Horses To Follow » Certerach


Certerach ran a cracker to finish third in the Paddy Power Handicap over a mile and a half at The Curragh on Sunday, and should be worth following now.

He was settled well back through the field, a long way behind the leader Royal Diamond, he had to make his ground six horses wide around the turn into the home straight as Royal Diamond skipped clear off the front and Midnight Soprano followed him, and he stayed on best of all, running on strongly all the way up the home straight to finish third, getting to within three lengths of the winner and drawing a few lengths clear of the rest.

This was just the Halling gelding’s fifth ever run, just his second of the season, and he should progress again for it. He must have been at least a little disadvantaged in coming from so far back, with Royal Diamond very nearly making all the running, just getting caught close to the line by Midnight Soprano, who herself had raced several lengths in front of Certerach. Michael Halford’s four-year-old was at his strongest at the finish, he was running on willingly all the way to the line, and he should benefit from stepping up in trip to a mile and three quarters now. His dam won the Listed Oyster Stakes at Galway over a mile and a half, she is out of a mare who finished third in the Irish Oaks, there is plenty of stamina in the pedigree, and Certerach will be of significant interest wherever he goes next, especially if he does step up in trip. He could be an Ebor horse if Michael Halford decided to aim him at that race, he has the right sort of profile for the race, and the victories of Sesenta in 2009 and Dirar in 2010 shows how it can be difficult for the British handicapper to get an accurate grip on Irish-trained horses in the race. The handicapper has raised him 4lb to a mark of 90, which looks lenient. He will probably need to go up another few pounds to get into the Ebor, and he will be of interest wherever he runs next.

27th May 2012