Horses To Follow » John Constable

John Constable

John Constable was probably a little unlucky not to win the 10-furlong handicap for three-year-olds at The Curragh on Saturday.

Settled nicely towards the rear of the field and on the inside by Joseph O’Brien in the early stages of the race, he tried to make his ground up the inside early in the home straight.  He was hampered first by I’ll Be Your Clown at the three-furlong pole as he went to go up that rival’s inside.  He persevered, however, and eventually got the measure of Andy Oliver’s horse by the furlong pole.  By that stage, however, Tonton Macoute, who had raced handily, had set sail for home, and Hannah’s Magic – who had come from behind John Constable, but who had charted a largely trouble-free path – was challenging on the outside. Arthur Moore’s horse drifted in towards the rail a little, which narrowed the gap through which John Constable could fit, but Aidan O’Brien’s horse engineered a gap for himself and set about making inroads into Tonton Macoute’s lead.  He almost got there too, he closed on the winner all the way to the line, failing by just a neck, with another neck back to Hannah’s Magic in third.

This was a good run from John Constable over a trip that is probably a fair bit too short for him and coming, as it did, just seven days after he had won his maiden at Navan.  That maiden win was gained over a mile and five furlongs, and he appeared to stay the trip well, he and Karezak pulling eight lengths clear of their rivals.

Remarkably, John Constable has started favourite for all his seven races – odds-on for three of them and only bigger than 5/4 once – despite the fact that that maiden win at Navan remains his sole victory.  He is obviously highly-regarded at home, but it may be that staying trips are the key to him.  He is a three-parts brother to St Leger and Queen’s Vase winner Leading Light, and his sole win was gained over the longest distance over which he has ever raced.

It is interesting that Aidan O’Brien mentioned the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot as a possible next intended target. His brother won that race last year, and the two-mile trip should suit John Constable well.  He handled the soft ground at The Curragh well on Saturday, but his maiden win was gained on good ground. He will be of interest in the Queen’s Vase, or the next time he races over a staying trip.

23rd May 2014