Horses To Follow » Black Cherry

Black Cherry

Black Cherry ran out a seriously impressive winner of the one-mile fillies’ handicap at Sandown last Friday. Richard Hannon’s filly was a little keen through the early stages of the race, but she made her ground easily from the rear on the rail and, when a gap opened up a furlong and a half out, she eased through it and drew right away from her rivals. She came clear of the early leader Merritt Island, who probably didn’t set too strong a pace, given the fact that she was able to keep on as well as she did to finish second. And the runner-up was, in turn, clear of the rest of the field. It was an impressive performance visually by the winner, and she clocked a good time, 0.22secs/furlong slower than standard and the fastest comparative time of the day.

Black Cherry didn’t win in three attempts last year as a juvenile, but she ran Fadhayyil to a length and a quarter in a seven-furlong maiden at Salisbury in September, and Fadhayyil went and finished second to Lucida in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes on her next run. Well beaten when well fancied for a maiden at Newmarket’s Craven meeting, when she reportedly lost her action in the dip, she was impressive in making all to win her maiden at Goodwood last month, and she obviously stepped forward from that to win at Sandown.

The handicapper raised her 15lb for this win, but her new mark of 99 could still under-rated her ability. This was just her sixth run, and she is an improving filly who still has bags of scope for further progression. Handicap ratings may be irrelevant for her now anyway, as her owner was understandably talking about getting black type for her after Friday’s win. There is plenty of speed in her pedigree, and she raced only over six and seven furlongs before Friday, but she stayed the mile well, up Sandown’s hill, and a mile may prove to be her optimum trip. Her owner was talking about taking her back to Sandown for a fillies’ race on Eclipse weekend, and she will be interesting if she goes there, given how well she went at Sandown. She goes well on fast ground, and she will be interesting wherever she runs next.

12th June 2015