Horses To Follow » Newsman


There was a lot to like about the performance that Newsman put up in winning the colts’ one-mile maiden at Gowran Park on Sunday.  Dropped in by Connor King through the early stages of the race, Johnny Murtagh’s horse travelled well along the inside around the home turn and into the home straight.  No better than ninth as they straightened up for home, he had to switch off the rail in order to get racing room at the two-furlong pole but, when he did, he picked up nicely.  He was under pressure from well outside the furlong pole, but he kept finding for pressure, and he ultimately wore down Aridity and Mittersill, getting up to win by a half a length and a head, with the first three clear.

It wasn’t easy to make ground from the rear here.  Aridity led from early and Mittersill was always handy.  Newsman did well to come from off the pace to win, with the three of them finishing over three lengths clear of the fourth horse.  Also, the winning time was good, the joint fastest comparative time of the day, and the fastest of the four races run over a mile, although admittedly the ground probably did deteriorate a little as the day went on. Even so, he was over two seconds faster than the faster of the two older horses’ handicaps, and he was three and a half seconds faster than the slower.

This was Newsman’s third run, and it was his best yet.  He did shape with promise on his previous run, when he was second in a maiden over seven furlongs at Roscommon on soft ground, and he stepped forward from that to provide Johnny Murtagh with his first juvenile winner of the season.  The Qatar Racing colt obviously handles easy ground well, but he seemed to appreciate the step up from seven furlongs to a mile on Sunday.  His dam won over a mile and a half, and there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree, so he should appreciate another step up in trip in time.  He is interesting.  The fact that he holds a Derby entry is an indication of the regard in which he is held by connections.

20th September 201