Horses To Follow » Silwana


Silwana did really well for one so inexperienced to finish as close as she did in third place in the one-mile-six-furlong premier handicap at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Settled in mid-division by Leigh Roche through the early stages of the race, HH the Aga Khan’s filly made progress towards the leaders as they started the run out of the back straight. Taken towards the outside as they straightened up for home, she picked up nicely and grabbed the leader Winter Lion just inside the furlong pole. She looked a likely winner for a few strides, before Toe The Line and Cassells Rock finished strongly down the outside, but she still kept on well all the way to the line, going down by just a neck and a half a length, with the first three nicely clear of the rest of the field.

This was a big run the Dermot Weld-trained filly in a race that was run at a really solid pace from flagfall. As such, it did favour the hold-up horses. Silwana was not ridden in the front rank, but she was never too far off the pace, and she made her ground into a really hot part of the race, from the end of the back straight to the furlong pole. By contrast, the two horses who finished in front of her, Toe The Line and Cassells Rock, were held up out the back through the race, they were fourth last and second last respectively on the crown of the home turn. It was a good race, run at a strong pace and in a decent time, one of only two races that dipped below standard time on the day. There could be several future winners here.

This was just Silwana’s third ever race. She ran encouragingly on her debut at Cork in May, then kept on well to win a 12-furlong fillies’ maiden on soft ground at Galway in August at long odds-on. It was interesting that Dermot Weld pitched her into a strong handicap like this, a three-year-old filly having just her third ever run. He obviously thought that she was well-handicapped on a mark of 92, and that perhaps she would improve again for a step up to a mile and six furlongs.

The handicapper has raised her just 4lb to a mark of 96, and that is not harsh. She could progress significantly for this experience, she handles this fast ground well, and she proved that she could compete with these battle-hardened handicappers. She is bred for stamina, by Peintre Celebre out of a half-sister to Sinndar and Ascot Stakes winner Sindapour, but she has lots of pace. She could drop back down to a mile and a half on this evidence, but she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

13th September 2014