Horses To Follow » Romsdal


Romsdal put up a nice performance on his seasonal debut to win the Listed Magnolia Stakes at Kempton on Saturday over a distance that should have been too sharp and at a track that probably didn’t play to his strengths.

On one hand, his opponents played into his hands a little in allowing Nicky Mackay set sedate enough early fractions on him. However, Romsdal finished third in the Derby last year and second in the St Leger, so a tactical battle over 10 furlongs really shouldn’t have been the thing for him. To compound matters, he wasn’t that fluent around the home turn, he changed his legs before they got to it and he moved a little wide off it. Mackay had the wherewithal, as well as the luxury of a length-and-a-half lead, to wait until he had straightened up and got balanced before he asked his horse to go for home and, once he did, the response was impressive. The Halling colt quickly put a couple of lengths between himself and his pursuers in a race-winning move, and just coasted through the final 200 yards to post an impressive win.

This wasn’t a bad Magnolia. Of course, Romsdal himself set the standard, but his four rivals were genuine three-figure-rated performers, and he beat them well under less than optimum conditions. In so doing he showed a turn of foot that would not ordinarily be expected from a St Leger runner-up. He is still lightly-raced, this was just his seventh ever race, and he should be able to progress through the season now. His only disappointing run last season was in the King George, so perhaps Ascot is not his track, but he will be of interest in all the top class middle-distance races this season. Seen as just short of top class last season, he may be an under-rated horse, at least for now.

28th March 2015