Horses To Follow » Sakhee’s Return

Sakhee’s Return

Sakhee’s Return put up a fairly taking performance visually to win the seven-furlong three-year-old handicap at Haydock on Thursday evening.

Fast away and quickly into a nice even rhythm behind the pace-setters, he travelled really well into the home straight. For a few strides at the two-furlong pole it looked as if he may not get a gap, as the front-runners came under pressure and his rivals enveloped him a little. But a gap appeared, Duran Fentiman moved him a little to his right, and he picked up immediately. He joined Johnny B Goode in front, took over by the time they reached the furlong pole, and cleared away nicely to put four lengths between himself and his rivals.

Visually, this was good. Tim Easterby’s gelding was a little keener than ideal if anything through the early stages of the race, but he always travelled like the most likely winner, and he picked up impressively once in the clear, grabbing the ground willingly when he hit the front to come clear, hitting the line strong. It was only a 0-85 handicap, he was racing off a mark of 75, but he couldn’t do any more than he did, and the winning time was good, 0.03secs/furlong faster than standard. The ground was fast and the early pace was strong, the conditions were conducive to good times, but Sakhee’s Return still had to put up the performance. The time was almost two and a half seconds faster than the time that the promising maiden Hayadh clocked over the same course and distance a half an hour earlier, and it was a new course record.

The Sakhee’s Secret gelding won just one of his five races last year as a juvenile, but he looks like a hugely improved horse this term. After a promising run on his seasonal return at Ripon in April, he ran out of his skin to finish third behind Udododontu in a hot three-year-olds’ handicap over seven furlongs at York’s Dante meeting. He raced up with the pace that day in a race in which it was a real advantage to be held up, as is typical of a seven-furlong handicap at York. All the prominent racers fell away except him, and all those involved in the finish, except him, came from the rear. Four of the first five home had been held up, so he did really well to finish third. That race is working out really well, with three subsequent winners and three subsequent runners-up emerging from the race already.

The handicapper, who raised him just 1lb for that run, will not be as understanding on this occasion, but it may not be a bad thing if he gets a little bit of a hike for this. He deserves to run in more valuable races, and a hike in the weights will allow him do so. He is a big strapping horse, it looks like he is only starting to fill his frame now and he should continue to improve. He gets a mile, but this seven furlongs is probably his optimum. He bounces off fast ground, so he will always be of interest over seven furlongs and on fast ground.

11th June 2015