Horses To Follow » Rembrandt Van Rijn

Rembrandt Van Rijn

Rembrandt Van Rijn put up another impressive performance to land the 10-furlong handicap at Haydock on Saturday, and he should be able to step up in grade again now.

Held up at the back of the field early on and last of the 11 runners into the home straight, he moved towards the outside at the three-furlong pole, but he wasn’t asked for his effort until they had passed the two. When he was, his response was impressive. David Lanigan’s horse came with a withering run down the outside that always looked likely to prevail. He had passed all his 10 rivals by the time they reached the half-furlong marker, and he cleared away from there to post a really impressive win.

The pace was even, it wasn’t an advantage to race in rear. Indeed, the runner-up raced in mid-division, while the third led from early and the fourth was always prominent, so Rembrandt Van Rijn did really well to come from last as quickly as he did and to win as well as he did. The winning time was over a second slower than the time that Intilaaq clocked in winning the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes a half an hour later, but Intilaaq is potentially top class, and Rembrandt Van Rijn’s time was good, the second fastest comparative time of the day, and just 0.07secs/furlong outside Racing Post par.

This was Rembrandt Van Rijn’s fourth win on the spin, in four runs this season, in four runs since he was gelded. He was impressive in winning on his previous run at Sandown, when he did well to come from the rear and win nicely, a feat that is not always easily accomplished over middle distances at Sandown during the summer. The handicapper raised him 6lb for that, and he raised him another 7lb for Saturday’s win, but a 7lb hike was merited, and he could still be well up to his new mark of 103.

It is significant that he holds an entry in the Champion Stakes. While that may be flying a little high, it does at least give an indication of the regard in which he is held. Ten furlongs is a good distance for him, and he will always be of interest when it looks like there will be a fast pace on, given his hold-up style of racing. While he has never run at Ascot, he does go well on all-weather, his record on Polytrack and Tapeta reads 22U21, which should really be 22121, and that augurs well if and when he does race at Ascot. He is a seriously improved horse, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

8th August 2015