Horses To Follow » Hathal


Hathal did well to finish second to My Dream Boat in the one-mile handicap at York on Friday. Held up out the back of the field by Frankie Dettori through the early stages of the race, he was second last of the 19 runners as they straightened for home. That wasn’t a massive disadvantage in itself. While it was difficult for horses to get into races from the rear all week at York, they went fairly hard up front here, with the result that only two of the first four places were filled by prominent racers. The winner, My Dream Boat, was only a length and a half in front of Hathal at the top of the home straight.

However, while My Dream Boat made his ground up the far side, Hathal moved towards the stands side, where the worst of the ground appeared to be all week. Even so, he moved into his race well, he made good progress down the near side and he moved towards the leaders at the furlong pole. But there was nothing in front of him to take him into the race. The race unfolded on the far side, where My Dream Boat and Sahaafy and Get Knotted were, so Hathal had to do a lot of his own running on the near side to bridge the gap. As it happened, he managed to pass 18 of his 19 rivals, but he just couldn’t catch the winner, who had scooted clear up the inside rail.

This was still a really good run by Hathal. He had to have exerted a lot of energy between the two-furlong pole an the furlong pole in trying to bridge the gap to the leader, so he did well to keep on as well as he did to take second place. Also, the race was run in a good time, the second fastest comparative time of the day after the Nunthorpe Stakes.

Hathal has been highly tried this season, running in the Jersey Stakes after he won his maiden, and in a Group 3 race at Glorious Goodwood on his next run. He appeared to be much happier back in handicap company here. The handicapper has raised him 4lb to a mark of 103 for this, but that is fair, he deserves to be taking his chance in better handicaps now anyway. This was just his fifth race, and he retains plenty of scope for progression. He goes well on fast ground, but he handled this easier ground well. He got this mile well, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

21st August 2015