Horses To Follow » Spirit Of The Law

Spirit Of The Law

Spirit Of The Law did well to last as long as he did in front in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury on Saturday. Settled just behind the leaders in the early stages of the race, he took up the running at the four-furlong pole, and travelled easily in front. He kicked about two lengths clear three furlongs out as everything else came under pressure and, although he was passed by Air Pilot before they reached the two-furlong marker, and although he had no answer to Ralph Beckett’s horse’s finishing surge, he still looked set to finish in the places before he faded fairly dramatically inside the final furlong.

That was forgiveable. The race was run at a really fast pace on easy ground, which counted against those horses who raced handily. The two early leaders faded to finish 14th and 15th and of the 15 runners, while the impressive winner Air Pilot – raised a staggering 18lb for this performance – and Spirit Of The Law himself were the only two horses who raced handily who finished in the first six.

Ten furlongs on this soft ground at this fast pace probably stretched Spirit Of The Law’s stamina beyond his limit. Richard Fahey’s horse has won over 10 furlongs on soft ground twice, but both those wins were in Class 4 handicaps. His best performances have been over nine or 10 furlongs on good or fast ground.

A prominent racer, he will be of interest back at a speed-favouring track like York, ideally on better ground, or on Polytrack, a surface on which he has won twice from just seven runs. He looks well-exposed, he has run 36 times, but he is in the form of his life at present, and there is still a decent handicap in him on this evidence when he has his conditions.

The handicapper has dropped him 1lb for this, which is a bonus and, a 25/1 shot for Saturday’s race, who was allowed go off at 14/1 for his two most recent wins, it may be that the market continues to under-rate him. He could out-run massive odds if he took his chance in Saturday’s Cambridgeshire, but the Cambridgeshire is usually run to suit hold-up horses, and it may be that he is better back in a smaller field. All his eight wins have been achieved in fields of 13 or less, and he finished 25th of 25 in the Silver Cambridgeshire last year on his only run at Newmarket ever.

20th September 2014