Horses To Follow » Dark Stranger

Dark Stranger

Dark Stranger, having just his third run, which made him by far the least experienced member of the Class 3 three-year-old nine-furlong handicap at Sandown on Saturday, took the eye and could be the horse to take out of the race.

John Gosden’s colt travelled well on the outside of the seven runners, he made his ground around the outside into the home straight as the pace quickened and he took a slight bump as they swung wide towards the near side rail, but even so he looked to be travelling well when they straightened up. He looked to be in a great position early in the straight, nearest the stands rail, but there was a cutaway two furlongs from home and Robert Havlin kept him straight at that point. The horse edged to his right, no doubt looking for company, and in fact the whole field drifted right back towards the far side. That left Dark Stranger down the middle and possibly on slightly slower ground, and his effort around the home turn and early in the home straight probably told and he faded as Opinion stayed on really well on the far side.

The son of Stormy Atlantic is better than the bare form of this race suggests, and he may do better under more patient tactics and/or dropped back down in trip to a mile or even seven furlongs now, he certainly doesn’t seem short of pace. This was just his third ever race and he should continue to improve. He could be really well-handicapped on a mark of 86.

16th June 2012