Horses To Follow » Integral


Integral, the second foal out of the Group 1-winning mare Echelon, has quickly developed into a talented filly herself, and she took another slight step forward on what she had done so far when dead-heating for the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.

She was awkward out of the stalls, and she got shuffled around a little after a furlong or so, with the result that she was probably further back in the field than Ryan Moore would have wanted. It has been hard to come from the rear at Sandown this season, and that was the case once again on Saturday. She was just about last of all into the home straight, but she made impressive ground down the outside from the three-furlong pole as the pace was increasing. She swooped past the entire field quite quickly and effectively won her race before the game Ladys First fought back on the far side. In fact, it looked as though Ladys First had wrested the race back through the final half-furlong, and Integral had to fight back herself to force a dead-heat. She did have her head down on the line, and Ladys First had her head up, but Integral was coming back at Richard Fahey’s filly through the final 100 yards, and that portrayed a really likeable willing attitude in the Cheveley Park filly.

This was just Integral’s fourth run, she didn’t make her debut until the end of May. She had already been pitched into Group 1 level when she took her chance in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood – which gave an indication of the regard in which Michael Stoute holds her – when she didn’t enjoy the clearest of passages before finishing fifth. However, on this evidence, and in particular given the way she cruised into the race down the outside, a mile is probably her trip. It is possible that she is not entirely straightforward given the way she got to the front, was headed and then fought back, but that may still just be down to greenness, and she should progress again for this experience.

Also, Ryan Moore was critical of himself after the race, saying that he did not give her a great ride, that he made up his ground too quickly. Moore is top class, but nobody is infallible, and the filly probably surprised him with the ease and the swiftness with which she was able to make her ground. That is also a significant positive pointer to the magnitude of her ability.

She has been fashionable so far this term, but she is obviously talented, and because she only dead-heated here against a tough and talented but largely exposed older filly, she may not be quite as fashionable next time as she was going into this race.

31st August 2013