Horses To Follow » Bragging


Bragging put up a good performance to land the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Sunday. Quickly into a nice rhythm for Ryan Moore just behind the pace, she came under pressure earlier than most of her rivals running down into the dip, but she got a nice split at the two-furlong pole when she needed it and she picked up nicely under just hands-and-heels riding from her rider initially. Then, she moved forward again inside the final furlong when Moore went for her to wear down Kleo, with the talented Belle D’Or, who was perhaps a little unlucky, back in third.

It was a good performance from Bragging. She was strong in the market beforehand, and her two main market rivals Fintry and Rizeena under-performed, but there was a lot to like about the manner in which Bragging went about winning her race. Sir Michael Stoute’s filly was nicely progressive last season as a three-year-old, her first season to race. She won two seven-furlong handicaps in the summer, off marks of 87 and 97 respectively, and she put up a good performance on her final run last season to finish second to Kiyoshi in the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster in September.

Sunday’s run was another step forward. She saw out the nine furlongs well, actually shaping as if she would improve for another step up in trip, perhaps to 10 furlongs. It was a nice step for her into the season, however. She is the type of progressive older filly with which her trainer does particularly well. Actually, Stoute has now won this race six times in the last 10 years. He won it in 2013 with Dank, who won three of her next four races, a Group 2 race at The Curragh and two Grade 1 races in America, and he sent out subsequent Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes winner Integral to go down by just a head to Esoterique in the Dahlia Stakes last season. Bragging is shaping up, similarly, to be a potentially high-class filly, and she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

3rd May 2015