Horses To Follow » Lethal Force

Lethal Force

Lethal Force’s win in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes may be put down as a fluke by many, people may assume that he stole the race, but it may just be a mistake to under-rate this performance.

Clive Cox’s horse jumped straight into the lead and stayed there until he crossed the winning line. He had kicked three or four lengths clear by halfway and although Strong Suit laid down a stern challenge, Lethal Force kept on galloping to hold off the favourite, despite drifting to his left close home. The form is solid, the right horses chased him home, Strong Suit, a Group 2 winner at two and three, and Alanza, who is a very smart mare on her day, for whom the ground was too soft when last seen in the Falmouth Stakes. The time was very good, easily the quickest time of the day, and under standard on a day on which the times indicated the ground was probably no better than good. This was a high-class performance.

The son of Dark Angel has always had a performance like this in him, he was banging on the door on his two forays at this level at two, when drawn poorly in the Coventry Stakes and when he was probably unsuited to the track in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, and things just hadn’t gone his way before Saturday this season. Narrowly beaten by Swiss Spirit at Newbury, a fast six furlongs on quick ground was too much of a speed test for him at Haydock after that, and he ran a cracker in a really hot Jersey Stakes, when he was keen through the first couple of furlongs in first-time cheekpieces back up at seven furlongs for the first time as a three-year-old, which probably cost him at least a place. There were valid excuses for his run at Haydock after that, as he scoped badly afterwards, and, having got over that, the first-time blinkers probably helped him here.

He is on an upward curve, this was a big career-best, and it would be folly to ignore the merit of this performance. He may be under-rated when he runs next.

18th August 2012