Horses To Follow » Jamaican Bolt

Jamaican Bolt

Jamaican Bolt put up another eye-catching performance in finishing third behind Englishman in a six-furlong handicap at Haydock on Friday. Settled just behind the pace early on, he was just a little short of room at the two-furlong pole when Barry McHugh wanted to go forward. He had to check back a little and move to the near side in order to deliver his challenge. As he did that, Englishman and Shared Equity had already set sail for home, and they set up a gap on Geoffrey Oldroyd’s horse that he never looked likely to bridge. He made a fair attempt to get back at them, and he closed all the way to the line, going down by a total of just three parts of a length in the end.

Jamaican Bolt is at his best on soft ground, so this is his time of year. It used to appear that he was also at his best over five furlongs, that five furlongs on soft ground represented optimum conditions for him, and that may still be the case, but it appears as if he is getting home well over six furlongs now. The ground appears to be more important to him now than the minimum trip.

He has been in fine form of late. This was actually his fourth eye-catching run in a row. At Sandown in August he ran a cracker from a really poor draw on the near side to finish a close-up fifth behind Chilworth Icon. At Haydock in September, he finished well over six furlong to finish third behind Barracuda Boy and My Name Is Rio. Then at York earlier this month, he again met traffic before finishing well to take third place behind Arctic Feeling.

It still may be that he is better over five furlongs than over six, the fast pace that they invariably go over the minimum trip seems to suit his style of racing well. That said, he will be of interest again now over either five or six furlongs as long as the ground is soft. There is still a big sprint handicap in him off his current mark of 90, and he appears to be in the form of his life.

10th October 2014