Horses To Follow » Double Up

Double Up

The general consensus after the 5f handicap that opened proceedings at Ascot last Saturday was that those who raced on the far side were at an advantage, but that may not have been the case. The far side group were in front through the early stages of the race, but it may have been that they actually went too fast. The leaders in the far side group wilted well outside the furlong pole, and that meant that Double Up had to go for home from there, which was far enough out, if he was to get the better of the horses who raced on the near side. He travelled really well through the early part of the race, however, and, when Freddy Tylicki asked him to pick up, the response was impressive. He came clear of his rivals on the far side, and he finished strongly enough to get the better of Taajub and Desert Law on the near side.

It was a fine run from Roger Varian’s horse. It looked like the far side were advantaged at the half way stage, they were definitely in front, but the second, third, fourth and fifth all raced in the much smaller group of seven that raced down the near side. It may be that Double Up won despite his low draw, not because of it.

Visually, it was an impressive performance, the Exceed And Excel gelding travelled through the race like a good horse, and he showed a really nice turn of foot to come clear, winning in a good time, the second fastest comparative time on the day and just 0.08secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par. The handicapper has raised him 5lb to a mark of 103, but he is a seriously improved horse this season since he has dropped to five furlongs, and he should prove to be better than that mark. This was his third win from four runs this term so far, the only four runs of his career over five furlongs, and he was only beaten a head and a neck in the other in a good handicap at Newmarket. He is in the five-furlong handicap at Ascot on the Friday of King George weekend, and he will be of interest if he lines up in that, especially given that he is now proven at the track. Even if he misses that engagement, he will be of interest over five furlongs wherever he goes next.

11th July 2015