Horses To Follow » Gordon Lord Byron

Gordon Lord Byron

Gordon Lord Byron may be eight years old now, but Tom Hogan’s horse rolled back the years with the performance that he put up to land the Group 3 Minstrel Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday.

Settled in second place by Billy Lee behind early leader Toscanini through the early stages of the race, he challenged, going well, on the outside of the leader at the two-furlong pole. Toscanini moved continually to his left from that point, despite the fact that James Doyle had his whip in his left hand, and he carried Gordon Lord Byron out to the centre of the track with him, but the Byron gelding continued to go forward. He got past the leader with 200 yards to run, and he ran on strongly enough to get home by half a length from Sovereign Debt, who finished well on the far side.

This was another step forward by Gordon Lord Byron. He had hinted at a return to form when he won a lesser contest at Tipperary two and a half weeks earlier, but this was another step forward from that. And despite the fact that he was carried to his left inside the final two furlongs, he clocked a good time, faster than standard and just 0.04secs/furlong slower than Racing Post par.

Tom Hogan said afterwards that his stable star has had his issues this season, but that he is just coming right now and, if he can get back to close to his best, he could have a lucrative time of it through the summer now and into the autumn. The Phoenix Stakes was mentioned by Hogan as a possible next target now, and we know that he is at least as good over six furlongs as he is over seven. He is also in the Sprint Cup at Haydock in September, and he could be an interesting outsider for that, given his affinity for the track and for that race. His record in the race reads 2120. He just could be an under-rated horse now as an eight-year-old.

17th July 2016