Horses To Follow » Steady Pace

Steady Pace

Steady Pace ran a cracker to finish third in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket last Saturday. Fast away from stall 15 and immediately racing in the front rank, he probably headed the field overall after they had gone two furlongs, or at least disputed it with Robero. He was travelling best of all as they reached the two-furlong pole, he was still on the bridle and in front under Josephine Gordon as the other horses around him came under pressure. Gordon kicked for home just inside the two-furlong marker, and Steady Pace went about two lengths clear. Still around two lengths clear as they raced inside the furlong pole, at which point he traded at 1.24 in-running, he just started to fade up the hill as the challengers closed. Above The Rest caught him with 100 yards to run, and Sir Dancealot did him for second place just on the line.

It was still a fine run from Steady Pace. This was a highly-competitive handicap, as befits a Bunbury Cup, and it was run in a good time, the fastest comparative time on the day, a faster comparative time than the time in which the Group 1 July Cup was run over an hour later. And Steady Pace travelled like the best horse in the race from a long way out, and was the most likely winner until deep inside the final furlong.

It is probable that the seven-furlong trip just found him out. Most of his running has been over six furlongs. While he did win the UAE Guineas Trial over seven at Meydan in January last year, he only just held on by a nose that day. Six furlongs is probably his optimum, a stiff six furlongs, as he had in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot on his last run before Saturday, when he put up a big performance in finishing second to Out Do.

The handicapper raised him 3lb to a mark of 107, but he will still be of interest in the big sprint handicaps off that mark. He holds an entry in the Stewards’ Cup at the Goodwood Festival, and he will be of interest if he takes his chance in that. He didn’t run badly in finishing third behind Shalaa and Tasleet in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes as a juvenile on his only run to date at Goodwood.

15th July 2017