Horses To Follow » Settle For Bay

Settle For Bay

Settle For Bay was seriously impressive in winning the Royal Hunt Cup. Always travelling well, he moved easily through his race for Billy Lee, he improved nicely in the centre of the track to join the front rank on the run to the 1f pole, and he cleared away in the style of a classy horse, keeping on well all the way to the line and probably winning with a fair bit more in hand than the 2l winning margin.

The Royal Hunt Cup his traditionally one of the most competitive one-mile handicaps on the racing calendar, and David Marnane’s horse won it really well. He clocked a fast time, 1.11secs faster than the time that Aljazzi clocked in winning the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes early on the day, when they went a true pace from flagfall, and he probably won with a little bit in hand.

It is probable that his trainer had him primed for this, but it is still reasonable to expect that he can improve again. His rate of progression since last October is fairly astonishing, he won a handicap at Dundalk last November off a mark of 76, and he was winning off 99 on Wednesday. In the interim, he won four of his five races, and finished an encouraging fourth in the other one, a 7f Leopardstown handicap, on his final run before Royal Ascot. The Irish handicapper raised him by 8lb to a mark of 107, but that was fair, and he deserves a chance to step up from handicaps now anyway. To put that mark into context, the first two home in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes last Tuesday were rated 109 and 107 respectively.

Ascot, 20th June 2018