Horses To Follow » Quartz


Quartz looked good in winning the nine-and-a-half-furlong contest that concluded proceedings at Gowran Park on Sunday.

Settled nicely just behind the leaders and on the inside by Donnacha O’Brien through the early stages of the race, the Ballydoyle colt made nice progress along the far rail early in the home straight. He took up the running from Strandfield Lady at the two-furlong pole, and he stayed on really well all the way to the line, despite drifting to his left, to win by six lengths.

This was not a bad race. Runner-up Coolfighter had won his previous four races, and the four horses who chased the winner home were all rated in the 80s. Also, there were four races run over nine and a half furlongs on the day, and Quartz clocked the fastest time of the four winners, marginally faster than the time that Brooch clocked in winning the Group 3 Denny Cordell Lavarack Stakes, and a full three seconds faster than the time that Salariaq clocked in winning the maiden.

More than that, however, Quartz retains bundles of scope for progression. This was just his third ever race. He won his maiden over a mile just three weeks previously at Dundalk, when he provided his young rider with his first ever winner, and he improved significantly on that to win on Sunday. The step up in trip probably helped him in that regard as much as the experience that he gained at Dundalk, and there is every reason to expect that he can improve again for Sunday’s experience, and probably for another step up in trip.

By Fastnet Rock, he is a half-brother to Racing Post Trophy winner Kingsbarns, and there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree. His dam is by King George winner Belmez, and she has already produced Gimli’s Rock, a winner over a mile and a half on the flat and over three miles over hurdles, and Sweeter Still, a Grade 3 winner over a mile in the States, as well as Kingsbarns.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt will be of interest wherever he goes next. He should continue to progress as he gains in experience, it would be good to see him step up in trip before the end of the season and, obviously a late-maturing type, he could be a really interesting middle-distance four-year-old for next season.

21st September 2014