Horses To Follow » Hot Streak

Hot Streak

Hot Streak has continued his progression with each run on turf (his one slight blip came in the Sirenia Stakes on Polytrack), and he put up a career-best when he ran away with the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Kevin Ryan’s horse was a little weak in the market beforehand, there was money for several of his rivals, and he was drawn highest of all, which seemed to be a disadvantage on the straight course at Ascot all weekend. However, he got over to the centre quickly to track the speedy Excel’s Beauty, and he sat at the head of the rest of the field travelling comfortably despite the strong pace. The leader had everything except Hot Streak in major trouble two furlongs, out but Jamie Spencer only had to angle his horse to the far side of the leader and give him a slight nudge. When he did, he picked up the leader instantly and cleared right away.

That was hugely impressive, but the manner in which he was able to keep up the gallop all the way to the line was just as impressive. The second and third horses got going a furlong out, and drew away from the rest of the field, but they couldn’t make any inroads into Hot Streak’s commanding lead. He won by five lengths in the end, in a really good time, almost half a second faster than the time that Steps clocked in the listed race for older horses that preceded this race, and the fastest comparative time of the day by some way.

The Cornwallis Stakes has not been a good pointer to the future for the last few years, and Ascot’s straight track can throw up some unusual performances which horses can struggle to repeat, but everything about this performance was high-quality.

It could be that five furlongs is Hot Streak’s trip, he is now two for two over the minimum trip. However, both of those runs have been on easy ground, and the manner in which he saw out this stiff five furlongs suggests that he could be as effective back up at six furlongs. He is probably just still improving at a fair rate.

He did have a nice tow into this race, and he might not get such an ideal scenario back up at six furlongs, but if he settles as well as he did here then he will be a major player in the Middle Park on Saturday. That race might be coming up a little soon for him, just a week after this lung-bursting effort. However he fares on Saturday, he is an exciting sprinter for next season.

5th October 2013