Horses To Follow » Keats


Keats put up a nice performance to win the Listed Navigation Stakes at Cork on Tuesday. Smartly away from his outside draw, he moved up nicely early on to adopt a good forward position, up on the outside of early leader Free Solo. He travelled well into the home straight and, while he was niggled along by Seamie Heffernan just inside the three-furlong marker, he kept on finding. It appeared that Shane Foley on leader Free Solo was travelling better at that point, but Keats picked up nicely. He idled a little when he drew level with the leader, he moved a little to his left and a little to his right, but he went forward nicely inside the final 50 yards, and it appeared that he won with more in hand than the winning margin of a length.

This was a good listed race. The first two home dominated the race from flagfall, and they finished ahead of talented horses Fame And Acclaim and Could Be King and Flight Risk, all of whom were rated 103 or higher. Keats went into the race with a rating of 101, but he had run well in a listed race at Listowel on his previous run, when he got shuffled back on the run to the end of the back straight before staying on well to take second place behind Lady Wannabe. This was a step forward from that, it was his first listed race win, and he could step forward again. He has run eight times this season, but it appears that he is thriving for racing.

This was probably a career-best performance, and he probably won with a little bit in hand. His dam Airwave won the Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs as a juvenile for Henry Candy, but she also won the Group 2 Ridgewood Pearl Stakes over a mile for Aidan O’Brien, and she is the dam of Meow, dam of dual Guineas winner Churchill. Keats is, like Churchill, by Galileo and it appears that he is as good over 10 furlongs as he is over this one-mile trip.

Cork, 29th September 2020

©, 5th October 2020