Horses To Follow » Scotland


Scotland ran a cracker to finish second to Elite Army in the Listed Buckhounds Stakes over a mile and a half at Ascot on Saturday.

Weak in the market beforehand, Andrew Balding’s horse was held up at the back of the six-runner field. He travelled well into the home straight and, switched to the outside, he finished off his race really well, getting past Oriental Fox and Missed Call, and just failing by a head to catch Elite Army, who had been better positioned throughout and who kept on well after hitting the front a furlong out.

This was Scotland’s seasonal debut, it was his first run since he finished sixth in the Ascot Gold Cup last season, and it was over a trip that is probably well short of his best, so he did well to get as close as he did. He proved in the Gold Cup last season that he could stay that extreme trip of two and a half miles, and it is not surprising that that race is his primary objective again this term. He can be ridden more forward next time, now that connections know that his stamina is virtually assured. We know that he goes well at Ascot, he was third in the King Edward VII Stakes there as a three-year-old, and he is a lively outsider for this year’s Gold Cup. He could take a high rank among the stayers this term.

7th May 2016