Horses To Follow » Redkirk


Redkirk did well to win the 10-furlong three-year-old handicap at Ascot on Sunday given how the race was run, and there is every reason to expect that he can step forward again now.

Slowly away and taken across behind runners to the inside by Seb Sanders, he was really keen through the early stages of the race behind a sedate enough early pace that Jimmy Fortune was allowed to set on favourite Agent Murphy. He did stop throwing his head around after they had gone two furlongs, but he still wanted to go faster than his rider wanted to go for the first half of the race.

As such, he needlessly expended energy for five furlongs. It was not until the pace quickened about four furlongs out that he dropped the bridle and relaxed into a racing rhythm.

Second last of the six runners as they wheeled around the home turn, he travelled best of all to the two-furlong pole. It was obviously in his favour that a nice gap opened up on the inside rail as Agent Murphy moved off it, but he still had to have the pace to take the gap, which he duly did. He picked up really impressively, joined the favourite at the furlong pole and powered on through the final 200 yards to win by a length, probably only just doing enough, with over three lengths between the runner-up and the rest of the field.

This was just Redkirk’s second ever race. On his racecourse debut, over 10 furlongs at Yarmouth four weeks previously, he had run out a really easy winner of admittedly a weak enough looking maiden. This was obviously a step up in grade, and it was a significant step forward from him. The runner-up was unbeaten in two previous runs, he was well-backed, he had the run of the race, and he came clear of the third horse.

The winning time was not that good, but that is probably attributable to the sedate early pace, and the time figure may mask an impressive performance by the winner. It appeared that he was only just doing enough in front, he could come on appreciably again for this experience, and he should be even better when he learns to settle better through the early part of his races, as he should do with experience. He will be of interest wherever he goes next.

27th July 2014