Horses To Follow » Oceane


Oceane ran a big race on his British debut to finish a close-up third behind Simple Verse and Polarisation in a good three-year-olds’ 12-furlong handicap at Salisbury on Wednesday.

Weak in the market beforehand, Alan King’s horse was settled towards the rear of the nine-strong field through the early stages of the race. The pace looked decent at the start, but then the leader slowed it down before picking it up again from the three-furlong pole, with the result that the prominent racers were probably at least slightly favoured. The early leader Process dropped away ultimately to finish sixth, but the second, third and fourth into the home straight, Simple Verse, Polarisation and Marmot, filled three of the first four places, with Oceane getting in among them from the rear to finish third.

Oceane was niggled along when the pace increased on the run to the three-furlong pole, but he was against the rail and in among horses with not a lot of racing room. Fergus Sweeney initially sought to get out towards the near side but, when his path there was blocked, he moved back towards the inside rail, where there was racing room. Switched to the far rail, he picked up well and, while he could only get to within three parts of a length of the duelling front pair, he ran all the way to the line.

It was a really good run from the Kentucky Dynamite gelding on his first run in Britain, his first run for Alan King and his seasonal debut. He did well to get into the race from the rear, he finished third behind two progressive three-year-olds in a decent race, with the front three nicely clear. Poliarisation added ballast to the form by winning a handicap at Haydock on Thursday off a 2lb higher mark. Also, the race was run in a good time, just 0.03secs/furlong slower than standard and the fastest comparative time on a decent day’s racing at Salisbury.

Oceane won over nine furlongs in the French provinces at Merseille last October on his final run in France, but he seemed to get this 12 furlongs well. Perhaps a strongly-run 10 furlongs would be his optimum. His starting handicap mark in Britain of 84 was fair, and a 4lb hike is also fair. He should be able to progress from this, and he could be under-rated for now.

24th June 2015