Horses To Follow » Cubanita


Cubanita could only finish third behind Hillstar and Tasaday in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury on Saturday, despite the fact that, ostensibly, she had conditions in her favour. However, there are reasons for believing that she can do better than that in different circumstances, and she is one in whom to retain faith for now.

They went a really sedate pace through the early stages of the race, as reflected in the final time of 1.25secs/furlong slower than standard. The fact that Air Pilot ran 0.68secs/furlong slower than standard in the only other race on the day run on the round track, albeit off a strong pace, gives an indication of the steadiness of the pace in the Dubai Duty Free race.

Cubanita was not especially poorly positioned, she raced just behind the leader Quest For Peace along the inside rail. However, it took an age for the dash for home to develop, it did not start in earnest until after they had passed the three-furlong pole, and that did not suit Ralph Beckett’s mare. She is a galloper rather than a quickener, she won the Group 3 St Simon Stakes last year over a mile and a half on heavy ground, so a sedate early pace over a mile and three furlongs would not have been ideal, even on soft ground. It was no surprise, therefore, that she got a little left behind when Tasaday and Hillstar quickened from the front before staying on nicely again late on.

This was Cubanita’s first run back after a break of almost four months, so it is reasonable to expect that she will come on for it. She did win the John Porter Stakes on her seasonal debut this year, but she is usually at her best after a run. Indeed, the other three wins of her career have been gained on her second run back after a break. At her best on soft ground, she will be of interest now on her next run, her second run back after her latest break, especially if the ground is soft.

She goes particularly well at Newbury – she had won on her only two previous visits there – so she will be of particular interest if she runs there next. The St Simon Stakes, the race that she won last year, is a logical end-of-season target now, and she will be of interest if she runs there, even under her Group 3 penalty. A mile and a half on soft ground behind a fast pace and ideally at Newbury probably represent optimum conditions for her.

20th September 2014