Horses To Follow » J Wonder

J Wonder

J Wonder did really well to win the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood on Friday.

Settled out the back of the field in the early stages of the race by Jimmy Fortune, disputing last place with Queen Catrine behind no more than a moderate pace that Muteela was allowed set in front, she travelled really well into the home straight. Still joint-last passing the two-furlong pole, Fortune eased her out from under Manderley, got into the clear before they reached the furlong pole, and she showed a really nice turn of foot to pass the six horses in front of her before she got to the winning line, including the teak-tough Muteela.

Like a lot of the races run at Glorious Goodwood this year, this was another race in which the fillies who raced prominently were favoured. Joe Fanning was allowed to set his own fractions on Muteela, unharried in front, and he ultimately set just a moderate gallop. That should have made it difficult for the hold-up horses to make ground into a quickening pace, and it did. The three fillies who led into the home straight, Muteela, Valonia and Indignant, the last-named two sent off as the two complete outsiders of the race, finished second, third and fourth. J Wonder was the only filly who was able to get into the race from the rear.

This was much more like it from Brian Meehan’s filly. She had disappointed on her two previous runs, on easy ground in the French 1000 Guineas and in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, when the pace was far too slow for her. Winner of the Fred Darling Stakes on her debut this term, she was dropped in grade here, and she was well able to cope with the moderate gallop.

A really well-bred filly, a full-sister to Group 1 winner Chachamaidee, she has the pace for seven furlongs, but she would also be interesting stepped back up to a mile. Her turn of foot will be a potent weapon over either distance, and she is worth another try now in Group 1 company against her own gender.

1st August 2014