Horses To Follow » Russian Emperor

Russian Emperor

Russian Emperor took a nice step forward in winning the Hampton Court Stakes. Settled back in the field early on by Ryan Moore behind no more than a moderate pace, he started to pick up as they started to race around the home turn. Still last of the seven runners as they straightened up, it didn’t look like he was travelling as well as Berlin Tango, who eased to the front at the two-furlong marker, but he made relentless and sustained progress down the outside. He moved into third place as they passed the furlong pole, and he stayed on gamely from there to just get up and beat First Receiver by a half a length.

It was a fine effort by Aidan O’Brien’s colt in just his fourth ever race. His overall time and his closing sectionals were only marginally slower than those of Lord North, a now 124-rated four-year-old who won the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes over the same course and distance just over an hour later, carrying the same weight. He finished well too when he just got up and won his maiden over a mile on soft ground at Naas on the first day of the turf Flat season in March, and he just failed to catch his stable companion Cormorant in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial on his last run before Royal Ascot. His dam was prolific in Australia over distances from seven to 10 furlongs, but he is by Galileo and he raced here as if he could improve for a step up to a mile and a half. He would be interesting if he took his chance in the Derby.

Ascot, 17th June 2020