Horses To Follow » French Blue

French Blue

French Blue ran out an impressive winner of the seven-furlong maiden at Dundalk on Sunday on her racecourse debut, and she should be able to go on to better things now.

Not overly strong in the market beforehand, the Willie McCreery-trained filly was eased back in the field by Billy Lee after starting well. Just seventh of the 10 fillies as they started the run around the home turn, she travelled well just behind the leaders and towards the near side as they approached the two-furlong marker. Her rider just waved his whip at that point and she picked up nicely. She joined the leaders at the furlong pole, and after one smack of the whip she picked up nicely and cleared away from her rivals to win by over four lengths.

The winning time was not outstanding, but the form looks strong enough on the limited evidence that we have. Runner-up Way To My Heart, a sister to Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Kingfisher, was solid at the head of the market on this, her second race, while third-placed Ms Brinkleys had shown plenty of pace on her racecourse debut at Down Royal last month. Also, while it may not be that significant, it is interesting that Way To My Heart’s trainer Aidan O’Brien sent out this year’s Oaks winner Qualify to win the race last year. Qualify recorded a time that was a second faster than French Blue’s, but Qualify was racing for the third time last year, whereas French Blue was making her racecourse debut.

It was a nice performance by the Godolphin filly. Trainer Willie McCreery said afterwards that she can be a little hot at home, which probably explains why she wore a hood on this, her racecourse debut. But she settled well in it, and she showed a really willing attitude, racing all the way to the line. A 130,000-guinea yearling, does not hold any lofty entries, but she should step forward from this, she should step up in class now, and she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

16th August 2015