Horses To Follow » HTF – Britain

Latent Heat

Latent Heat went close in the seven-furlong handicap. Slowly away and held up early on behind a sedate enough looking pace that Sir Titan was allowed to set, he was very keen through the early stages of the race. He settled better as they raced around the home turn and he travelled well to the two-furlong pole. David Probert had to wait for a gap to develop as his rivals came under pressure but, once he got the gap, Latent Heat picked up well, and he closed on Goodwood specialist Sir Titan all the way to the line. It looked like he was going to get there, he traded at a short price in-running and, in the end, he went down by just a neck to his stable companion, and he pulled clear of the rest.

This was a race in which the pace held up well, with the winner making all the running. Tony Carroll’s horse did well to get as close as he did, racing from off the pace and racing keenly early on and he handled the soft ground well. The handicapper raised him by 4lb for this to a mark of 66, but that is 3lb lower than his peak and it is a mark off which he remains of interest. He can be keen in his races and, granted a stronger pace, he could do even better next time.

Goodwood, 28th August 2020


Escobar ran well in circumstances that wouldn’t have been ideal in the Group 3 Supreme Stakes. He was smartly away and, with no obvious pace on, he found himself in front through the first couple of furlongs, and racing more keenly than ideal. Settled in behind Toro Strike then after they had gone a furlong, he travelled well up the home straight and, while he came under pressure on the run to the two-furlong marker, he kept on well on the far side to get up for third place, just over a length behind the winner Happy Power.

The small field and the sedate early pace would not have been ideal for David O’Meara’s horse. He did finish third in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last month, but his best performances have been in big fields when there has been a strong pace, like when he won the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot last year and when he finished second in the same race the year before. He has also finished third in a Golden Mile at Goodwood and third in a Challenge Cup at Ascot. He will be of interest again now in a race in which it looks like there will be a good pace on. He goes on fast ground and on easy ground, and it seems that he is equally adept over seven furlongs and a mile.

Goodwood, 30th August 2020

Golden Horde

Golden Horde ran a big race to finish third in the Betfair Sprint Cup. Fast away from stall six, he led the group of seven horses who raced on the far side. He travelled well to the two-furlong marker in front and, when Adam Kirby gave him a squeeze, he picked up well and came away from his rivals on the far side. He was run down deep inside the final furlong by Dream Of Dreams who raced in the near side group, but he kept on well enough to retain third place.

This was a day on which it was probably an advantage to race towards the near side on the straight track. Specifically, in the Sprint Cup, six horses raced on the stands side, and four of them filled four of the first five places. Golden Horde was the only horse who got in among them from the far side group.

Clive Cox’s horse is a top class and hugely likeable sprinter. He won the Commonwealth Cup on his debut this season, and he finished close up in both the July Cup and the Prix Maurice de Gheest on his two runs in the interim. He is only three, and there should be more Group 1 prizes to be won with him. He handles this easy ground well, but he also goes well on better ground, and he has raced exclsively over six or six and a half furlongs.

Haydock, 5th September 2020

Jonah Jones

Jonah Jones was unlucky in the six-furlong handicap. Held up early on by David Egan, he was just starting to move forward on the run to the furlong pole when the gap in front of him closed, and his rider had to snatch up. Switched all the way to the far side, he did well to run on as well as he did to take third place behind Fortamour and Rathbone, given that his momentum had been checked and that he had to change direction and go wide, furthest from the stands rail. He can be marked up a fair bit on the bare form of this run.

The No Nay Never gelding is a talented sprinter. A dual winner over six furlongs for Tom Dascombe as a juvenile, he hasn’t won yet this season since he has joined Ed Walker, but he has run some good races in defeat, including in five-furlong handicaps at Haydock and Ascot back in June and July. He was racing off a mark of 89 here, a mark that is 5lb lower than his peak as a juvenile, so there could be a good handicap in him off this type of mark. This may have been his target, it is a race that his trainer won in 2018 and 2019, but he still shaped like a horse who could out-perform his handicap rating soon. He obviously gets this six-furlong trip well, and this was his second good run in two attempts at Ascot. He will be of interest wherever he goes next, and he will be of particular interest if and when he returns to Ascot.

Ascot, 5th September 2020


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


Frankenstella put up a really likeable performance in winning the two-mile handicap. John Quinn’s filly travelled like the most likely winner from a long way out, she moved up nicely for Oisin Murphy to hit the front inside the two-furlong marker, and she stayed on well to win nicely. It was an impressive performance visually, it appeared that she won with a fair bit more in hand than the two-length winning margin, and there is solidity to the form, with hat-trick seeker Mr Chua finishing second and the consistent Red Royalist staying on well into third. She was the only three-year-old in the race, but she coped with the older horses well.

She is a progressive staying filly, she won two of her previous three races, a two-mile maiden handicap at Pontefract on fast ground in July, and a two-mile handicap at Redcar on soft ground four weeks later. She stays well and she is well suited by a truly-run race over two miles. She will get a hike from the handicapper now, but she continues to progress, and she handles fast ground as well as soft ground. A daughter of Frankel and a full-sister to high-class stayer Master Of Reality – second past the post in last year’s Melbourne Cup – she will be of interest wherever she goes next.

York, 6th September 2020