Horses To Follow » Frontiersman


Frontiersman was impressive in winning the 12-furlong handicap that opened proceedings at Newmarket on Sunday, despite things conspiring against him through the race.

He was keen and free through the early stages behind a sedate pace that Mustajeer was allowed to set, William Buick had to be quite strong in restraining him before they rounded the first turn after they had gone two furlongs. It looked like he might be held in a pocket by David Probert on Going Broke as Big Country kicked for home two furlongs out, but the gap opened up for him and he angled out and went through it willingly. He picked up impressively when Buick asked him to and, despite hanging to his right towards the far rail, he kept going forward up the hill and came away to post an impressive victory.

There was always a chance that the mark of 101 off which Frontiersman raced here would under-estimate his ability. Two of the three horses who finished in front of him on his seasonal debut in a conditions race at Doncaster – he was giving one of them 3lb and he was receiving 3lb from the other – are now rated 111 and 113 respectively. He shaped well in that Doncaster race, he was ridden forward before tiring a little, and this was a nice step forward from that. This was his seventh race but he still appeared to show signs of inexperience, and he could continue to improve with racing.

Regally bred, by Dubawi out of the top class racemare Ouija Board, and therefore a half-brother to Australia, this 12-furlong trip is a good trip for him. He goes well on fast ground, and he should do even better off a stronger pace. He could be good enough to take up his entry in the Hardwicke Stakes – and it is significant that they thought enough of him to give him an entry in that Group 2 race – but connections seemed to be favouring another handicap, perhaps the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot. He will be of interest wherever he goes next.

7th May 2017