Horses To Follow » Satellite


Satellite did well in the circumstances to finish as close as he did to the winner Cannock Chase in the London Gold Cup at Newbury last Saturday.

Moved towards the outside of the track by Frankie Dettori through the early stages of the race, presumably in search of better ground, he was far too free and raced far too freely down the back straight.  Four or five lengths clear of a well-stretched-out field and still wide as they started to turn out of the back straight, he had stretched his lead to about eight lengths by the time they straightened up for home.

The field closed up on him by the time they reached the three-furlong pole, as Collaboration and Aussie Valentine joined him on the front end, but Satellite picked up again from there.  He moved on again from Collaboration over towards the far rail and, while he beat Andrew Balding’s horse home, he could not withstand the challenges of the three horses – Cannock Chase, Windshear and Extra Noble – who came from the rear and delivered their challenges down the centre of the track. Even so, he kept on well to retain fourth place, two lengths clear of Collaboration and only a total of three lengths behind the winner.

The London Gold Cup can be a good pointer to the future, it can be a high-class race – Green Moon beat Monterosso in the race in 2010, Al Kazeem won it in 2011 and Hillstar was only just beaten in the race last year – and this year’s race looks like a strong renewal at present.  It would not be at all surprising if one or two of the protagonists progressed to be Group race performers.  Cannock Chase is the most obvious horse to take out of the race, but Satellite may be a little overlooked by some because he only finished fourth.  He can probably be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of the race, given how free he was through the early stages, and given that he set a strong pace in which the three horses who beat him were all held up, but he has significant potential for progression anyway.

This was just his second ever run.  Unraced as a juvenile, he was most impressive in winning his maiden at Ripon at the end of April over 10 furlongs on easy ground.  He was keen that day too, but he was held up in behind horses before coming through with a powerful run to win nicely, despite showing signs of inexperience.

He is by Danehill Dancer, so it is to be expected that he would handle easy ground, but he handled the faster conditions well on Saturday.  There is lots of stamina on his dam’s side – she won over a mile and three furlongs and was second in a Park Hill Stakes, and she is from the family of Park Hill winner Eva Luna – so he should progress for stepping up to a mile and a half at least.  He should also improve when he learns to settle better and/or for more patient tactics.  The handicapper raised him just 1lb to a mark of 87, which would make him very interesting now in a good handicap.  He could be better than a handicapper in time.

17th May 2014