Horses To Follow » Chief Ironside

Chief Ironside

Chief Ironside ran a big race to finish third behind Regal Reality and Ostilio in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes. Fast away, Fran Berry settled him back after 1f behind Ostilio, who had led all the way in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot on his previous run. The front two had a good break on the other four runners from early, they appeared to go very fast, and the pair of them engaged in battle on the run to the 2f marker, which is far enough out at Goodwood, especially when you have gone hard from early. It looked like Chief Ironside had taken Ostilio’s measure at the 1f pole, but then Regal Reality swooped, and William Jarvis’ horse conceded the runner-up spot to Ostilio close home.

This was still a fine run from William Jarvis’ horse in a race that was run at a fast pace and in a good time. This was just Chief Ironside’s seventh race, and it was his first over 1m since he ran in Raymond Tusk’s maiden at Newbury in April. After that, he had been racing over 10f. He won his maiden at Chester in May, he finished third in the London Gold Cup behind Communique and Poet’s Prince, and he won a handicap at Newmarket in June off a mark of 89, all over 10f. He proved here, however, that he had the pace to be effective over 1m. He travelled well behind Ostilio’s fast pace, and he probably put up the best performance of his career to date.

The handicapper raised him by 7lb to a mark of 102, but he was the lowest-rated horse of those with an official rating in Friday’s race, he would have been getting 13lb from the top-rated horse – the filly Threading, to whom he conceded 3lb – if it had been a handicap, and there could still be a good handicap in him off that mark. Alternatively, he will be of interest back in a listed race or in another Group 3 race.

Goodwood, 3rd August 2018