Horses To Follow » Sweet Lightning

Sweet Lightning

Sweet Lightning was really impressive in landing the Irish Lincoln at The Curragh on Sunday, Andrew Tinkler’s gelding probably winning with plenty more in hand than the four-length winning margin.

Always travelling nicely on the near side under Johnny Murtagh, he cruised closer three furlongs out and quickened up impressively when his rider angled him into the clear just outside the two-furlong pole. He had swept to the front before the furlong marker and he drew away before drifting across to the far side. He probably went for home plenty early enough, but he was travelling so well that his rider had little option but to let the handbrake off, and he had more than enough in hand to win comfortably.

This was an authoritative performance, and there could be plenty more to come from the Tommy Carmody-trained gelding, even though his profile suggests that he should be completely exposed now. He should be able to step up into listed or even Group 3 class now, and he could be under-rated, an eight-year-old who has run 35 times in his life and who wouldn’t appear, on the face of it, to have too many secrets from anybody. However, he has had his problems, and this was his best performance since he won the Doncaster Lincoln two years ago (which was his previous win) when he was trained by Michael Dods. He came up against the top class pair Famous Name and Sharestan when he stepped up in class last season, and he was unlucky not to win the Irish Cambridgeshire at The Curragh last August.

He showed a really potent turn of foot here, he is probably at his best coming off a fast pace, ideally on ground that is no faster than good. But he has run well on fast ground in the past, and he should be worth noting wherever he goes next. He could be a Royal Hunt Cup horse, as long as the ground doesn’t come up too fast at Royal Ascot this year.

24th March 2013