Horses To Follow » Hay Dude

Hay Dude

Hay Dude produced a career-best to finish second in the Group 3 Superior Mile at Haydock on Saturday, and he probably ran even better than the bare result.

Karl Burke’s horse was directly behind the winner Top Notch Tonto through the most of the race, always travelling strongly. Indeed, he looked like the most likely winner most of the way up the home straight. However, his rider may well have been focused on the pre-race protagonists and seemed intent on keeping Tawhid in a pocket and on tracking Montiridge (which made sense on the face of it, actually), and that allowed the winner to get away, striking the front over two furlongs out, kicking clear and keeping on well.

Hay Dude was still cruising a furlong and a half out and he picked up when he was asked to run down Gabrial for second, but he had allowed the winner Top Notch Tonto too much rope, and he is obviously better than most people thought. The winner was a 22/1 shot, but he has improved significantly since joining Brian Ellison, and he kept going more strongly than the other riders – or most pundits – thought he would.

Hay Dude will find things much tougher now having been raised 8lb to a mark of 107, but he may well have gone very close here with a different ride, and it is possible that his new mark still under-rates his potential for progression. He could well be the sort of horse who is better in better quality races, and off a stronger pace. He does go particularly well at Haydock, he was two for two at the track before this, and both of those races have worked out well, so he will be of particular interest when he returns to the Merseyside track.

7th September 2013