Horses To Follow » Snow Sky

Snow Sky

While Postponed garnered all the accolades after the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Wednesday – and correctly so – Snow Sky put up a really impressive performance in finishing second.

Settled out the back in the early stages of the race by James Doyle, he made nice progress on the far side early in the home straight and, pulled towards the outside, he looked a real danger to Postponed when he loomed up at the two-furlong pole. In fairness to Postponed, he found plenty when he kicked off the front end, like the classy horse that he undoubtedly is, but Snow Sky found plenty to get out after him and, in going down by two lengths to the winner, he pulled eight lengths clear of the rest of the field.

First impressions were that this was a strong renewal of the Great Voltigeur, even in Kingston Hill’s absence, and that is backed up by the figures. The race was run at a strong pace, the winning time was faster than standard, the only time that dipped below standard on Juddmonte International day, and the front two pulled clear. Time may tell that the first two horses are really high-class.

The two best pointers to the St Leger are the Gordon Stakes and the Great Voltigeur. Snow Sky has now won the former and finished second in the latter. He only got home by a neck in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, but he looked the most likely winner from a fair way out in that, and he idled when he hit the front, allowing Windshear to close him down strongly late on. He probably had a fair bit more in hand than the bare winning margin.

He obviously progressed from the Gordon Stakes to the Great Voltigeur, and there is every chance that he will progress again between now and the St Leger. He is by Nayef and his dam won over a mile and five and a half furlongs, so he has every chance of staying the St Leger trip on breeding. His racing style also gives him a big chance of staying. He settles well in his races and he is a real galloper rather than a quickener.

Trainer Sir Michael Stoute thought that Snow Sky might be a Derby horse early in the season – he won the Lingfield Derby Trial, and he was a late scratching from the Derby with an 11th-hour injury – and he plotted a similar path to Doncaster with his sole Leger winner Conduit, who, like Snow Sky, ran in the King Edward at Royal Ascot and won the Gordon Stakes. Snow Sky is a big player in the Leger now, and best odds of 9/1 about him look very fair.

20th August 2014