Horses To Follow » Madame Defarge

Madame Defarge

Madame Defarge ran a race that was full of promise in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on 1000 Guineas day.

Encouragingly well-backed beforehand on the back of just one run at the end of last season on heavy ground at Yarmouth, she was unlucky not to finish closer than she did here. Held up out the back in a race that wasn’t run at a fast pace and on a weekend on which it appeared to be an advantage to be up with the pace (as it often does on the Rowley Mile), she was making her ground towards the near side when she all but ran out of racing room. Firstly, Magic Of Reality edged slightly into her path, but she was able to get past her fairly quickly. Then the leader Lady Nouf drifted towards the near rail, initially intimidating Madame Defarge and then edging over so far that there wasn’t any room, and Jamie Spencer had to take back on his filly. He switched her inside Lady Nouf, but her winning chance had gone, and she ran on under just a hands and heels ride to finish third.

The Michael Bell-trained filly should improve significantly for this experience, just her second ever run (the first and second had both had two previous runs), with her only other run coming on heavy ground. She proved she handled this much quicker ground, she picked up well on it initially having been last of all with three furlongs to run. She is by Motivator so she may be at her best on easier ground, and she may not have handled to Dip as well as the first two on this ground, but she still ran a lovely race, hands and heels the whole way (the first two were much more strongly ridden). She is obviously by a Derby winner in Motivator, and she is out of an unraced half-sister to an Oaks and St Leger winner in User Friendly. It looks as though she will improve a good deal for stepping up to a mile and a half and she could be an interesting outsider in the Oaks if she goes to Epsom. If she doesn’t go to Epsom, she could be a Ribblesdale Stakes filly, and she may be under-rated having been beaten here.

5th May 2013