Horses To Follow » Stormy Antarctic

Stormy Antarctic

Stormy Antarctic may not have get the credit that he deserved for winning the Craven Stakes, but there was an awful lot to like about the performance, and he could be an under-rated colt now.

A little keen through the early stages of the race, George Baker settled Stormy Antarctic back in last of the six runners off a fairly steady pace in driving rain. Still keen as they passed the three-furlong pole, he travelled well behind the favourite Foundation on the run into the Dip. Moved to the outside at the two-furlong pole and given a squeeze by Baker, the Stormy Atlantic colt picked up impressively. He eased past Foundation, joined the leader Tony Curtis still on the bridle and, under just a hands and heels ride from Baker, he pulled away from his rivals impressively inside the final 150 yards, as Foundation ran on to take second place.

Visually, this was a hugely impressive run from Ed Walker’s horse. The fact that he was able to find as much as he found, to make his ground as easily as he did and to come clear under just hands and heels, given how keen he was through the early stages of the race, suggests that he is a really talented colt. Foundation may not be the horse that we thought he was, but he still finished second and, actually, Stormy Antarctic was rated 2lb higher than the favourite going into the race. The time was not great, but the ground was easing all the time with the rain, it was actually changed to soft after this race.

Stormy Antarctic was a hugely progressive juvenile last year, he was only beaten a head by Johannes Vermeer in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud in November. All his best runs have been on easy ground, but both his trainer and his rider are adamant that he does not need soft ground. That said, he does handle it well, so it would be a positive if it came up soft for the 2000 Guineas, which is his target now. We know that he handles the track, he should progress from this and he should be even better in a better race with a bigger field and a stronger pace. He is a player in the Guineas all right.

14th April 2016