Horses To Follow » Lope Y Fernandez

Lope Y Fernandez

Lope Y Fernandez ran a big race to finish second to Pinatubo in the Prix Jean Prat. Aidan O’Brien’s horse travelled really well through his race for Ioritz Mendizabal towards the far side. He moved up easily on the far side to join the front rank, and he travelled best of all to the furlong marker. Pinatubo had made his ground among horses towards the near side and, in fairness to the Godolphin colt, he picked up well. But Lope Y Fernandez picked up well too on the far side, and the pair of them came clear of their rivals.

It was good to see Pinatubo get back on track with a Group 1 win as a three-year-old, but he was expected, he was odds-on, whereas Lope Y Fernandez out-ran odds of 40/1. Aidan O’Brien’s horse had to make his ground wide too, out in the middle of the track, he had to do a lot of running on his own, whereas Pinatubo made his ground among horses under cover.

This was much more like it from the Lope De Vega colt. A Group 3 winner last year as a juvenile, he finished third in the Irish Guineas on his debut this term, when he showed an impressive turn of foot, but just couldn’t sustain it over a mile. It all happened a bit quickly for him in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, when he was slowly away and when he raced on the far side from stall one, away from the main action. Also, that race came up just a week after his Irish Guineas run. This seven-furlong trip is probably his optimum, and he will be of interest over this trip again. The Prix de la Foret is the obvious target for him now, a Group 1 race back in France, but he could also go for the Prix Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs, and there are good Group 2 options for him in Britain now too, including the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood, the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury, the City of York Stakes at York and the Park Stakes at Doncaster.

Deauville, 12th July 2020