Horses To Follow » Leshlaa


Leshlaa put up an impressive performance in his first-time hood to win the decent 10-furlong handicap that concluded proceedings at Newmarket on Sunday.

The outsider of four Godolphin representatives in the race, but gently supported at decent prices nonetheless, he was held up at the back of the field, ninth of nine, through the early stages of the race by Jamie Spencer. You usually don’t want to be too far back on fast ground at Newmarket unless they go helter skelter up front, but Spencer’s intention was obviously to be patient with him. He was niggled along a little five furlongs out and, still last with a half a mile to run, he started to make his progress through horses from the three-furlong marker. Switched to the far side with two furlongs to run, he picked up impressively when he met the rising ground. At the furlong pole he joined the leader Dubai Horizon, who had kicked into a clear lead, and he stayed on strongly from there to get home by a neck, with the front pair pulling an impressive eight lengths clear of the third horse Society Red.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt got off the mark at his second attempt in a Kempton maiden last November, when he was sent off at 4/11, but he was disappointing on his debut this season at Newcastle when he just didn’t give his running. Perhaps he appreciated the step up to 10 furlongs on Sunday, or perhaps he appreciated the hood or the patient tactics or the fast ground (he is by Street Cry), but it all worked and he put up the best performance of his career by some way.

He will obviously move up in the handicap for this, but he has lots of scope for further progression. This was just his fourth run, and it was a career-best by some way. It is interesting that connections thought enough of him to enter him in the Epsom and Irish Derby, and he will be of interest now again over 10 furlongs ideally on fast ground. He should improve anyway for this run, and he could do even better at a track at which hold-up tactics are an advantage.

7th May 2017