Horses To Follow » Harvard N Yale

Harvard N Yale

Harvard N Yale was unfortunate not to win a good one-and-a-half-mile handicap at Ascot on Saturday on his first run of the season.

The four-year-old travelled well just behind the pace in the hands of Martin Harley n his first-time tongue-tie. Harley manouevred onto the inside rail after a couple of furlongs, but although he moved off the rail into the home straight, he just couldn’t get out early enough to avoid the weakening pace-setters. He got stopped in his tracks early in the home straight as the leaders came back into his lap, and he dropped right back to eighth place with two furlongs to run. He switched out and got going again a furlong and a half out and finished best of all, but the two leaders had flown, and he is a big long-striding horse who probably needs plenty of winding up. He was closing on the first two all the way to the line, but he had just been left with too much ground to make up.

With a clear run, Harvard N Yale probably would have won this, and he remains interesting and potentially really well-handicapped. He will be of major interest now wherever he goes next. He is probably at his best on quickish ground but he handled this softening ground well. He clearly handles Ascot well – he had run a good race to be fifth in a hot three-year-old handicap at the track last September when trapped widest of all throughout – and he could return to Ascot for the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at the Royal meeting, a race in which four-year-olds have accounted for 10 of the last 14 winners.

Also, given the fact that he finished so strongly off this fast pace, there is every chance that he will stay a mile and three quarters. He could be an Ebor horse for later in the season. He is still lightly-raced and has a lot of scope for improvement.

11th May 2013