Horses To Follow » Hidden Gold

Hidden Gold

There was a lot to like about the performance that Hidden Gold put up in winning a Class 2 14-furlong handicap at Lingfield on Wednesday.

Settled at the back of the field through the early stages of the race by Kevin Stott, it looked like the Godolphin filly was going to benefit from that positioning, as the early pace to the first turn was strong. However, they settled down as they rounded that bend, the one just past the stands, and the pace was no better than moderate down the back straight. Joe Fanning and Jalingo moved up to dispute the running at that point, and he ultimately finished third, while Arab Dawn adopted a handy position from early on the outside, and Hughie Morrison’s horse ultimately finished second, so the front-runners were probably not disadvantaged by the early pace. On the contrary, that pair may have benefitted from the relatively sedate early fractions. Nothing other than the winner was able to get into the race from the rear.

Hidden Gold travelled well down the back straight, but she was still last of the nine runners as they started the turn for home. Taken to the outside, fully six horse-widths off the rail as they wheeled around the home turn, she picked up nicely from the two-furlong pole and made significant progress down the outside. Still with three lengths to find as they flashed past the furlong pole, she came with a sustained run down the outside to catch Arab Dawn inside the half-furlong pole before moving on to win a little cosily in the end.

Unraced as a juvenile, this was just Hidden Gold’s seventh race ever. She has progressed this season, and she put up her best performance before Wednesday on her previous run, when she won a Class 3 handicap at Musselburgh off a mark of 85. This was another step forward on that, and it proved that she can handle an all-weather surface. All her best runs beforehand had been on fast ground, but she did win her maiden on her racecourse debut at Salisbury on good to soft ground on the only occasion on which he raced on an easy surface. Also, she is by soft-ground influence Shamardal, so she is versatile. It may be that she will be even better with a bit of a cut in the ground.

The handicapper will no doubt raise her a few pounds for this, but she is progressive enough to take a decent hike in his stride. She is out of Melikah, a half-sister to Galileo and Sea The Stars, who finished third in the Oaks, she is really well-bred and she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

15th October 2014