Horses To Follow » Salt Island

Salt Island

Salt Island can be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of his run to finish third behind Adaay and Jungle Cat in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury on Saturday. Steadied at the start by Jamie Spencer and tucked in behind runners from his draw on the wing in stall one, he was stone last of the 12 runners through the first three furlongs. He was still on the bridle as they passed the two-furlong pole, but at that stage the leaders had gone for home on the far side. He probably had about five lengths to make up on the leaders when he got a gap and was asked for his effort, and that was just too much. He finished well, he ran all the way to the line, but he still finished three lengths behind the winner. He would surely have done better had he enjoyed a better run through the race.

Winner of his maiden on his racecourse debut last August, Salt Island was impressive in winning a three-year-old six-furlong handicap off a mark of 93 on his debut this season, travelling well and picking up nicely to beat the useful Properus by more than three lengths. At his best on fast ground, the handicapper raised him to a mark of 103 for that, so he was worth his place in Saturday’s listed race, and his run here was another step forward. This was just his fourth race ever, so he should continue to progress, and he might be under-rated on the back of this defeat. Also, Charlie Hills’ horses are a little quiet at present, he still hadn’t had a winner in May before Monday. He has had three since, so they are just starting to turn a corner.

Salt Island is entered in the King’s Stand Stakes and the July Cup, he is obviously highly-regarded, and the Commonwealth Cup is also obviously an option for him at Royal Ascot. He will be of interest in a big-field sprint at Royal Ascot, where his hold-up style of racing could be a significant advantage.

16th May 2015