Horses To Follow » Jack Naylor

Jack Naylor

Time may tell that last Sunday’s renewal of the Irish 1000 Guineas was a strong one. The right fillies came to the fore, and Jack Naylor put up a massive performance to finish fourth.

There were lots of factors against Jessica Harrington’s filly going into Sunday’s race. For starters, she was making her seasonal debut. Her trainer just hadn’t had time to get a run into her. Also, the one-mile trip was probably shorter than ideal, and she was relatively weak in the market, sent off at 16/1, twice the odds of her stable companion Bocca Baciata.

Just as importantly, the race did not pan out in her favour. She was settled at the rear of the field through the early stages of a race that happened to be run to suit those fillies who raced handily. Richard Hughes took his time on her, allowed her find her racing rhythm as the three Jim Bolger fillies took the field along. It didn’t help either that she was tightened up a little as they ran around the elbow, with the result that she was second last of the 18 runners as they passed the five-furlong pole. Hughes got after her a little fully four furlongs out, and she started to make her ground down the outside, which is never easy at The Curragh. She was one of the first fillies in the race to come under pressure, but she found plenty for it. She kept on down the outside through the final two furlongs, widest of all but strongest of all, getting to within two lengths of the winner Pleascach, closest at the finish, and beaten by just the bob of a head by Devonshire for third. Four of the first five fillies home raced prominently throughout. Jack Naylor was the only one who was able to get into the race from the rear.

The Champs Elysees filly is looking like a really strong candidate for the Epsom Oaks now. She raced here like she would appreciate a step up in trip, and her breeding is screaming middle distances. Her sire is a 12-furlong horse who gets stayers, and her dam is a daughter of Derby winner Nashwan who won a listed race over 10 furlongs and who has already produced Linkable, a winner over 12 and 13 furlongs.

Jack Naylor was a high-class juvenile last season. She beat subsequent May Hill winner Agnes Stewart in a Group 3 race over seven furlongs, and she beat this year’s 1000 Guineas winner Legatissimo and last year’s Fillies’ Mile winner Together Forever in a Listed race over a mile, giving them both 5lb. And she wasn’t beaten far by Found and Ervedya in the Prix Marcel Boussac. That is really strong juvenile form.

She should improve for her seasonal debut and for stepping up in trip, and the 10/1 at which she can be backed for the Oaks looks big. She is also a filly who should continue to progress through the summer.

24th May 2015