Horses To Follow » Jack Dexter

Jack Dexter

The ground dried up all through the weekend at Ascot. The meeting started on Friday on the soft side, but the times on Sunday revealed the ground was genuinely good and getting towards the fast side of good even. That was just too fast for Jack Dexter in the Class 2 SIS Sprint Handicap over five furlongs, the last race on Sunday.

Five furlongs is short for him anyway, he was outpaced over five furlongs behind Bosun Breese at Ayr on his previous run. He could have got away with the trip on this stiff course on easy ground, but on ground that had dried right out it was too short for him, the leaders just weren’t coming back enough for him, so he ran a fine race in the circumstances.

A three-year-old, he only made his debut in April, his run before this at Ayr had been his first at five furlongs, he is still learning about the game, and perhaps he just didn’t quite have the experience for a big-field sprint over a trip this short. He was always just struggling to hold his position in the group down the centre, and he had to switch right over to the far side to challenge late on, which may not have been ideal. He finished well to get involved in the mix for the places. The photo revealed that he had finished only seventh, but he was alongside the winner soon after the line, and it is not hard to imagine that he would have done much better had the race been over half a furlong or a furlong longer.

That is not to say that five furlongs will always be too short for him, he was able to hold a much more prominent position here than he had on his first attempt at five furlongs, and he should continue to improve in that regard with experience. For the moment, he probably needs five and a half furlongs or an easy six furlongs to be seen at his best, and he will be interesting when he returns to a slightly longer trip, perhaps at York, and on slightly easier ground. He handled soft ground well when winning at both Thirsk and Chester earlier in the season. This was only his sixth ever run, he is progressing nicely, and he could develop into a high-class sprint handicapper for Jim Goldie. He is interesting for the remainder of this term, and he could be a Wokingham or Stewards’ Cup horse for Goldie next season.

21st July 2012