Horses To Follow » Empire Storm

Empire Storm

Empire Storm ran a cracker to finish third in the Totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday. Fast away, Michael Attwater’s horse adopted a promising position through the early stages of the race, just behind the two pace-setters Make It Up and Majestic Moon. Majestic Moon wilted at the two-furlong pole and the other prominent racers, Make It Up, Outback Traveller and Heaven’s Guest, weakened shortly thereafter. By contrast, Empire Storm picked up on the run to the furlong pole, and probably hit the front briefly. He had no answer to the finishing surges of Gabriel’s Lad and Buckstay, both of whom were held up in rear through the early stages of the race, but he kept on gamely all the way to the line to take third place behind that pair, nicely clear of the fourth horse Mr Win.

The went a fast pace here, which suited the hold up horses and militated against the prominent racers. Three of the first four home were held up early. Empire Storm was the only one of them who raced prominently from early.

The Storming Home horse is generally an under-rated horse. He was sent off at 40/1 for this race last year when he finished second, and he was allowed go off at 33/1 on Saturday, racing off just a 3lb higher mark. On his subsequent run last year, he ran a cracker to finish third behind Bronze Angel and Maverick Wave in the Balmorral Handicap on Champions’ Day at Ascot over a mile off a 2lb higher mark.

He was due to be dropped 5lb before this race, but the handicapper has obviously had a re-think and left him on his mark of 107. But he could have raised him from it. He could have a big handicap in him off this mark now.

He holds an entry in the Balmorral Handicap again this year, and he will be a lively outsider in that race if he takes his chance in it again. He could be under-rated again.

3rd October 2015