Horses To Follow » We Are

We Are

We Are was a most impressive winner of the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on Sunday, and she could be set to morph into a really high-class filly now.

Settled in mid-division by Thierry Jarnet through the early stages of the race, she travelled well into the home straight among horses, but she had a wall of horses in front of her. Still travelling well with two furlongs to run, a half a gap developed as Sultanina weakened and moved to her left, and We Are had the class and the pace to move into the gap. Ribbons was making her ground on the far side at the same time and, We Are was hampered a little by Crisolles losing her hind legs temporarily. By the time she got balanced again, Ribbons had stolen a neck advantage as the pair of them joined Tarfahsha in front. But We Are proved by far the strongest of the trio, collaring Ribbons with 50 yards to run and moving on to win by a half a length.

This was just We Are’s fifth ever run. Unraced as a juvenile, she won her first two races this season – a maiden and a conditions race – before stepping up markedly in grade and winning the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp at the end of May, staying on really strongly at the end of that 10-furlong contest, run on soft ground, to beat Vazira by three lengths. Unusually, she was later disqualified from that race, and from the conditions race that she had won previously, because of extra testosterone in her system, caused by an ovarian cyst. After an operation to remove the cyst, she returned in a listed race at Longchamp in September, but that was over an inadequate mile and she was held up off a sedate pace, so it was not that disappointing that she could only finish sixth of the seven runners, despite the fact that she was sent off an odds-on favourite. She stayed on well from the back late on to be closest at the finish, and she was beaten only two and a half lengths in total.

She has that turn of foot that top class horses possess, yet she is only three and she has raced just five times in her life. There is every reason to expect that she can progress again. She goes well on soft ground, but she handled Sunday’s good conditions really well, and 10 furlongs is probably her optimum trip. She will be of interest if she races again before the end of the season, and she could be a top-class middle-distance horse for next year. She could be an Arc de Triomphe horse next year.

5th October 2014