Horses To Follow » HTF – Britain


Knowing was a little unlucky in the 12-furlong handicap. James Fanshawe’s horse travelled well in mid-division for Kevin Stott, but he didn’t have a lot of racing room along the inside rail three furlongs out. Still travelling well, his rider explored a potential path away from the rail, but it didn’t open up for him until inside the final furlong. By then, Indigo Lake had picked up and To Nathaniel was battling on well against the rail and, while Knowing couldn’t quite get to them, he kept on all the way to the line. He finished third behind the two John Gosden horses, beaten a length, but he probably would have gone closer had he had a clearer run through the race.

Winner of two 10-furlong handicaps last year, Knowing hasn’t won yet this year, but he has progressed with racing again this term, as he did last year. On this evidence, there should be a middle-distance handicap in him now off this type of mark in the high 70s. He obviously handles this fast ground well, but he ran well twice on easier ground last year. This was just his second run over a mile and a half, and he stayed it okay, but he could do even better back down at 10 furlongs. That said, he holds an entry in a 12-furlong handicap at Newmarket on Friday evening, and he will be of interest if he takes his chance in it.

Newmarket, 15th August 2020

Max Vega

Max Vega put up a good performance to finish second to Hukum in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes. Sent to the front from flagfall by Harry Bentley, he travelled well into the home straight, and he had all his rivals on the stretch when he kicked inside the three-furlong marker. He was caught and passed by Hukum at the furlong pole, but he still kept on well to finish a good second.

Ralph Beckett’s horse finished two and a half lengths behind Hukum, but Owen Burrows’ horse is a highly talented and progressive individual who could be a St Leger horse now, and Max Vega had the progressive Alignak and last year’s winner, the classy Morando, behind him in third and fourth. It was just his sixth run too, and it was his first since he finished well down the field in the Derby. Winner of the Group 3 Zetland Stakes over 10 furlongs on soft ground on his final run as a juvenile last season, this was a career-best performance from him over the longest trip over which he had ever raced. He is progressive, and he will be of interest again over a mile and six furlong or even two miles, and perhaps on even softer ground than the good to soft conditions that he encountered on Saturday.

Newbury, 15th August 2020


Coconut put up a nice performance to win the 12-furlong three-year-olds’ maiden. Settled nicely in mid-division early on by Jamie Spencer, she travelled best of all to the two-furlong marker. It was significant that Jamie Spencer made the decision to move her towards the outside on the run to the furlong marker, he obviously felt that his filly was travelling well enough to allow him do that, instead of running the risk of not getting a clear path towards the far side. Once in the clear, the Australia filly picked up smartly and she stayed on well all the way to the line to post an impressive victory.

It was a good performance by Ed Walker’s filly, and the form looks solid. The two horses who, with her, were towards the head of the market, Bright Start and Solar Screen, both of whom had and still have plenty of potential, filled the places behind her, and she stretched clear to win well. This was her fourth run, she has steadily progressed with each run, and she was racing here on the easiest ground on which she has raced to date. She is a well-bred filly, by Australia out of Sun Chariot Stakes winner Spinning Queen, but she stays a mile and a half well, and she will be interesting now stepped up in grade. She holds an entry in a fillies’ handicap at Goodwood on Sunday, and she will be of interest if she takes up that entry.

Newbury, 15th August 2020


Walhaan ran better than the bare form of the run suggests in the Clipper Logistics one-mile handicap. Weak in the market beforehand, he was slowly away from his wide draw, and he was dropped in behind runners. Third last of the 17 runners as they straightened up for home, he travelled well in behind horses to the three-furlong marker. Asked for his effort at the two-furlong pole by Ben Curtis, he didn’t pick up instantly, and the leaders had gone for home at that point, but he kept on well towards the near side, running on all the way to the line to finish eighth, just over four lengths behind the winner Montatham, with a nice break back to the ninth horse.

It was another good run by the Dark Angel gelding at a big price – he was a 100/1 shot when he ran a big race to finish second to River Nymph in a seven-furlong handicap at Ascot on King George day on his previous run. That was his third run for Ian Williams since he joined from Jean-Claude Rouget and, with just 10 runs on his CV, he still retains scope for further progression. He could do better back at Ascot, where he is proven and where his hold-up style of racing should be an advantage. Also, he holds an entry in the Cambridgeshire, which is interesting. A well-run nine-furlong big-field handicap could suit him well.

York, 20th August 2020

Award Scheme

Award Scheme ran well to finish third in the Galtres Stakes. Strong in the market beforehand, she was dropped in and held up early on by Danny Tudhope as her stable companion Sea Of Faith made the early running. She travelled well into the home straight in rear, and she made nice progress early in the home straight, shaping as if she was going to be involved in the finish on the run to the furlong pole. Her run just flattened out a little after that, and she was run out of it for second place behind the impressive Gold Wand by Vivionn.

It was still a nice run by William Haggas’ filly. She is not straightforward, but she shaped on her previous run at Salisbury over 10 furlongs as if she might appreciate a step up in trip, but it looked here like the distance just stretched her a little. She was impressive when she won a 10-furlong handicap at York last month when she made all the running, so she could improve again for a drop back down in trip and perhaps ridden forward.

York, 20th August 2020

Black Caspian

Black Caspian put up a fine performance to finish fourth at a big price in the one-mile handicap. Fast away from stall 12, he led from early at a good pace, he led around the home turn, and he kicked into a two-length lead on the run to the two-furlong marker. Hartswood and Eastern World both challenged him on the run to the furlong marker, but he was still battling on gamely for Jimmy Quinn before Brunch came with his run from the rear of the field and hit the front inside the furlong marker. La Trinidad came from last to take third place close home, but Black Caspian ran all the way to the line to finish fourth just three lengths behind the winner.

It was a really good run by Kevin Ryan’s horse, given that he led from early in a race in which the winner and the third came from well back. He was fourth behind Brunch too (in a race in which La Trinidad was also third) on his previous run, over seven furlongs at York, when the ground was probably faster than ideal. He probably appreciated the return to easier ground here, but the step up to a mile probably stretched his stamina. He does go well at York though, so he is well worth keeping in mind for when he goes back there again. Seven furlongs and easy ground at York probably represent optimum conditions.

York, 21st August 2020


Coltrane was a seriously impressive winner of the Melrose Handicap, but Kipps ran a fine race to finish third behind him. Held up well back in the field by Ryan Moore behind a fast pace set by Punctuation, he Kipps travelled well into the home straight. Well back in the field at that stage, he picked up well on the far side, and it looked like he was going to be involved before his run flattened out a little from the furlong pole. Even so, he kept on well enough to take third place, with a nice break back to the rest.

This was another step forward by Hughie Morrison’s horse, on his first run over a mile and six furlongs. Second to subsequent Geoffrey Freer Stakes winner Hukum in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot, when he had subsequent Glasgow Stakes winner Subjectivist behind him in third, he finished fourth in a good 10-furlong handicap at Newmarket on his next run, when he raced in rear and towards the far side, neither of which was ideal on the day. You couldn’t say that he didn’t stay a mile and six furlongs here, but it may be that a mile and a half will prove to be his optimum. The handicapper raised him by just 1lb for this to a mark of 89, which is a mark that should be well within range. He has raced just six times in his life, so he has the scope to continue progressing.

York, 22nd August 2020