Horses To Follow » Arthenus


Arthenus did really well to finish fourth behind Sir Isaac Newton in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

Settled at the back of the field by Frederik Tylicky from his wide draw, 14 of 15, he was still stone last as they raced up the side of the track, past the four-furlong pole. Moved towards the outside and squeezed along by Tylicky, the early pace had not been overly strong, and it was never going to be easy for him to make ground into a quickening pace, especially going four horses wide around the home turn as he did. Driven along as they straightened up and taken to the wide outside, it was to the gelding’s immense credit that he stayed on as well as he did up the home straight. He made ground relentlessly and, still only ninth and widest of all as they passed the furlong pole, he continued to stay on all the way to the line to take fourth place, closest at the finish.

James Fanshawe’s horse was a really progressive performer last season, rounding off his campaign by winning a good nine-furlong handicap at York in October on easy ground. He wasn’t beaten far in Knight Owl’s handicap at Newmarket in April on his debut this season, and he put a disappointing run at Newbury subsequently behind him with Saturday’s run.

He should be able to resume his progression now. He stayed this 10-furlong trip well, it was the longest trip over which he had ever raced, and that opens up more options. He also obviously responded well to his new cheekpieces. He has raced just 10 times now in his life, so he still retains plenty of scope for progression and, by Dutch Art, he goes well on easy ground. The handicapper raised him just 1lb to a mark of 101, that is fair, and he will be of interest when he next races on easy ground again, ideally over 10 furlongs.

18th June, 2016