Horses To Follow » Journey


Journey put up a seriously impressive performance to land the Listed Harvest Stakes over a mile and a half at Newmarket on Friday. Sent to the front from flagfall by Robert Havlin, she was a little keener than ideal at the four-furlong pole as the challengers assembled around her. However, moved gradually over towards the stands rail, when Havlin gave her a squeeze the response was impressive. She showed a really impressive turn of foot from the front that took her clear of her rivals. The race was effectively over before she reached the furlong pole, and she continued to come clear, putting eight lengths between herself and her closest pursuer Desert Snow by the time she reached the winning line.

This was a really taking performance. Of course, everybody saw it, it would have been difficult not to have been taken with the visual impression, but the visual impression was backed up by the substance. She hammered some useful fillies, the form looks solid, and the time was good, 0.21secs/furlong slower than standard and almost two seconds faster than the time that Cannock Chase clocked in winning the Godolphin Stakes over the same course and distance later in the day.

John Gosden’s filly still should have plenty more to give. She is a free-going sort, and her hood obviously helps her in that regard, but she should do even better when she learns to settle better. It took her five attempts to win her maiden, that was at Newbury over 10 furlongs in June, and she was well beaten behind Covert Love in a listed race at Newcastle at the end of June. However, she bounced back from that to put up a scintillating performance to win a listed race over 10 furlongs at Salisbury in mid-August.

She is a seriously improved filly of late. Her rider said afterwards that she has just developed mentally this term. This was her first attempt at a mile and a half, and she stayed it really well, which wasn’t surprising, given that she is out of Montare, a French St Leger winner. She has won on fast ground, and she handled this easy-ish ground well, all of which opens up lots of options for her. She deserves to step up in grade now, at least to Group 3 level. She is an exciting filly. She will be interesting if she is supplemented for Champions’ Day at Ascot, although she wouldn’t want the ground to be too soft. If she isn’t, she is a middle-distance filly to look forward to for next season.

25th September 2015