Horses To Follow » Al Neksh

Al Neksh

Al Neksh did well to finish second in the 10-furlong handicap that opened York’s Dante meeting on Wednesday.

The Al Shaqab Racing gelding was settled nicely back in the field through the early stages of the race by Frankie Dettori, but it was a race in which the early pace held up well. The clear leader and second-place early runner, Awake My Soul and Oasis Fantasy, 20/1 and 25/1 shots respectively, finished third and fourth, while the winner Master Carpenter raced just behind the pace.

Al Neksh, by contrast, was well back in the field from early, he only had six of his 19 rivals behind him as they started the turn for home. He made nice progress up the far side in the home straight, and he looked a possible winner when he hit the front just inside the two-furlong pole, before Philip Makin unleashed Master Carpenter on the near side. The winner came clear impressively, but Al Neksh ran on willingly all the way to the line to take second place, over a length in front of third-placed Oasis Fantasy.

This was the Zoffany gelding’s seasonal debut, and it was just the seventh run of his life, so there is every chance that he will progress from it. Winner of his maiden over a mile at Haydock last June, he returned after a gelding operation to follow up at Chester in July, and he rounded off his 2016 campaign by finishing fourth behind Speed Company in a good 10-furlong handicap at Doncaster in October. He proved here that he could handle easy ground, and that he could operate at York, and that opens up options for him.

He gets this 10 furlongs well, but his dam won over a mile and a half, and there is lots of stamina in his pedigree, so he could do even better stepped up in trip. The handicapper raised him just 1lb for this to a mark of 92, and that is a mark that could under-rate his ability.

17th May 2017