Horses To Follow » *Brorocco

Brorocco

Brorocco did well to finish second in the 10-furlong handicap that opened proceedings at Chester on Thursday. Drawn wide, seven of seven, Jimmy Quinn dropped the Shirocco gelding in at the rear of the field through the early stages of the race. Unfortunately for him, the early pace was not strong, Jim Crowley was allowed dictate an easy pace from stall one on Khairaat, the well-backed favourite. Once the favourite got settled in front of slow fractions, it was apparent that it was probable that it would take something extraordinary to beat him, as evidenced by the fact that his in-running odds plummeted from an SP of 1.98 to 1.5 after they had gone a furlong.

Brorocco travelled comfortably in rear. He was a little keen up past the stands first time, but he wasn’t overly keen, and he settled into a nice rhythm down the back straight.

A hostage to the sedate pace, Quinn moved his horse up around the outside as they rounded the home turn. Three and four horse-widths off the inside rail all the way around the sweeping turn, he did pick up well as he circled his field. Khairaat kicked from the front, and he had no answer to that move, but he still kept on well up the short home straight to take second place from Mistiroc, who had himself enjoyed the run of the race, just up on the outside of the leader from flagfall.

Andrew Balding’s horse has had plenty of racing, he raced 10 times last season as a three-year-old, but he appears to be better than ever this year at four. He ran a nice race on his debut this season when he was a running-on close-up fifth behind Poet’s World in a handicap at Chelmsford off a mark of 86, and he stepped forward from that to win the City and Suburban Handicap at Epsom in late April off a mark of 85. The handicapper raised him 4lb for that win, but he proved on Thursday that he was well up to a mark of 89.

A hold-up horse, Chester was never really going to play to his strengths, and he was faced with an even greater task than he might have had when his talented and progressive rival Khairaat was allowed an easy lead. He should do better now at a track that is more suited to hold-up tactics. This 10 furlongs looks like a good trip for him, and there could be another decent handicap in him now off his new mark of 90. He should be well able for a hike of 1lb.

11th May 2017