Past Winners » Frontiersman 


It is understandable that Big Country has been put in as favourite here.  He is a fashionable horse, and he looks really progressive, he is two for two now since joining Michael Appleby.

But he shouldn’t be as short as he is in my book.  He got the run of the race at Kempton last time, he was always prominent, up there with a sedate pace, and his rivals could not match his turn of foot from the front.

That race is working out well, runner-up Wild Hacked won next time at Newcastle off a 4lb higher mark and third-placed Prince Of Arran finished second in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Ascot on Wednesday, albeit over two miles.

But the handicapper raised Big Country 10lb for that win, which is significant, and I am happy to be against him today, back on turf, off a mark of 94.

I am backing Frontiersman against him.  The Godolphin colt was progressive last season, and he ran out an impressive winner of a handicap over today’s course and distance last September off a mark of 90.

He proved that he was up to today’s mark of 101 on his seasonal return at Doncaster, when he finished fourth in a 12-furlong conditions race.  He and Muntahaa set a strong pace, and both of them were picked up by Chemical Charge on the run to the final furlong.

The form of that race has worked out well so far, with Muntahaa and Chemical Charge finishing first and second in the Group 3 John Porter Stakes at Newbury next time.  Muntahaa is rated 113, Chemical Charge is now rated 111.  A mark of 101 for Frontiersman looks more than fair.

Charlie Appleby’s colt should improve for his seasonal debut, he goes well on fast ground and he is one for one at Newmarket, over today’s course and distance.  He should run a big race.