Horses To Follow » Winning Express

Winning Express

The winner of the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven meeting last week, Hot Snap, was impressive, but the performance that third-placed Winning Express put up in finishing third may have gone under the radar.

Weak in the market, Ed McMahon’s filly was prominent early on, unlike the winner and the second, who both came from the back of the field, but she was soon taken back which resulted in her being quite keen for a couple of furlongs. It also meant that she just had to wait for the gap to fully open in front of her, and she took quite a hefty bump on both sides just inside the final two furlongs.

By the time she was out in the clear and getting into top gear, the first two had already quickened past her and were in full flight. That probably exaggerated their authority at least to some extent. Also, the first two home both made their ground under the stands rail, which looked the fastest part of the track for the entire meeting, whereas Winning Express was out towards the middle of the track. Despite all that, Winning Express got going again well and picked up impressively from a furlong out to be third, coming clear of the rest.

Although the winner had had just one previous run and this was her first outing on turf and she probably has more scope over a mile than Winning Express, it is likely that the near five-length margin of defeat greatly under-estimates Winning Express. A mile would be a doubt for the daughter of Camacho – she is out of a five-furlong winner – but she wasn’t stopping at the end of seven furlongs here, having had to get going again, and her half-sister Lady Arabella won over nine furlongs, so there is a chance that she will stay. She will be more interesting in the Jersey Stakes than the Guineas, but wherever she goes now, she will probably be under-rated at least a little after this.

17th April 2013