Horses To Follow » Sovereign


Sovereign’s return to action in the Vintage Crop Stakes was more than satisfactory.  This was Aidan O’Brien’s colt’s first run since he sprang that 50/1 shock in the Irish Derby last year, when he led from flagfall and built up a lead that his rivals couldn’t bridge.  He led from early in the Epsom Derby last year too, but he was ridden differently on Saturday, Seamie Heffernan held him up in behind horses, last of the seven runners.

He was keen enough early on, which was understandable, given that he was racing for the first time in a year, but he travelled well into the home straight.  Still last as they straightened up, he was the only horse who was still on the bridle as they passed the two-furlong pole.  Moved towards the outside, he picked up on the run to the furlong pole and, while it never looked like he would get to the winner Twilight Payment, he closed to within a half a length of runner-up Barbados before his run flattened out a little close home.

It was still a fine run, and it is probable that he will progress for it, possibly significantly.  It may be that he was an under-rated Irish Derby winner, and that he will be an under-rated older horse this season.  A son of Galileo and a full brother to Triplicate and Cliffs Of Doneen, who both stay well, it may be that Sovereign will progress again for stepping up in trip.  He could get further, but a mile and six furlongs looks like a good trip for him, and the Irish St Leger would therefore be a good medium-term objective.

The Curragh, 27th June 2020