Horses To Follow » Master Of Finance

Master Of Finance

Master Of Finance ran a cracker to finish second in the competitive 10-furlong handicap that opened the Dante meeting at York last Wednesday.

Quickly away from his outside draw, 14 of 20, for Silvestre de Sousa, he disputed the early lead, up on the outside of Nonchalant. He travelled well into the home straight and, when he came under pressure at the three-furlong pole, he found plenty. He picked up nicely at the two-furlong pole, and actually put about two lengths between himself and his pursuers. It looked like the pack was going to close on him, but he rallied gamely to fend off the attentions of the useful and well-backed First Flight. He did not have any answer to the finishing surge of the favourite Mahsoob, but he only went down by a half a length to John Gosden’s horse in the end. It was a big performance.

Time may show that there is no disgrace in going down by a half a length to Mahsoob in receipt of just 6lb. This was just the winner’s third race, and he remains unbeaten. He put up a similar performance to win on his debut this season at Newbury. As well as that, Master Of Finance raced up with the pace, he actually helped set the pace, in a race in which the hold-up horses dominated. Three of the first four home all came from well back in the field, while Nonchalant, the horse who helped force the pace with Master Of Finance, faded to finish 11th.

Master Of Finance is not obviously progressive, he has raced 19 times now in his career, but these Mark Johnston horses can often improve after lots of racing for no apparent reason, and that appears to be the case with Master Of Finance now. A front-runner, it was not in his favour that he was not able to command an early lead here, and he should do even better in a smaller field or in a larger field in which there is not another front-runner. There was so much pace on here that confirmed front-runner Spirit Of The Law never got to the front.

Winner of a handicap at Pontefract on his debut this season off a mark of 85, the Mastercraftsman gelding ran well to finish third to the highly progressive Collaboration in a handicap at Chester off a mark of 91 on his last run before Wednesday, just six days earlier. This was another step forward, he can be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of this run because of the fact that he raced up with a fast pace. The handicapper raised him 5lb for this, but that is fine, he should be able to progress again beyond his new mark of 96. He is entered in the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar on bank holiday Monday, and he will be of interest if he takes his chance in that.

13th May 2015