Horses To Follow » Take Cover

Take Cover

Take Cover put up a really taking performance to win the Listed City Walls Stakes over five furlongs at York on Saturday. Fast away from stall nine on the near side, David Griffiths’ horse showed impressive early pace through the first two furlongs under a passive Andrea Atzeni to take the lead and to get just about all his rivals off the bridle.

He came off the bridle himself inside the two-furlong pole, but he found plenty when he did. It appeared a furlong out as if the three-year-old G Force was going to catch him, but Take Cover pulled out more inside the final furlong to withstand the favourite’s challenge, and he was actually going away again at the winning line, the front pair coming nicely clear.

This was a good performance from Take Cover. The visual impression was positive, the runner-up is a progressive young sprinter, and the winning time was really good, a second faster than standard. The son of Singspiel is seven years old, but he is still lightly-raced for a sprinter, given that he did not start racing until October of his four-year-old season.

He is a sprinter to follow now wherever he goes next, but he will always be of particular interest over a sharp five furlongs on fast ground, and he is now two for two at York. As such, he could be a really interesting outsider for the Nunthorpe Stakes back over Saturday’s course and distance in August, a race in which he does hold an entry.

Of course, that would be a massive step up in class, from a listed race to a Group 1, but stranger things have happened, and course form is a massive positive at York. Interestingly, Jwala won this race last year and followed up by winning the Nunthorpe at 40/1, while Hamish McGonagall won the City Walls Stakes in 2012 and finished third in that year’s Nunthorpe. It may be a coincidence that both of those horses disappointed in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in the interim, because Masamah won the City Walls Stakes in 2011 and followed up by winning the King George Stakes at Goodwood.

12th July 2014