Horses To Follow » Poyle Thomas

Poyle Thomas

Poyle Thomas did really well to finish third in the Northumberland Vase at Newcastle last Saturday, given that he raced prominently from flagfall in a race in which it was probably an advantage to be held up. Ridden away from the gate by Andrea Atzeni, he settled in fifth place behind a strong pace that Swaheen and Sea Of Heaven set. He travelled well down the back straight and into the home straight, and he looked a likely winner when he moved up easily on the near side at the three-furlong pole. He picked up well at the two-furlong pole, he moved into a share of the lead with Sir Chauvelin, who picked up on the far side, but both horses had chased that fast pace, and both were vulnerable to the hold-up horses. Favourite Dannyday and Haines picked up from the rear, and ran past them before fighting out the finish, but Poyle Thomas kept on willingly all the way to the line to retain third place. He actually was only headed deep inside the final furlong.

This was a good two-mile handicap, with several progressive stayers. It was run at a good pace, and in a time that was a second faster than the time that Antiquarium clocked in the Northumberland Plate. Also, it was run to suit the hold-up horses. Poyle Thomas was one of just two horses in the first 11 home who raced prominently. He can be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of this run.

Ralph Beckett’s horse shaped well in just two runs as a five-year-old in 2014, winning at Newmarket in May off a mark of 83, and following up by going down by a short head to Presto Volante in a better race at Kempton off a mark of 90. Off the track for two years after that, he shaped really well on his return this season, going down by just a short head to Desert Encounter in a one-mile-six-furlong handicap at Newmarket in May off a mark of 90. The winner added ballast to that form when he won at Windsor subsequently and when he followed up by finishing a staying-on third in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock on Saturday.

The handicapper raised Poyle Tomas 2lb to a mark of 92, and that is more than fair. He is seven now, but he is a really lightly-raced seven-year-old, so he still has scope for progression as a stayer. It appears that he is over the tendon injury that kept him off the track for two years, and there could be a decent staying handicap in him off this mark.

25th June 2016