Horses To Follow » Altano


In behind the front few in the Ascot Gold Cup, it is well worth noting the performance of the German horse Altano, who ran a cracker, making relentless ground up the home straight to finish fifth.

Taken back from the stalls, his jockey Eduardo Pedroza looked to have got across towards the rail, but he was caught on heels after three furlongs and Pedroza decided to take him off the rails and come and follow those racing a little wider up the home straight for the first time. That left him both well back and at least three horses wide throughout, and for a horse who is steeped in stamina that probably wasn’t the best plan.

The pace wasn’t overly strong either. William Buick, who had taken the other German raider Earl Of Tinsdal to the front passing the stands on the first occasion, steadied it up early on the final circuit, and that didn’t suit Altano at all. He was last into the home straight, he was brought towards the centre of the track on straightening up, but he was edging back to his right under a left-hand drive all the way home. Despite that, he was flying at the front four late on and was probably at least a little unfortunate not to be placed.

Altano is proven on soft ground, but he had also won on ground rated as good to firm by Timeform before, and he is probably not just a soft-ground galloper, a label that is often assigned automatically to German horses. By Galileo, this was his first run beyond two miles, so it is understandable that connections perhaps wanted to hold him up and preserve his stamina. Now that there are no doubts about his stamina, however, he can be ridden much more aggressively. The Prix du Cadran over two and a half miles on Arc weekend at Longchamp could be the race for him now, and he is one to keep in mind should he return for the Ascot Gold Cup next year.

20th June 2013