Horses To Follow » Idler


The manner in which Idler won the seven-furlong handicap on Cambridgeshire day at Newmarket on Saturday was ultra impressive, and he is very much a horse on the up. There is nothing particularly original about this, the performance wasn’t missed, but it may be that he was even more impressive than widely accepted as he blew apart a field of talented handicappers, several of whom were bang in-form. Drawn right over towards the stands side in stall 20, which wasn’t necessarily an advantage as the fastest of the ground during the meeting seemed to be against the far rail, he was actually one of the slowest from the stalls, but he quickly came through to lead on the near side. He always travelled strongly, and he picked up immediately when Silvestre de Sousa shook him up to do so two and a half furlongs out, so well in fact that he came back on the bridle until passing the two-furlong marker. He scooted clear into the Dip, and despite drifting to his right, nothing was able to make any impression on him, and if anything he continued to extend his lead right the way to the line.

Mark Johnston’s horse has been raised 10lb for this, but you had to have expected that type of hike for this performance. He could have been raised by more. He is on a steep upward curve. He has disappointed on tight tracks Chester and Catterick, but he seems to love Newmarket, a track at which he can gallop, and he won this with complete authority. He clearly has the talent, and he is now putting the mentality with it, this was his third win from his last four runs. By Exceed And Excel, he probably does need good or faster ground to be at his best, and his two most recent defeats both came on easy ground – he was particularly disappointing on soft ground at Catterick. On decent ground though, particularly over seven furlongs, he is very good.

This was his eighth run since the start of August, but he didn’t run before August this season so he doesn’t have a long hard season behind him, and he is in excellent heart at present so it could pay to follow him or the rest of the season. He hasn’t made the cut for the Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday, but he is entered in two races at the Berkshire track on Friday, and he will take the beating were he to run in either, but especially if he were to run in the seven-furlong race.

29th September 2012