Horses To Follow » HTF – Ireland

Inflection Point

Inflection Point was a little unlucky in the five-and-a-half-furlong handicap at Navan on Thursday. Dropped in early on by Rory Cleary from his high draw, he travelled well through his race on the far side. He had a wall of horses in front of him as they passed the two-furlong marker, his rider had to sit and wait for the gaps to appear. All the gaps closed as they raced to the furlong pole and, switched towards the near side to get into the clear, the Invincible Spirit gelding finished off his race really strongly up the hill, failing by just a nose to catch Mogwli, who had led from flagfall.

It was a good run by Kieran Cotter’s horse. He was impressive in winning his maiden at Bellewstown in July but, raised by 12lb by the handicapper for that win, he had been beaten in two runs since over five furlongs off a mark of 84. Dropped to a mark of 81 here, and stepped up slightly in trip, and at a stiff track, he probably put up a career-best performance. He will be of interest again now off this type of mark and, placed in a maiden over a mile last season for Ger Lyons, he is worth another try at six furlongs.

Navan, 10th September 2020


Bopedro only finished 10th in the seven-furlong ‘Sovereign Path’ handicap at Leopardstown on Saturday, but there could be better to come from him now. He was slowly enough away and it looked like he was a little out-paced through the first two furlongs. Last of the 18 runners as they left the back straight, he was still last as they straightened up for home with two furlongs to run. He made some ground from there, but he was among traffic and he couldn’t get any closer than 10th, but he was only beaten a total of four lengths by the winner Could Be King, keeping on at the finish.

This was Bopedro’s first run for Jessica Harrington, and it was his first run since he finished down the field in a listed race in Abu Dhabi in February when he was with Satish Seemar. He can go well fresh, he sprang a 25/1 shock on his seasonal debut last season, his first run for Jim Bolger, in a seven-furlong handicap at Cork, but he shaped here as if there could be more to come from him now.

Also, while he has won over seven furlongs, he put up his best performance so far in winning a one-mile handicap at The Curragh last September on soft ground off a mark of 93. It may be that he will be better when he steps back up to a mile, and when he gets back on softer ground. He did shape on Saturday as if he would do better when faced with a stiffer test. The handicapper dropped him by 1lb for Saturday’s run, to a mark of 95, which is just 2lb higher than the mark off which he won at The Curragh last September, and that is a mark off which he will be of interest in another competitive handicap, perhaps over a mile, perhaps on easier ground.

Leopardstown, 12th September 2020

Know It All

Champers Elysees put up a scintillating performance to win the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, but it may be that the performance that her stable companion Know It All put up in finishing fourth has gone a little under the radar as a consequence.

Sent forward early from her wide draw by Cieren Fallon, Johnny Murtagh’s filly was quickly into a nice racing rhythm just behind the early leader Love Locket. She travelled well into the home straight, and she picked up nicely to hit the front on the run to the furlong pole. She was quickly challenged by Peaceful, and she was relegated to third when Peaceful and Champers Elysees got into full flight, and she just ceded third place close home to Fancy Blue who, like Champers Elysees, was held up early on, but she did well to keep on as well as she did, given that she chased the pace from flagfall.

An impressive winner of the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Fillies’ Stakes over Saturday’s course and distance in July, the Qatar Racing filly proved that she belonged in Group 1 company when she finished a close-up third behind last year’s Coronation Stakes winner Watch Me in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville early last month. She gets a mile all right but, a half-sister to Flying Five winner Astrophysical Jet, it may be that a slightly easier test would suit her even better, an easier mile or a stiff seven furlongs. She remains an exciting filly.

Leopardstown, 12th September 2020


Cormorant did well to keep on as well as he did to finish fourth behind the impressive Tiger Moth in the Group 3 Paddy Power ‘Is It 2021 Yet?’ Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday. Competition for the early lead was intense, with Fresnel, Mr Mooj and Cormorant all to the fore as they raced down the back straight and established a clear break on the main body of the field.

The trio were about 10 lengths clear of their field by the time they reached the end of the back straight, and Fresnel and Mr Mooj both weakened before they got to the three-furlong marker, but Cormorant kicked as they straightened for home. He was quickly caught by his stable companion Tiger Moth, but even after he had been passed, there was a lot to like about the way that he kept on, only losing second place 25 yards from the winning line.

This was the Kingman colt’s first run since he finished fourth in the Dante at York in July. Winner of his maiden over a mile at Leopardstown as a juvenile last year, he won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial on his debut this season, when he made all and held on well from subsequent Hampton Court Stakes winner Russian Emperor. He was sent off at 16/1 for Saturday’s race, and it may be that he is a little under-rated now. He holds an entry in the Group 3 Diamond Stakes at Dundalk a week from Friday, and he would be of interest if he took his chance in that, a race that his trainer Aidan O’Brien has won with a three-year-old five times in the last 10 years.

Leopardstown, 12th September 2020

Thunder Beauty

Thunder Beauty ran well to finish fifth in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. A little slowly into her stride, she was held up in the early stages of the race by Colin Keane. Still last of the 13 runners as they raced past the two-furlong marker, she picked up well when she was moved towards the outside and asked for her effort. It never really looked like she was going to get to the duelling leaders, Shale and Pretty Gorgeous, but it did appear as if her run would take her into third place, before she flattened out a little close home to finish fifth in the end.

It was still a fine performance by Ken Condon’s filly on just the second run of her life. She was impressive in winning her maiden on her racecourse debut at The Curragh in July, she came away from her rivals smartly inside the final furlong despite showing signs of greenness. This was a big step up in class, into a Group 1 contest, the Moyglare Stud Stakes, but she didn’t look out of place in the grade. It was just her second run, she was conceding experience to most of her rivals, and it was her first run in seven weeks, so she should improve for the experience.

Her dam won over a mile and a half in Germany, so she should improve for stepping up in trip. She holds an entry in the Fillies’ Mile, and she will be of interest if she takes her chance in that. Longer term, she could develop into a high-class middle-distance filly next year.

The Curragh, 13th September 2020

©, 20th September 2020