Horses To Follow » Clancy Avenue

Clancy Avenue

Clancy Avenue ran a cracker to finish fifth in the big Paddy Power Sprint on Irish Derby day at The Curragh on Saturday. A three-year-old against some of the top sprint handicappers around, the Henrythenavigator colt was slowly away from stall 13, which may have been an intentional ploy by Billy Lee. The field raced in two separate groups for the first half of the race and he was in the group down the centre initially. He did cross in behind towards the favoured stands side but that wasn’t until half way, and that left him with a lot of ground to make up in a race in which the four horses that beat him were all prominent throughout. He ran on strongly between horses through the final furlong and a half and finished best of all to take fifth. He was almost upsides the winner at the pull-up.

There are two main things worth noting about this performance by Tommy Stack’s horse. Firstly, he travelled in behind in a race that seemed to favour the prominent racers, with the first four home all racing prominently. Secondly, he raced from stall 13, initially on the far side before crossing over, which was probably a significant disadvantage. The other six horses who filled the first seven places all came from the stands-side group, and were drawn 25, 26, 23, 27, 21 and 30.

This race was run over six furlongs and 63 yards, and Clancy Avenue could improve now for the step back up to seven furlongs. He was a close second over that trip as a two-year-old.

He did run really well in the Tattersalls Millions Three-Year-Old Sprint at Newmarket’s Craven meeting at the start of the season, travelling well and only going down to the very progressive Zanetto, who went on to win a listed race, and he has continued to progress since. He bounced off this fast ground, which is not surprising for a son of Henrythenavigator – and which is positive as he was disappointing on really quick ground on his previous run in a listed race at Haydock – and he seemed to improve again for his first-time hood. The time of this race was really good, it was over two and a half seconds faster than standard, and he can progress again. He has gone up just alb, which is more than fair, and there should be a big race like this in him now, perhaps over seven furlongs. The fact that he has won on the Polytrack at Dundalk is a positive if he goes for the big seven-furlong handicap at Ascot on King George weekend, given how well form on Polytrack translates to Ascot’s straight track these days.

29th June 2013