Horses To Follow » Scottish


Scottish put up a nice performance to win the 10-furlong Doonside Cup at Ayr on Saturday.

A little keen through the early stages of the race, David Probert allowed the Teofilo gelding stride on as they left the back straight.  He gradually wound it up from the top of the home straight and, although it looked like favourite Mutakayyef was travelling better at the two-furlong pole, Scottish found plenty for pressure.  He stuck his neck out willingly and battled on tenaciously to get home by a neck from the Hamdan Al Maktoum horse, with two lengths back to Exosphere in third.

This was a good performance from Scottish in a good race.  Mutakayyef was sent off a short-priced favourite, having run Mondialiste to a half a length on his belated seasonal debut, while Exosphere is a progressive three-year-old who had been impressive in winning a good handicap at Sandown on his previous run.  Also, the winning time was good, the fastest comparative time of the day and just 0.02secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par.

Scottish had run big races in a the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, and you can easily forgive him his previous run at Deauville, when he raced too keenly behind a sedate pace on soft ground.  This was much more like it, and he can go on from this again now.

The handicapper raised him 5lb to a mark of 113, but he is deserving of his chance again now back in a higher grade. He seemed to relish the battle that he had with Mutakayyef here, and he left the impression that he had more left to give.  He should continue to improve, he is still relatively lightly-raced.  This 10 furlongs is probably his ideal trip for now, and he is comfortable with a little bit of cut in the ground.

19th September 2015