Horses To Follow » Arbalet


Arbalet’s turn may not be that far away again now. He ran a big race in the seven-furlong handicap.

Fast away and quickly into the lead, he settled into a nice racing rhythm from early for Josephine Gordon. He led the near-side group, and was the overall leader until he was tackled and passed by Society Lion, but there was a lot to like about the way that he battled after he had been passed. He wasn’t helped by the fact that Society Lion drifted to his left towards him through the final furlong, carrying him over towards the stands side, but he continued to go forward, and he actually got back past Society Lion close home to take second place behind Documenting.

This was much more like it from Arbalet. He was a high-class performer a couple of years ago when he was with Hugo Palmer. He finished fifth in the Jersey Stakes as a three-year-old, and he finished second in an International Handicap and third in the Group 3 City of York Stakes. He lost his form last year and, switched to David O’Meara at the start of this season, he struggled to re-capture it initially. This was much more like it, it was his best run for a long time.

He was racing off a mark of 89 here, 18lb lower than his peak, so a 2lb hike should be well within his compass. He does go well at Ascot, but he has also run well at York and Sandown in the past, and they are tracks at which his forward-going style could be seen to better effect. He does stay a mile, but seven furlongs is probably his optimum trip, and he should do even better on faster ground.

Ascot, 5th September 2020