Horses To Follow » Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

Hajras won the 10-furlong Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury on Saturday in great style from Unex El Greco, with the pair clear of the rest, but both raced up the centre of the course in the home straight, and that did seem the quickest ground for both days of Newbury’s meeting. Chapter Seven was one of the horses who stuck towards the far side in the straight, and there was definite promise in his run. He shaped much better than his finishing position of eighth place suggests, and he looks worth following now for the remainder of the season.

The Richard Fahey-trained gelding was drawn right on the inside and was pushed up early to adopt a more prominent position than is often the case with him. He was shuffled back a little when they turned out of the back straight as his stable companion Area Fifty One came across to the rail to lead, but he seemed to be in a good position as they levelled for home, tracking the strong-travelling Expense Claim. However, although the field fanned out and did not hug the inside rail in the home straight, the gaps didn’t come for Chapter Seven when jockey Kieran O’Neill was wanting to make ground. He did have daylight when he switched towards the inside entering the final two furlongs and it briefly looked like he might be placed, but there was a general migration back towards the inside late on and that resulted in Chapter Seven being short of room against the far rail after which he was eased down and allowed to coast home through the last 100 yards.

Chapter Seven made his ground on the far side, on what was probably the slowest part of the track, but he still ran well to get involved on ground that should have been fast enough for him. The Excellent Art gelding is at his best on ground with at least a little bit of ease in it, and he looks worth keeping a close eye on through the autumn now. Also, his trainer’s horses are not going as well as they were earlier in the season. He will be of even greater interest when his yard is in better form.

He was 2lb well-in here, and the handicapper has dropped him 1lb for this run, so he will race off a 1lb higher mark than he did here next time, which is fine. Also, this was just his second run since a gelding operation. His first, when he finished second in a 10-furlong handicap at Beverley in early September, was a career-best on Racing Post Ratings. He will be of interest wherever he goes next, especially if the ground is on the easy side and if the Fahey horses are generally in better form by then.

22nd September 2012