Horses To Follow » Windhoek


Windhoek put up a really good performance to win the mile-and-a-quarter £200,000 Tattersalls Million Three-Year-Old Trophy at Newmarket last Thursday.

Mark Johnston’s colt travelled well in the centre of the pack just behind the leaders, he cruised up on the outside of the leader still going really strongly two and a half furlongs from home, he picked up nicely coming out of the Dip and he stuck on well despite drifting left, even though he was being closed down all the way to the line by Greatwood.

The runner-up should improve for stepping up in trip, but this was just Windhoek’s second ever race, his first since last May, he was probably the best horse in the race, and he was entitled to get a little tired inside the final 100 yards. Mark Johnston said afterwards that the horse had had a foot abscess, that he didn’t think he was ready, and that he was surprised that Joe Fanning chose to ride him (he wore the second colours of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum), all of which makes his performance look even better. He had fractured a pastern last year after winning a decent Nottingham maiden over six furlongs, which is why we didn’t see him again after that, and he can progress again now.

The son of Cape Cross is in the Dante, and that looks the obvious race for him now. He could stay a mile and a half on breeding, but he has such a high cruising speed and showed so much pace in that run as a two-year-old that perhaps a mile and a quarter will be his trip (and he isn’t entered for the Derby). He could certainly be a talented horse over 10 furlongs.

18th April 2013