Horses To Follow » Polybius


Polybius ran a cracker to finish second behind Danzeno in the five-furlong handicap at Ascot last Saturday.

Held up through the early stages of the race on the stands rail by Oisin Murphy, he travelled well through his race. He was in behind runners on the near side and  had to wait for the gap. Moved off the rail but still with a wall of horses in front of him at the two furlong pole, his plight was not aided when Danzeno hit the front and moved to his left, thereby tightening several horses up on the near side. Polybius had to check a little but, once moved towards the centre, he picked up impressively once in the clear and finished best of all to take second place. Danzeno was a good winner, but had David Simcock’s horse got into the clear a little earlier, he might have worried the winner.

Polybius is not straightforward, it does appear that he likes to be ridden like this, held up for a late run, but he seems to be an improved horse this year since joining David Simcock. He hasn’t won for his new trainer yet, and this was his fifth attempt, but his record for Simcock now reads 40342, the first three runs at Meydan, the last two at Ascot. He ran a cracker in the Wokingham on his previous run to finish fourth, second on the near side, just a neck behind Projection who led home the near-side group. He obviously goes well at Ascot – he finished third in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes there too two years ago – and there could still be a big sprint handicap in him off this mark if the cards drop right for him.

He is obviously effective over five furlongs, as evidenced by this run, but he could be better over six, and he could be worth another try over seven, a distance over which he hasn’t raced since he made his racecourse debut over the trip in May 2014. He holds an entry in the Gigaset International Handicap over that trip. Interestingly, while the handicapper has raised him 4lb for his Ascot run, that is an early-closing race so he would race off his old mark of 102, so he would be 4lb well-in. He goes well on good ground and on Polytrack and he will be of particular interest now back at Ascot.

15th July 2017