Horses To Follow » Forgotten Hero

Forgotten Hero

Forgotten Hero can be rated a fair bit better than suggested by the bare result of the Class 3 10-furlong handicap at Ascot on Sunday.

Slowly away from stall one, he did get into a reasonable position up the inside in sixth, but he was always going to need luck from there, even in this smallish field, off the relatively sedate early pace, and he just didn’t get it. He travelled really strongly, Steve Drowne had to restrain him passing half way to take him off the heels of the horse in front, and he continued to travel well into the home straight. He picked up when Drowne asked gave him a squeeze early in the home straight, he improved through onto the heels of the leaders going inside the final quarter of a mile, but he just had no room to make ground against the far rail from there.

He was travelling as well as, if not better than, the eventual winner Charles Camoin at the time, he was upsides him just inside the two-furlong pole, and he would surely have gone close to winning had he managed to find the gaps that the winner found. His rider tried to switch inside the weakening leader a furlong and half out, but that gap quickly closed in his face and he had to be snatched up quite sharply. He was well out of contention after that, and, while he didn’t fly home, he stayed on nicely all the way to the line under hands and heels to get up for fourth.

The fact that he was beaten six lengths into fourth should mean that he will be under-rated at least a little next time, but it isn’t an exaggeration to suggest he would have gone very close with a clear run. The Charlie Hills-trained four-year-old remains interesting over a mile and a quarter on good ground, he has always been highly regarded, he was entered in the Derby last year until he got injured in the Craven Stakes, and Charlie Hills said in a stable tour at the start of this season that the horse still has bags of ability and that a gelding operation could be the making of him. Things haven’t quite clicked for him this year, but he still has the potential to be better than his current mark of 89 when things do go for him. He can be a bit keen, so he is always likely to be best behind a fast pace.

28th July 2013