Horses To Follow » Collide


Collide ran a big race to finish fifth in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes from stall two, a race in which it has historically been an advantage to be drawn high. The previous 10 winners of the race were all drawn 10 or higher and, statistically, contrary to instinct, it is a positive to be drawn high over a mile and a half at Ascot.

Relatively slowly away, Hugo Palmer’s horse found himself fairly far back in the field, with the outside horses moving over as the field ran into Swinley Bottom. Slightly worse than mid-division and along the inside rail as they started the climb up to the home turn, he travelled well through that section of the track, but he couldn’t move forward, and he was still no better than 14th or 15th of the 19 runners and along the inside as the well-bunched field turned for home.

It was always going to be difficult for him from there, along the inside from his low draw. While he wasn’t stopped in his run, rider James McDonald had to pick his way through traffic, in contrast to Frankie Dettori, who was wide on Ben Vrackie from his wide draw and, even though he started his run from further back, got clear sailing down the outside and almost got up. Collide also stayed on well through traffic to get up for fifth place. In another few strides, he probably would have caught Corgi for fourth place and, if the race had panned out a little differently for him, he could have got closer still.

This was just Collide’s ninth run. Winner of a 10-furlong handicap last year at Nottingham on soft ground off a mark of 96, he shaped well in his two runs this term before Friday, latterly in finishing fourth behind First Eleven and Fujaira Prince in a good handicap at York’s Dante meeting on fast ground. He is better suited to easy ground.

It obviously wasn’t fast ground at Ascot on Thursday, but it wasn’t that slow either, it was drying, and if the race had been run on Tuesday or Wednesday, he might have fared better. That said, he is a talented and progressive horse, and he is one to have in mind for the autumn, when the ground will probably soften again.

Ascot, 21st June 2019