Horses To Follow » Leshlaa


Leshlaa ran a cracker to finish fifth in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot on Thursday, racing, as he did, in the near side group, which didn’t do as well as the far side group.  Also, he raced on the far side of the near-side group, out towards the centre, probably on the worst of the ground.

Held up in the early stages of the race in the near-side group, he travelled well to the three-furlong marker, and he switched right on the run to the two-furlong pole in order to deliver his challenge.  That took him onto the slowest part of the track but, despite that, he picked up well.  He came through to lead the near side group, and looked like he might go on to win overall, but the far side group always had the edge.  In the end, he was just caught by Indian Dandy for fourth place.  That horse was also a little unlucky, he flashed home under the stands rail, but he was noted by plenty, whereas Leshlaa’s run appears to have gone a little under the radar.

Winner of his maiden on his second attempt at Kempton last November, the Godolphin colt was disappointing on his debut this season at Newcastle, but he put up a really good performance to win a handicap at Newmarket in early May in his first-time hood.  Disappointing again in the listed Fairway Stakes back at Newmarket later last month on easy ground, again in a hood, he was much happier back on the fast ground on Thursday, with the hood discarded.

The Street Cry colt can be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of this run, not only because he raced in the near-side group, but more because he race on the far side of the near-side group.  Just eight horses raced on the far side, and three of the eight filled the first three places overall.

Leshlaa has raced just six times now, so he still has scope to progress again.  This fast-run straight stiff mile suited him well, but he does get 10 furlongs.  More importantly, as a son of Street Cry, it looks like fast ground is important to him, so he will be of interest when he has these conditions again.  An original entry in last Saturday’s Irish Derby, he holds an entry in the John Smith’s Cup at York on 15th July, and that would be a very interesting target for him, if he got into the race, which might be a struggle as a 103-rated three-year-old.  The handicapper left him on his mark of 103, which is more than fair, and he will be of interest in a good handicap now off that mark.

Ascot, 22nd June 2017