Horses To Follow » Barbill


Barbill did well to finish as close as he did in the Portland Handicap. He was squeezed out of it just after they had gone 50 yards as Han Solo Berger and Danzeno converged in front of him. As a result, he was on the back foot from early and playing catch-up. Third last after they had gone two furlongs, he came under pressure early, but he responded well. He kept on strongly on the far side to get up for sixth place behind Stone Of Destiny and Danzeno, closest at the finish. He was in third place a couple of yards after the winning line.

It was a fine run by Mick Channon’s horse in the circumstances. He was obviously hindered by the interference that he suffered at the start, and he raced on the far side from his low draw. He and Danzeno were the only two horses who finished in the first six from low draws, and the impressive winner came down the stands side from stall 18. As well as that, he was probably racing over a trip (five and a half furlongs) that was a little short of his best, and on ground (good) that was a little faster than ideal. He ran again last Saturday in the Ayr Gold Cup, but the race came up quickly after the Portland, just a week afterwards, and the ground probably wasn’t as soft at Ayr as he ideally likes it.

He has raced 26 times, he is not obviously unexposed, but he is only four, young for a sprinter, and he has been in good form this season since he was gelded. Three of his five runs this term have been up there with the best of his career. He will be of interest now on easier ground as we move into the autumn, ideally over six furlongs. The handicapper has dropped him by 3lb to a mark of 99, which is just 2lb higher than the mark off which he won at Chester in August, and that gives him a chance. He goes well at Haydock and Newbury and Chester.

Doncaster, 12th September 2020