Horses To Follow » Clon Brulee

Clon Brulee

Treasure The Ridge put up a good performance to win the highly-competitive 10-furlong Class 2 handicap at Sandown on Saturday, but he was held up in a race that was run to suit the hold-up horses. Indeed, Andrew Reid’s horse was third last as they started to leave the back straight, while runner-up Calm Attitude was last and fourth-placed Spa’s Dancer was fourth last. By contrast, the five horses who raced at the head of the field on leaving the back straight ultimately finished, respectively, seventh, 14th, 16th, sixth and eighth.

In the circumstances, Clon Brulee did really well to finish third. Just behind the front rank from early, and sixth of the 16 runners as they started to leave the back straight, the Godolphin gelding travelled really well from the top of the home straight. He moved up nicely on the outside of Forgotten Hero at the three-furlong pole, and he hit the front as they passed the two-furlong marker and Mikey Ennis asked him to pick up. He didn’t surge to the front, but it did look as though he might last it out as he moved to his right to the inside rail and continued to go forward. However, while he easily got the better of the pace-setters, and while he had enough in reserve to hold off the challenged of Spa’s Dancer and Running Deer, he had to give best to Treasure The Ridge and Calm Attitude, who came from the rear. It was still a huge run.

This was a decent race. It was run at a strong pace, and the winning time was good, by far the fastest time on a decent day’s racing, just 0.13secs/furlong slower than standard. There was a good depth to it, with Spa’s Dancer in fourth and Forgotten Hero in sixth appearing to run their races. Clon Brulee travelled like the best horse in the race from a fair way out and, had he been ridden a little further back in the field, given how hard they went up front from early, he might well have prevailed.

The Modigliani gelding was a good performer last season for David Barron, winning three of his six races and rounding off his campaign by finishing third in a listed race at Ayr behind Sharestan and Willie The Whipper, to whom he was rated 15lb and 11lb inferior respectively. After three defeats in Dubai in the spring, he returned to Britain to finish third behind Farraaj and Air Pilot in a good 10-furlong handicap at Epsom on Derby weekend. Farraaj has since come out and won the John Smith’s Cup off a 9lb higher mark and, while Air Pilot hasn’t run again yet, he is really highly-regarded by Ralph Beckett. On his only run between Derby weekend and last Saturday, Clon Brulee ran out an impressive winner of a 10-furlong handicap at Newmarket on soft ground off a mark of 97 and under 10st.

He raced off a mark of 105 on Saturday, and he proved that he was well up to that type of mark. A 2lb hike is not harsh. He is a fair bit better than the bare form of his run suggests, and he will be worth noting wherever he runs next. He goes well on soft ground – his record on ground easier than good reads 310131 – so he will be of interest as we move into the autumn.

30th August 2014