Horses To Follow » Retirement Plan

Retirement Plan

Having badly needed the run on his debut, Retirement Plan had been impressive in winning his maiden at Doncaster in June, and he took another step forward in winning the Class 3 0-90 11-furlong handicap on the Friday of Glorious Goodwood.

The Lady Cecil-trained colt did well to win as impressively as he did in the circumstances. He was drawn out wide in stall 14, which wasn’t ideal for a horse who seems to like racing prominently, and the drop down from 12 furlongs to 11 furlongs was never going to be in his favour, given how strongly he had galloped to the line at Doncaster. He was pushed up out wide through the first furlong by Tom Queally to come across and sit in a share of second behind the leader King Muro, who raced a few lengths ahead and who set a decent clip. The other protagonists, the second, third and fourth, all came from the rear. Indeed, the second, third and fourth were last, second last and third last turning for home and the other horses who had been prominent all faded to finish well beaten.

Also, Retirement Plan still showed several signs of greenness. He had missed the break a little before being pushed up around the field, and Tom Queally had to nudge him along and give him a slap down the shoulder before the home turn. Also, as soon as he got to the front just over two furlongs out, he pricked his ears, started to look around him a little, and he rolled down towards the far rail, which really wasn’t the place to be all week. That allowed the closers to bear down on him. Northern Meeting joined him a furlong and a half out and perhaps even hit the front for a few strides, but as soon as Queally got Retirement Plan back on an even keel after he had rolled down to the far rail, he surged ahead again, and he was going right away at the finish.

This was just Retirement Plan’s third ever run, he has progressed markedly with each of them and he should progress again for this experience. He had to come around a big field from a wide draw, and he had to really knuckle down having been joined. He is really well bred, he is the first foal out of Passage Of Time (who won the Criterium de Saint-Cloud as a two-year-old, and was placed in the Prix Vermeille and Breeders’ Cup Filly And Mare Turf as a three-year-old and in the Nassau Stakes as a four-year-old), who herself comes from a very good family. She is a half-sister to the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes winner Timepiece and a full-sister to Father Time, winner of the King Edward VII Stakes and fourth in the St Leger.

By stamina influence Monsun, Retirement Plan should be even better stepped back up in trip. Apparently the Melrose Handicap over a mile and six furlongs at York is next on his agenda and he will be of major interest if he takes his chance in that off his new mark of 96. An 8lb hike for this performance is not overly harsh, and he has the potential to progress well beyond a 96-rated horse. It is not fanciful to suggest that he could be a St Leger horse given his pedigree and given how authoritatively he won in the end here.

2nd August 2013