

This really was impressive, he put the race to bed in less than a furlong once he began his run, and this was a decent three-year-old handicap, albeit a slightly depleted one with the four non-runners. He had edged to his right having hit the front and was narrowly beaten at Chester on his previous run, but that was on soft ground, this was on ground which had dried out to be officially firm, and his slightly wayward antics can probably be put down to greenness and possibly extremes of ground. The handicapper has raised him 10lb to a mark of 101 for this, but this was just his sixth race, he should improve again, and he is on a steep upward curve now. He seemed to appreciate the fast ground here, it was certainly conducive to allowing him produce this turn of foot, his two two-year-old wins came on good to firm ground, and he should be plying his trade at a higher level now. Given that he still looked green here at three, niggled along from quite an early stage and then shifting left when asked to pick up, the fact that he was able to win twice early last season suggests that he has an abundance of latent talent and, at the moment, it is difficult to know how deep that talent goes. He will be interesting now wherever he goes next. The Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot is the obvious race for him, but he could step up to 10 furlongs on this evidence. Also, it is interesting that connections thought enough of him to enter him in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes.

26th May 2012