Horses To Follow » Stencive


Ascot hosted a really hot renewal of the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap, a 12-furlong heritage handicap for three-year-olds, on Saturday, full of well-bred improving horses, and Stencive, who finished second, could well be the horse to take out of the race.

Eddie Ahern dropped Stencive out from stall 14, he was third last through the very early stages, but the horse soon pulled his way up into the rear of mid-division. He was still well back in the field but travelling strongly as the field turned into the home straight, but there wasn’t room for Ahern to pull him to the outside. He had to make his ground between horses, though, crucially, the rider wasn’t able to properly ask him for his effort until he switched right to the inside just over a furlong from home. At that stage, he was several lengths behind the winner Ahzeemah, who had already gone to the front having had no trouble in delivering his challenge, but he finished really powerfully to get to within a neck of the winner at the line and he was actually in front just two strides after the line.

Admittedly Ahzeemah had quickened impressively early in the home straight and was wandering around having hit the front, so he may have done better if he hadn’t been delivered quite so early, but if Stencive had got a clear run from the home turn then it is likely he would have gone even closer to winning this. William Haggas’s horse remains really progressive. He has been raised 5lb for this, having gone up 5lb for his previous second place too, but it is likely that he is a fair bit better than a 98-rated horse and he is interesting now even off his new mark. He looks the type to do even better off a stronger gallop, not that this race was steadily run, but he stays particularly well being a half-brother to Joshua Tree. It may be that he proves best at tracks with longer home straights, and he could be a horse for the November Handicap at Doncaster. It would be no surprise to see him plying his trade in pattern company next year.

8th September 2012