Horses To Follow » Lightning Moon

Lightning Moon

It was only a lowly Class 4 six-furlong three-year-old handicap that Lightning Moon won at Haydock on Saturday, but there was an awful lot to like about the manner in which he did it, and he could be destined for much bigger things now.

A little keen through the early stages of the race, Ed Walker’s colt did settle nicely for William Buick in behind the early leader Red Lady after they had gone about a furlong. Moved towards the far side for clear racing room just outside the two-furlong pole, the Shamadal colt moved through easily to join the leader, cruised to the front as Buick allowed himself a glance to his right, and lengthened impressively once his rider gave him a squeeze. The race was over as a contest at the furlong pole, but Buick continued to ride a finish, pushing his horse into a seven-length advantage before easing him close home and winning by six.

This was only a Class 4 contest, and a lot of the horses looked fairly exposed going into the race, and Lightning Moon was rated only 82 for this, his handicap debut, but he could hardly have been more impressive. Visually, it was a taking performance, and the time was really good, the joint-fastest comparative time on a good day’s racing, and almost a half a second faster than the time that the talented Aeolus clocked in landing the listed race run over six furlongs 35 minutes earlier.

The handicapper has raised Lightning Moon a massive 16lb for this, but he was obviously allowed in very leniently for his handicap debut on the back of just a maiden win, and there is every reason to expect that he can be better than his new mark of 98. This was just his second race, so he still has huge scope for progression.

It may be, however, that easy ground is important to him. It was easy ground at Haydock on Saturday – albeit only just on the easy side of good – he won his maiden on soft ground, and his three best siblings, Song Of My Heart, Catskill Mountain and Gift From Heaven, all showed their best form – or their only form in some cases – on soft ground. That said, Lightning Moon is an exciting horse and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

31st May 2014