Horses To Follow » Citrus Star

Citrus Star

Back on his favoured fast ground, Citrus Star was a real eye-catcher at York on Saturday in the Class 2 0-105 seven-furlong handicap, and is a horse to keep a close eye on now that decent ground is finally prevailing across Britain.

Chris Wall’s horse travelled noticeably strongly at the rear of the field, he was alongside the eventual winner Dimension half a mile from home, going better, and tried to make ground at the same time, but whereas the winner came to the near side and had a clear run, Citrus Star was in the centre of the course and had nowhere really to go. He had to wait for a gap to emerge, and even when it did and he was just picking up, he got checked again by the slightly awkward Yair Hill.

By that stage Dimension had quickened up well and was closing in quickly on the long-time leader White Frost, and Citrus Star was left much too far behind. He was still two and a half lengths adrift of the third-placed horse with 150 yards to go, but finished really strongly out in the centre of the course, just missing out on third by a nose and a neck.

There was good money for him in the morning but he was a little weak in the market on course. He is clearly in great heart, he travelled smoothly, and it is not stretching the imagination to suggest he would have gone very close to winning this with a clear run. Given that the winner has been raised 7lb and the runner-up 6lb, that makes Citrus Star very interesting now having been left unchanged on his mark of 93. The time was really good, over a second under standard, and furlong per furlong on a par with the Group 2 York Stakes 35 minutes later.

Citrus Star really does seem to be a different horse on fast ground, and he is surely ready to win now, especially with his stable looking to be coming nicely into form.

28th July 2012