Horses To Follow » Calibrate


Calibrate shaped a fair bit better than the bare result on her handicap debut at Leopardstown on Saturday, and the Dermot Weld-trained filly could be worth following now.

There was some support for her beforehand and, although she was closer to last than first early on in a race that was run at a really strong pace, she made her effort early. She moved up four horses wide around the home turn and joined the front rank early in the home straight. However, the race was run to suit the hold-up horses, the three horses who ultimately filled the first three places were still all towards the rear turning for home, and none of the trio was closer than seventh two furlongs out. Calibrate took a while to wear down leader Strait Of Zanzibar in the home straight and, by the time she did, the closers had swept past from the rear. Even so, even after she had been passed, she stuck to her task admirably, and did well in the circumstances to finish fourth.

This was just Calibrate’s third ever run, barely a month after she had made her debut, and it was always going to be difficult for a three-year-old filly pitched in against hardened handicappers.

She should come on plenty for the experience. She should be able to win a handicap off her mark of 92, and she could yet be better than a handicapper, especially as she steps up in trip. She comes from a family of largely middle-distance performers as well as a couple of horses who have won National Hunt races, and she is by the Arc winner Rail Link, who seems to impart plenty of stamina. She handles easy ground well, and she will be of interest for the remainder of the season at least.

7th September 2013