Horses To Follow » Rivellino


Rivellino put up a big performance to finish as close as he did in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood on Saturday from his high draw, and racing, as he did, on the stands side.

Well away from stall 26, he tracked the leader on the stands side, Barracuda Boy, through the first two furlongs.  Moved into the clear passing the four-furlong pole, he sat easily about three lengths off the new leader on the near side Related, but the near side were always a couple of lengths behind the far side runners.  Rivellino picked up well on the near side though.  He caught Related with about a furlong and a half to run but, while that left him in front on the near side, he was still a couple of lengths behind the far side group.  He finished well though, he came nicely clear of his rivals on the near side, he beat the second home on the near side, Related, by about three lengths, and he got to within a length of the overall winner Magical Memory.  It was a fine run, he had to do a lot of running on his own with no cover on the near side.

This was a big step back to form by Karl Burke’s horse.  Third in the Wokingham last year off a mark of 104, it has taken him a little while to get his eye in on turf this season. Winner of a listed race over six furlongs on the all-weather at Lingfield in February, he was well beaten in both the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting, and in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot.  His last run before Saturday, when he finished third in a decent handicap off a mark of 100, was more encouraging, and he obviously progressed from that to Saturday.  His trainer had said before Saturday’s race that he had been working well.

The handicapper has raised him 3lb for this to a mark of 103.  That is his highest ever mark, but this run was one of his best on turf, up there with his Wokingham run, and it is still 1lb lower than his all-weather mark.  He will be of interest now wherever he goes next, but he will be of particular interest back at Ascot, where all-weather horses often run well – he was rated 4lb higher on all-weather on all-weather than on turf before Saturday – and where he has run really well now in two of his three visits.

1st August 2015