Horses To Follow » Silwana


Silwana looked very good in winning the one-mile-six-furlong premier handicap at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Settled into a nice rhythm in fourth or fifth place through the early stages of the race by Pat Smullen, the Aga Khan filly travelled nicely behind the decent pace that Sherlock Holmes set. She had to be ridden along a little as they left the back straight, but she came back on the bridle as they passed the three-furlong pole on the crown of the home turn as she loomed up on the outside of new leader Roheryn. Smullen asked her for her effort as they straightened up for home, and her response was impressive. She quickly went past the leader at the two-furlong pole, and had gone three lengths up by the time they reached the furlong pole. From there, she just kept on all the way to the line to win by five.

Everything about this performance by the Dermot Weld-trained filly was likeable. She travelled just behind a fast pace, she picked up impressively, and she stayed on well all the way to the line, clocking a fast time, just 0.05secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par, and the fastest time on the inside track on the day by a fair way.

The handicapper raised her 11lb to a mark of 110, but it may be that handicaps are over for her now anyway. She was beaten by 10 lengths by Fields Of Athenry in the Listed Challenge Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance on her previous run, but there was no disgrace in that, Fields Of Athenry is a high-class stayer, as we say in the Ebor and again in the Leger. More importantly though, Saturday’s performance was a step up on that by Silwana. She is only four, and Saturday’s run was just her seventh race ever. She retains lots of scope for progression. She is well worth her place now in a listed or Group 3 race, and it would not be surprising to see her step up even higher in grade in time, as long as she is kept in training. She goes well on easy ground, and she will be of interest wherever she runs this autumn.

12th September 2015