Horses To Follow » Rekindling


Rekindling did well to win the Curragh Cup at The Curragh on Sunday. Settled in fifth of the seven runners through the early stages of the race as Wisconsin set a solid pace up front, it looked like Wicklow Brave was set for victory when he took up the running from Wisconsin at the two-furlong pole. At that point, Rekindling was behind a wall of horses towards the inside, with rider Wayne Lordan looking for a gap. As it happened, the gap didn’t really materialise, so Lordan took his horse off the rail towards the centre of the track, where he got a gap between horses, but he still had around four lengths to make up on the leader. Still just fifth as he moved back towards the rail for another gap, he had to come off the rail again to get past the wilting early leader Wisconsin but, once in the clear, he finished off his race really strongly to get up and win by three parts of a length in the end.

This was an impressive performance by Rekindling, a return to his Ballysax Stakes-winning form after he was beaten in the Dante and the Derby. Trainer Joseph O’Brien retained faith in him, and he wasn’t ignored in the market here, stepping up to a mile and six furlongs for the first time and taking on his elders. Wicklow Brave is a strong stayer and a classy horse who likes to race prominently, and it was a fine performance by Rekindling to beat him, especially given that he had to weave his way through traffic.

Joseph O’Brien said afterwards that Rekindling could be a Leger horse now, either Irish or English, and that makes sense. The Irish St Leger is not an easy race for three-year-olds, only Vinnie Roe and Order Of St George have won it as three-year-olds since 1989, so perhaps Doncaster is the safer option. Either way, the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood or the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York look like logical potential next steps now, and he would be of interest in either.

2nd July 2017