Horses To Follow » Sir Reginald

Sir Reginald

Given that the fields congregated towards the stands side on the straight course at Ayr on Friday and Saturday, there were obviously some hard-luck stories in the big races. The second, third and fourth in the Silver Cup, Fast Shot, An Saighdiur and Picture Dealer, were all either hampered or didn’t have room at a crucial stage of the race, and any one of them may have won with a clear run, but they haven’t gone unnoticed. The one who appeared to go a little under the radar in the Silver Cup was Sir Reginald. It wasn’t that he met trouble in running, but he was drawn right over on the far side in stall two, and he did really well to get as close as he did. It even appeared as though he might win the race for a few strides deep inside the final furlong.

To put his effort into context, the other nine of the first 10 home in the race were all drawn 15 or higher in a field of 27, and the fist three home came from stalls 26, 20 and 27. The situation wasn’t quite so pronounced in the Gold Cup later in the day, but the first five home in that race still all came from stall 14 or higher (of 27). Also, the winner of the Bronze Cup on Friday emerged from stall 27 of 27.

The Silver Cup field split into two groups, and Sir Reginald did by far the best of the 10 horses who raced down the centre, finishing five lengths clear of anything else to have raced over there. Making his challenge right on the far flank, closest of all to the far side, he picked up impressively a furlong and a half out, when he probably had the overall lead, and he kept on admirably, for all that he was worn down by five horses from the stands side group late on. He would surely have gone close had been drawn on the stands side, and the magnitude of the task that he faced from stall two may just be under-rated.

After nearly two and a half years without a win, the Richard Fahey-trained gelding had bounced back to form on his previous couple of runs, going close at Chester before beating Bertiewhittle at Doncaster. Now that he is right back to form, he is probably a really well-handicapped horse. His current mark of 93 is still 12lb below his peak.

21st September 2013