Horses To Follow » Stepper Point

Stepper Point

Stepper Point put up a good performance to win the listed five-furlong race at Lingfield on Saturday. Quickly away from stall six, Martin Dwyer was able to move in over so that he was only three wide going around the first turn. Settled just up on the outside of Even Stevens and Addictive Dream on the front end, he travelled well into the home straight, he picked up nicely when his rider asked him to a furlong and a half out, struck the front at the furlong pole and continued to lengthen and increase his advantage all the way to the line.

Interestingly, he lost a hind shoe early in the race, which may not have affected his performance, but it may have. Even if it didn’t, he appeared to win with plenty in hand in a good time, faster than standard and the fastest comparative time on the day. He could be a fair bit better than the bare form of this run.

William Muir’s horse was a good sprinter last season, continuing to progress as the season developed, with the three best runs of his life coming in three of his last four races. After winning at Nottingham in mid-August, he made all to win the Beverley Bullet on fast ground in late August, then he ran a cracker to finish a close-up fourth behind subsequent Prix de l’Abbaye winner Maarek on soft ground in a Group 3 race at Newbury in September.

By Kyllachy, whose progeny tend to improve with age, it is reasonable to expect that he will continue his progression again as this season develops in the normal course of events. But add to that the fact that he was gelded over the winter, and he could be in line for significant improvement.

The handicapper raised him 4lb for Saturday’s run to a mark of 112, and even that could under-estimate his potential ability this season. He is reportedly set to return to Lingfield for the new all-weather championship race on Good Friday. He will be of obvious interest in that, but that is over six furlongs and, while he has won on his only attempt at six furlongs since his juvenile days, it is still largely an unknown trip for him. All his form is over five. He will be of greater interest back over five furlongs hopefully at decent prices as he steps up in grade later in the season.

22nd March 2014