Horses To Follow » Baccarat


Baccarat was the horse to take out of the six-furlong handicap at York on Wednesday. Fast away from stall five on the far side, he was ridden up early by George Chaloner in order that he could adopt a handy early position. In the front line from four and a half furlongs out with no cover, he moved easily into a clear overall lead at the two-furlong pole, and that was plenty early enough in a six-furlong race in which they had gone hard from early. To compound matters, the challenges from horses around him on the far side gradually dissolved, with the result that he was left a little stranded in the middle of the track on his own. His rider went for home a furlong and a half out, but by that stage the closers were assembling towards the stands rail. He had no answer to Aetna’s finishing surge, but he still ran on well enough to retain the runner-up spot, withstanding Blaine’s finish on the near side.

This was a good race. Both Aetna and Blaine were well-fancied and well-backed, the race was run at a solid pace and the winning time was marginally faster than the time that Maarek clocked in winning the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes over the same course and distance an hour later. Baccarat hit the front earlier than ideal, and he was probably at a disadvantage racing out in the centre of the track. They finished in a diagonal line from the stands rail to the far side with Baccarat the outlier. The first five home were dawn, respectively, in stalls 12, five, 19, 14 and 12. Baccarat was the horse drawn in stall five.

Richard Fahey’s horse is five years old now, but he is still relatively lightly-raced for a sprinter. This was just his 12th race, and he still has the potential to progress further. He is better than the bare form of this run. There is one of these big sprint handicaps in him at least off his current mark of 103, and he would not be out of place in Group company. He will be of interest wherever he goes next.

14th May 2014