Horses To Follow » HTF – Ireland


Baseman ran a really nice race on his racecourse debut to finish second in the seven-and-a-half-furlong maiden at Tipperary last Monday. He was well enough away from his inside draw, but he lost a position early on, as the high-drawn horses moved up on the outside and took prominent positions. The first five after they had gone two furlongs, had emerged, respectively, from stalls 13, 17, 11, 15 and 14.

As a result, Baseman was further back in the field than ideal early on. Dermot Weld’s colt travelled well into the home straight though and, moved towards the outside by Oisin Orr, he stayed on well from the two-furlong marker. He was just a little bit green, he hung to his left a little, but he still kept on well to get to within a head of the well-backed favourite Toshizou – Joseph O’Brien’s horse holds entries in the Beresford Stakes, the Royal Lodge Stakes and the Dewhurst – by the time they got to the line, with the pair of them pulling nicely clear.

Baseman was strong enough in the pre-race market himself. A son of Kingman out of Big Break, winner of two Group 3 races over seven furlongs and a full-sister to the prolific Famous Name, this was a really encouraging start to his racing career. He should be winning his maiden soon before stepping up in grade.

Tipperary, 14th September 2020

Son Of Hypnos

Son Of Hypnos put up a good performance to win the 12-furlong handicap at Tipperary on Tuesday. Well away and settled into a nice racing rhythm by Colin Keane early on, in mid-division and along the inside, he made nice ground as they raced across the top of the track. He travelled well just behind the leaders into the home straight and, moved towards the outside, he made ground to join the leaders at the two-furlong marker. He picked up well too on the run to the furlong pole, he hit the front and he stayed on strongly all the way to the line. The game Galeola gave valiant chase – Sheila Lavery’s mare remains of interest – but it never looked like she was going to get to him.

This was a really likeable performance by Matthew Smith’s horse. He had made the running when he won an apprentices’ handicap at Galway on his previous run, he stayed on well up the hill hat day on heavy ground, but Colin Keane was obviously happy that they were going quickly enough for him up front here, he was happy to drop in and take a lead. The Morpheus gelding was up 6lb for his Galway win, but he proved that this mark of 70 was well within range.

The handicapper raised him by another 8lb for this, but he has the potential to go beyond his new mark of 78 too, and he can obviously still compete in 50-80 handicaps off that mark. Unraced as a juvenile, this was just his seventh run, and he is now two for two in cheekpieces. He stays a mile and a half well and, while he goes well on soft and heavy ground, he handled the goodish ground on Tuesday well.

Tipperary, 15th September 2020

Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club was an impressive winner of the five-furlong handicap at Cork on Wednesday, leaving the impression that he had more in hand than the bare winning margin. Just a little awkward at the start, he went well through his race for Colin Keane on the stands side, just behind the leaders. Travelling best of all at the two-furlong marker, he got a nice gap on the run to the furlong pole, through which he was able to ease his way. He got to the front fairly readily and, when his rider gave him a squeeze, he picked up nicely through the final 150 yards to quickly come more than a length clear of his rivals.

Winner of a five-furlong novice stakes at Lingfield in June for Richard Hannon on his racecourse debut, this was the Cable Bay colt’s first run for Denis Hogan. Picked up by Hilltop Racing for 7,500 guineas at the Tattersalls horses-in-training sale in August, he is a half-brother to Zahraa, a winner over seven furlongs, and he is from the family of multiple Group 1 winner Attraction, a dual Guineas winner, a multiple Group 1 winner over a mile, and a Queen Mary winner over five furlongs.

The handicapper raised him by 10lb for Wednesday’s win, but he was racing off a mark of 71, and it was just his fourth run, so he has the potential to go beyond his new mark of 81. He was a little weak in the market too, he was the longest-priced of three Denis Hogan-trained horses in the race in the end, so there could be improvement to come. He will be of interest in a better five-furlong handicap now.

Cork, 16th September 2020

Belmont Avenue

Malaysian was a gutsy winner of the one-mile Median Auction Race at Cork on Wednesday, leading from flagfall and just holding on but Belmont Avenue ran a big race too to get to within a head of Jessica Harrington’s filly.

Joseph O’Brien’s colt was Drawn in stall 11, in a race in which the other three horses who, with him, filled the first four places were drawn, respectively, four, one and three, and Declan McDonogh did well to get him over onto the inside rail after they had gone a furlong and a half, just behind the front rank.

He travelled well into the home straight and, when Malaysian moved on and established a clear break on the field, he picked up well and got out after the leader. Four lengths behind passing the two-furlong marker, he came clear of the rest of the field from that point and he closed on the winner all the way to the line, just failing to get there, with the pair of them finishing nicely clear of the rest of the field.

It was a really encouraging performance by the Zoffany colt. This was his racecourse debut, but he had run well to finish third in a barrier trial at Dundalk nine days earlier, when he kept on well to finish third over seven furlongs, beaten a half a length by his stable companion Ulster Blackwater, who holds an entry in the Fillies’ Mile. Belmont Avenue is out of the Singspiel mare Single, a winner over a mile and beaten a head in a Group 3 race in France over a mile as a juvenile, and he saw out this one-mile trip well. He should improve for this experience.

Cork, 16th September 2020


Etnya was game in defeat in the Group 3 Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Stakes at Gowran Park on Saturday. Smartly away and quickly into a nice position on the inside, just behind early leader Ennistymon, the Aga Khan’s filly travelled well for Oisin Orr across the top of the track and into the home straight. She got a nice gap on the inside on the run to the two-furlong marker as the leader moved to her left, and she quickened up well into it to hit the front. She was challenged by Epona Plays at the furlong marker, and she just gave best to Willie McCreery’s filly inside the final furlong, but she went down gamely to a talented and in-form filly who had finished third behind Thundering Nights and Albigna in the Group 3 Snow Fairy Stakes on her previous run. Etnya ran all the way to the line, and the first two pulled nicely clear of their rivals.

This was a nice step forward by Dermot Weld’s filly. She had been beaten on her previous run, in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown, but that was against older colts and geldings and horses, in a race in which she was a little keen early on. Also, she was involved in a little bit of crowding on the run to the end of the back straight that day, and she was wide enough around the home turn. Lots went wrong for her in that race and, actually, she didn’t do too badly in finishing fifth behind last year’s Royal Lodge winner Royal Dornoch, having raced prominently in a race in which the winner and the third both came from the rear. Also, that was just her second run ever. On her first, at The Curragh in July, she was impressive in winning a one-mile fillies’ maiden, staying on well and winning easily in a race from which the second and fourth have both since won.

Etnya saw out this extended nine furlongs well and, a half-sister to Eziyra, winner of the Group 2 Blandford Stakes over 10 furlongs last year and a triple Group 3 winner over a mile and a half, and from the family of Gold Cup winners Enzeli and Estimate, there is every chance that she will get 10 furlongs and even further  She has raced just three times in her life, so she has plenty of scope for further progression.

Gowran Park, 19th September 2020

© Sportinglife, 23rd September 2020