Horses To Follow » Mass Rally

Mass Rally

Mass Rally is a bit of a monkey, no question about that, but we saw a different side to him in the Symphony Group Handicap, the first race of the York Ebor Festival, and he is worth looking out for now.

He was squeezed out soon after the start and was on the back foot the whole way after that. He could easily have thrown in the towel at an early stage, but he was travelling strongly at halfway, he was going as well as anything two furlongs out, as is usually the case with him, but he was left in a difficult position with a furlong to run as Paul Mulrennan had to pull around horses and ended up right against the stands side rail.

The fact that he encountered trouble in running may not have been the negative that it is for most horses over five and a half furlongs, as he is quirky and he doesn’t appear to like being in front, but the race conspired to leave him with a mountain to climb through the final furlong. He had to do all his own running from over a furlong out when he passed his rivals on the near side, he had at least three lengths to make up on Tax Free, who had hit the front towards the far side, and he did really well to get to within a neck of the bang in-form winner.

He was wearing a new combination of headgear here, a hood and blinkers, and that new headgear could have helped him, this was certainly the best he has finished off in any race for a long time. Maybe he doesn’t have to be covered up until the last minute any more, at least maybe not when he wears this new headgear, he responded really well to driving and to the whip here, which Mulrennan was reluctant to use on his previous run when he went down by a head in a really good sprint at Ascot on King George weekend. Also the ground would have been as quick as he would want it, he is probably a better horse on easier ground, so this was a huge run in the circumstances. There is surely a race like this in him now. Of course, he could revert to his old ways, but the betting markets will probably continue to tread with caution with him, and he should be a bigger price than his ability dictates when he next runs. Also, odds of 25/1 about him for the Ayr Gold Cup are interesting.

22nd August 2012