Horses To Follow » Intello


The performance of the fast-finishing third Intello in the French 2000 Guineas on Sunday has been fairly widely reported already, but it is hard to overemphasise quite how arduous a task he faced from stall 17, and therefore how good a performance this was.

The last 10 winners of the race were drawn 3, 4, 1, 5, 9, 9, 7, 15, 1 and 5 respectively from an average field size of 12.8, and this year’s winner Style Vendome came from stall three, and was in the prime position throughout. On top of that, the draws of the 10 winners of the French 1000 Guineas prior to this year were 2, 5, 8, 10, 5, 5, 5, 3, 6 and 7 respectively from an average field size of 12.3, and this year’s first and second, who drew clear, were drawn five and six respectively in a field of 20. It really is difficult to over-estimate the importance of a low draw in the French Guineas at Longchamp.

From stall 17 Intello had to go back in the field to try to get in and avoid being posted five or six wide throughout. Even in so doing he didn’t get in very far, Maxime Guyon was probably mindful of the fact that he would have to get out again to get a run. He had to make a gap for himself early in the home straight, it just took him a little while to get into the clear, and he was never really going to catch Style Vendome and the other horses who enjoyed the run of the race towards the inside. But he finished best of all to take third, and he probably would even have won in another 50 yards, so well was he finishing.

The Andre Fabre-trained colt had won the Fielden Stakes over nine furlongs at Newmarket on his previous run (when he had Glory Awaits, who went on to finish second to Dawn Approach in the 2000 Guineas, over 10 lengths back in third), and the step up to 10 and a half furlongs for the Prix du Jockey Club should be perfect for him now. The only horse to win the French 2000 Guineas from a double figure draw in recent times, Lope de Vega in 2010, went on to prove himself a very talented three-year-old by winning the Prix du Jockey Club impressively, and Intello could take all the beating at Chantilly. Longer term, he could be a really high-class colt.

12th May 2013