Horses To Follow » Laffan


All the focus after the three-year-old seven-furlong Investec Management Handicap at Epsom on Friday was on the beaten horses, and there were traffic problems in behind, but no severe ones, and the winner Laffan is straight-forward, has won four of his last five, and remains on a steep upward curve.

Laffan was clear of the traffic problems out in front, but he had the pace to get and hold his early lead from stall nine, despite two or three of those drawn inside him wanting to be prominent too. Richard Hughes was keen to have Crown Dependency in a prominent position from stall one, but Laffan was able to move on and secure a clear lead after a couple of furlongs. He went pretty hard out in front (Crown Dependency weakened to finish 11th of the 12), he travelled better than anything to the three-furlong pole, and at no stage did you really think that he was going to be caught. He was going away again at the line, for all that Prince Alzain was finishing well out wide.

Kevin Ryan’s horse remains highly progressive. He was defying a 10lb hike here for an impressive win at Doncaster (and his rider had lost her claim in the interim, so the horse was effectively 13lb higher here). The handicapper has given him a further 5lb for this, but that is not severe, he won this authoritatively in the end, and there could still be more to come from him off his new mark of 90. He seems to really enjoy jumping and running, leading, and this seven-furlong trip is ideal for him in that context. Kevin Ryan has his string in good form at present, and the Dark Angel gelding could very well be up to winning another competitive handicap at least while in this sort of form.

1st June 2012