Horses To Follow » Earlswood


Earlswood put up a nice performance to win the one-mile maiden at Navan on Saturday. Drawn wide, he travelled nicely through his race for Ben Coen, just behind the leaders. He moved nicely into the home straight, and he made progress towards the leaders towards the near side on the run to the two-furlong marker. He got the better of favourite HMS Seahorse inside the two-furlong marker, but he was challenged and passed by Earl Of Tyrone and Too Nice, who both raced towards the stands side, so he did well to pick up as well as he did on the far side, hitting the front inside the final furlong and going on to put two lengths between himself and his rivals.

It was a day on which it was probably an advantage to race towards the near side. Earlswood didn’t race on the inside rail, but he had to make his challenge towards the centre of the track, on the far side of the horses with whom he fought out the finish, so it was to his credit that he was able to finish as strongly as he did. He won going away, and he can probably be marked up on the bare form of the run.

The Pivotal colt raced three times last season as a juvenile for John Oxx, and he progressed with each run, putting up his best performance on his third and final run when he finished third in a seven-furlong maiden at The Curragh in November on heavy ground. He had Sir Lamorak a neck behind him in fourth place that day, and Sir Lamorak came out and won his maiden at Dundalk on Friday. This was a nice seasonal debut by Earlswood, a good first run for Johnny Murtagh, and it is a win on which he should be able to build now. It may be that easy ground is important to him, but his full-brother Making Miracles won on good and fast ground for Mark Johnston. He won over two miles, and his half-brother Litigious won over a mile and a half, so there is every chance that Earlswood will improve for stepping up in trip. His run on Saturday left the impression that he could go up in trip too.
Navan, 27th March 2021