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Sovereign Debt

Sovereign Debt did well to get as close as he did in the All Weather Mile Championships Final at Lingfield on Good Friday, having endured poor luck in running.

He did have a nice position through the early stages of the race, in mid-division and towards the inside, but he got caught a little as Tenor dropped into his lap, with the result that he was second last of the 12 runners with just three furlongs to run. Moved towards the inside around the home turn by Adrian Nicholls, he picked up well on the far side at the top of the home straight, but again he ran into traffic problems just as he was picking up. His rider had to ease him back and move him to the outside and, when he did, he finished best of all, but too late. He got up for second place, just a half a length behind the winner Grey Mirage. Not only was he probably the best horse in the race, but he was the only horse who was able to get into the race from the rear. Four of the first five home raced handily from early.

This was another high class run by Dandy Nicholls’ horse. Second behind Farhh in the 2013 Lockinge Stakes when with Michael Bell, and in front of good horses like Aljamaaheer and Declaration Of War, the Dark Angel gelding rounded off his 2013 campaign by finishing second behind Highland Colori in a seven-furlong conditions race at Doncaster that October. He returned to the racetrack at Lingfield in February when he made his debut for Nicholls and ran a really encouraging race to finish second behind Mindurownbusiness, and he stepped forward from that two runs later when he ran down Chookie Royale close home in a listed race run over seven furlongs at Wolverhampton in March. The handicapper left him on his mark of 109 for Friday’s run, but he is probably better than that. He was rated 112 at his peak and he looks to be at least as good as ever now. He will be interesting returned to turf, and it is no handicap that he has good form at Ascot.

3rd April 2015