Horses To Follow » Home Of The Brave

Home Of The Brave

Home Of The Brave looked very good in winning the Group 3 Minstrel Stakes over seven furlongs at The Curragh on Sunday.

Bounced out of the gate by James Doyle, he was quickly over from stall nine to the inside rail in front, and he settled into a nice rhythm in front. Squeezed along on he run to the two-furlong pole, he quickly put two lengths between himself and his pursuers. His rivals came under pressure and tried to close, but when Doyle asked his horse to pick up again, he duly did. He actually extended his advantage all the way to the line, winning by three and a half lengths in the end from Gordon Lord Byron and Sovereign Debt in second and third.

This was a high-class performance from Hugo Palmer’s colt.  Gordon Lord Byron is a top class performer, a multiple Group 1 winner who came into this race on the back of a victory in a listed race at The Curragh on Irish Derby day, and he was strong in the market. Sovereign Debt is not a Group 1 winner, but he was second to Farhh in the Lockinge Stakes in 2013, and he was another who came into the race in top form, having won another listed race at The Curragh on Irish Derby weekend by five lengths. Also, Home Of The Brave’s time was good, the fastest comparative time by far on a good day’s racing, and equal to Racing Post par.

A lightly-raced juvenile last year, the Starspangledbanner colt started off this season by winning the Free Handicap at Newmarket in April, when he had Tupi and Faydhan behind him in second and third. Faydhan was a really exciting colt at the start of this season and Tupi has gone and won two listed races subsequently. It was all too much probably too soon for Home Of The Brave in the 2000 Guineas, and the six furlongs of the Commonwealth Cup was probably too sharp for him at Royal Ascot. Indeed, his trainer deliberated long and hard before running him in that race and not in the Jersey Stakes over seven.

This was much more like it. He looked very comfortable making the running against high-class horses over seven furlongs, a trip over which he is now unbeaten in two attempts. He has the pace to be a seven-furlong specialist, and he handled this easy ground well.

The Hungerford Stakes and the Park Stakes are obvious races for him now, although he would also be of interest if he ran in the Lennox Stakes, or in any other seven-furlong race. He would also be of interest if he went to Deauville for the Prix Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs. This was just his seventh run, he retains bundles of scope for further progression, and his major target now should be the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Arc day.

19th July 2015