Horses To Follow » Hassle


Hassle did well to finish as close as he did in fourth place in the Shergar Cup Stayers at Ascot on Saturday.

Held up out the back of the field through the early stages of the race by Hayley Turner, he was wider than ideal throughout. As a result, as well as covering more ground than ideal, he also raced a little keener than ideal from early. On top of that, they did not go a great gallop, as evidenced by a winning time that was the slowest comparative time of the day, so the prominent racers were favoured. The first three home – and the first three were clear – occupied three of the front four places from flagfall.

No better than seventh of the 10 runners on the crown of the home turn, Hassle was caught a little flat-footed when they quickened from the front. The front three got away from him a little, but Clive Cox’s horse stayed on nicely through the final furlong to get up for fourth place. He was proven over two miles, he stays the trip well, and he was only getting going when the race was finishing.

This was a second good run on the bounce from Clive Cox’s horse. On his previous run, his first on the flat in nine months, he had run a cracker to finish a close-up third behind Seamour over this course and distance on soft ground. That was at the King George meeting in July. On that evidence, and on Saturday’s run, he remains a potentially well handicapped horse. He handles easy ground as well as this fast ground, and he stays two miles well. He goes particularly well at Ascot, but he has gone well at Haydock and Nottingham as well in the past, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

8th August 2015