Horses To Follow » Maxentius


Maxentius is a horse to follow now after Peter Chapple-Hyam’s colt won impressively on his racecourse debut at Folkestone last Wednesday against an apparently fairly strong draw bias. He raced two or three horses off the rail initially and moved out to the centre of the track from halfway, having come from stall three of six, while the horse who chased him home, Alexandrakollontai, the 25/1 outsider, was drawn six of six and raced under the stands rail. Not only that, but there were four other races run over six or seven furlongs, over the straight track, on the evening, and the first three home in each race were drawn as follows: seven of seven, six of seven, two of seven; nine of nine, eight of nine, four of nine; six of seven, three of seven, seven of seven; six of six, five of six, four of six. Virtually no other horses could produce an effort if they had raced away from the stands rail.

The few wide-drawn horses who did manage to get into their races could not sustain their efforts. Also, the horse who finished second in the seven-runner six-furlong three-year-old handicap, Seventeen Seventy, having had to challenge five horses off the rail, has already given credence to the strength of the draw-bias on the night by winning since. On top of that, Maxentius’s time was good for a juvenile and for a debutant, and it can’t have helped that he raced on three shoes, having spread a plate before the off.

All in all this made for a really promising debut from the Holy Roman Emperor colt, and he is going to be of interest stepped up in grade now. It is a pity that his sire, Holy Roman Emperor, didn’t win over a distance in excess of 10 furlongs, and that Maxentius is thereby precluded from running in the Chesham Stakes over seven furlongs, as that might have been the ideal race for him at Royal Ascot. He was well on top here though, he had been steadily backed all day, he had obviously been going well at home, and he could be good enough to take his chance in the Coventry Stakes now. There is plenty of stamina on his dam’s side though, and he could be even more effective over seven furlongs than over this six. Wherever he goes now he may well be under-rated, coming on from a small-field Folkestone Maiden Auction Stakes.

30th May 2012