Horses To Follow » Landofhopeandglory


Landofhopeandglory did well to get as close as he did in the Queen’s Vase, given that he was held up in a slowly-run race in which it was an advantage to race handily. The winner Sword Fighter, his stable companion, who sprang a 33/1 shock, made all, while the runner-up Harbour Law raced in second place from early. Third and fourth, Twilight Payment and Ebediyin, also raced close to the pace. Landofhopeandglory, by contrast, raced in rear from early.

Keen enough through the early stages of the race, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt travelled well down to Swinley Bottom and up the side of the course. Still travelling really well as they started the turn for home, he moved like a likely winner from the top of the home straight. Moved towards the outside, outside Ebediyin, he wasn’t helped by the fact that that horse moved to his left a little. Even so, it looked for a few strides as if he might get to the leader, but his run just ran flat deep inside the final furlong and, while he did get past Ebediyin, his forward movement halted there and he was actually overhauled by Twilight Payment for third place inside the final 75 yards.

This was Landofhopeandglory’s eighth run, he was more experienced than most of his rivals, but it was his first foray beyond 12 furlongs, and he seemed to improve for the step up in trip. A close up fourth of five in the Lingfield Derby Trial, and a close up fifth of five in the Gallinule Stakes, he was a little keener than ideal here, and his finishing effort did seem to flatten out, so it may be that a mile and six furlongs will be his optimum. Rated 101, he could be an Ebor horse, that would appear to be an ideal race for him, a race that his trainer Aidan O’Brien won with the three-year-old Mediterranean in 2001, who was also rated 101. Mediterranean is actually the last three-year-old to win the Ebor, but Landofhopeandglory could bridge that gap. Alternatively or additionally, he could improve sufficiently to be a lively outsider for the St Leger. That said, if he learns to settle better in the early stages of his races, he could get further than a mile and six furlongs in time, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next.

17th June, 2016