Horses To Follow » Dal Harraild

Dal Harraild

Dal Harraild put up a good performance to finish third in the one-and-a-half-mile handicap at Ascot last Saturday.

Dropped in behind runners from his wide draw, nine of nine, by Pat Cosgrave through the early stages of the race, he was keen enough through the first two furlongs behind a sedate pace that Ted Durcan was allowed set on Shabbah, but he dropped the bit as they raced around by Swinley Bottom. Last as they raced down the side of the track and as they turned for home, he was still last and behind a wall of horses as the dash for home started at the two-furlong pole. Moved to the far side by Cosgrave, he picked up well, but it was always going to be difficult for him to make ground into a quickening pace. It never really looked like he was going to catch the winner Manjaam, who had sat in second place behind the leader from flagfall, nor early leader Shabbah, but he made ground all the way to the line to take third place, just a half a length behind the winner, closest at the finish.

This was a fine run from William Haggas’ horse, and it continues his upward trajectory. Winner of his maiden last year as a juvenile over a mile on soft ground at Haydock, he was ell beaten on his debut this season at Sandown over 10 furlongs, but he was impressive in winning in early June on fast ground at Musselburgh, stepped up to a mile and a half for the first time. The handicapper raised him 8lb for that win, and he raised him another 3lb for Saturday’s run, but this run was probably worth a fair bit more than that, given that he didn’t have the run of the race. He will be of interest now in another similar handicap, he should be capable of going beyond his new mark of 98. He stays well, and he will do even better off a faster pace. It is interesting that his trainer thinks enough of him to give him an entry in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes.

9th July 2016