Horses To Follow » Great White Shark

Great White Shark

There were plenty of hard-luck stories in the Connacht Hotel Qualified Riders’ Handicap, there wasn’t a lot of room towards the inside as they raced around the home turn, but Great White Shark was a good winner of the race. She was given a clever ride by Jody Townend, but she still gave up a lot of ground by going wide for much of the race.

Settled well back in the field early on, she was only one off the rail for the early part of the race, and she was a little keen, but her rider got her settled in behind horses before moving her towards the outside as they passed the seven-furlong marker in order to ensure clear passage. Still fourth last as they raced into the dip, she made good ground and travelled well around the outside, fully eight horse-widths off the inside and widest of all, as they rounded the home turn, and she stayed on strongly up the home straight to win with plenty in hand, going away at the finish to come two lengths clear of Dalton Highway.

She could only finish third behind Great Trango in the two-mile-seven-furlong handicap hurdle on the Saturday at Galway, but she was keener than ideal through the early stages of that longer race. It was still a good run, and she remains progressive. A winner over 10 and 12 furlongs for James Fanshawe as a three-year-old, she was racing for just the second time on the flat for Willie Mullins when she won the Connacht Hotel race, and she could do well as a stayer on the flat now. A 10lb hike takes her up to a mark of 90, which should see her contest better races, and that should suit her. A fast pace over a staying trip on the flat should suit her well. It is a long way off, but the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot next year, a race in which Willie Mullins has fielded the winner three times in the last five years, looks like a possible long-term target, but she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

Galway, 29th July 2019