Horses To Follow » Fire Fighting

Fire Fighting

Fire Fighting did well to finish second in the Class 2 10-furlong handicap at Beverley on Saturday.

Truancy was allowed set his own pace out in front as Fire Fighting was eventually settled back in the field, sixth of the six runners. Joey Haynes was allowed dictate a sedate pace on Truancy out in front, with the result that the entire field was well stacked up as they started the turn for home, those at the head of the field best-placed for the sprint for home that was sure to develop. Fire Fighting travelled well into the home straight, but he was stone last of the six runners, about five lengths behind the leader as he kicked for home. On top of that, Silvestre de Sousa could not chart a path through horses so, after trying for a furlong, he eventually had to take fire Fighting to the outside. When he did, his horse picked up well, but he really faced an arduous task in trying to claw back Truancy’s lead from his position, and the leader wasn’t stopping. In the end, he passed everything except Truancy, staying on well all the way to the line to go down by a length.

This was a decent little race. It was highly competitive and, despite the sedate early pace, it was still run in a good time.

Fire Fighting is not lightly-raced – not unusual for a Mark Johnston three-year-old – this was his 18th race, but he appears to be progressive again in his latest four runs, which have coincided with the fitting of blinkers. A game winner in his first-time blinkers at Brighton in early August, he was only just beaten by Flippant at Newbury on his next run, and he did well to finish a close-up third at Kempton on his final run before Saturday, again having been held up in a race that was run to suit the prominent racers.

Saturday’s run was his fifth in August, it doesn’t appear that he has many secrets from the market nor from the handicapper, but he could improve significantly on this performance the next time he gets a fast pace. He is a keen-going sort now in his blinkers, but he appears to be an improved horse in them, and his new rating of 90, 3lb higher than Saturday’s mark, is still 2lb lower than his rating at the end of his juvenile season last year. He could still be under-rated now, he goes well on easy ground as well as on fast ground and Polytrack, and he will be of interest next time it looks like he is going to have a fast pace to chase.

30th August 2014