Horses To Follow » Retirement Plan

Retirement Plan

Retirement Plan did have the race run to suit in the Shergar Cup Stayers at Ascot on Saturday, but there was a lot to like about the style of the performance that he put up in winning the race. This win could be the springboard towards the fulfilment of his significant potential now.

Travelling well just behind the leaders from flagfall, Julie Cecil’s colt picked up nicely when Emma-Jayne Watson asked him to. He had to dig deep to get the better of the gallant Buckland, who was afforded an easy lead from the start, but he did. He collared Charlie Fellowes’ horse deep inside the final furlong and went on to win by a length, with the pair of them finishing nicely clear.

The Monsun colt shaped like a really progressive middle-distance horse last year, winning the last two of his three races. However, we did not see him last season after he had won a decent handicap at Glorious Goodwood in August, and he was disappointing on both his runs this season before Saturday. He had never been beyond a mile and a half before in his life, but he saw out the two-mile trip on Saturday well, he appeared to improve for the step up in trip. He did have the run of the race, he did race handily in a race that was run at a sedate pace, but he was a fairly emphatic winner, and he could prove to be a classy stayer now. He could even be a Cup horse for next season.

In the meantime, connections are talking about a possible tilt at the Ebor, and that makes a lot of sense. A fast-run 14 furlongs could suit him well. He may not get into the Ebor, he may not be rated highly enough but, even if he doesn’t, he will be of interest if he races in a handicap now off his new mark of 97, just 3lb higher than the mark off which he raced on Saturday. He could be significantly better than a handicapper as well in time, and he would be an interesting outsider if he were to take up his entry in the British Champions Long Distance Cup on Champions Day at Ascot, over a course and distance over which he is proven now.

9th August 2014