Horses To Follow » Blue Cup

Blue Cup

Blue Cup did well to finish as close as he did in the City And Suburban Handicap at Epsom on Tuesday. Slowly away and dropped in early on by Ryan Moore from his outside draw, he wasn’t helped by the fact that the early pace was not overly fast. Hector Crouch rushed habitual prominent racer Victory Chime up on the inside to take the lead after they had gone a furlong, and he steadied the pace once he had the lead secured. Blue Cup was a hostage to the early pace. Victory Chime led all the way from the nine-furlong marker to the line, and Sky Defender, who sat in second place from early, finished second. By contrast, Blue Cup was ninth of the 10 runners early on and racing keenly. Still keen as they started to race down around Tattenham Corner, he travelled well early in the home straight but, although Ryan Moore tried, he couldn’t get his horse to the outside in order to deliver his run, and he ended up trying to pick his way through towards the inside, which is always difficult at Epsom as horses drift down the camber. He kept on well through the gaps that he could find, into fifth place, but he didn’t have a clear run. It appeared that he had lots left to give at the end, and he was only beaten a total of two and a half lengths by the winner.

A winner over seven furlongs on soft ground in France as a three-year-old for Fabrice Chappet, the Kendargent gelding raced just three times last year as a four-year-old for David Menuisier, winning the second of those races, a handicap at Sandown in July over 10 furlongs on fast ground. This was his seasonal debut, his first race since he was beaten on a conditions race at Deauville last August, and it was a most encouraging return. He progressed with racing as a three-year-old and as a four-year-old, and there is every reason to expect that he can progress this season too. He is five now, but he is a relatively lightly-raced five-year-old, and, on this evidence, his current handicap rating of 93 should be well within range. He stays 10 furlongs well, and it appears that he is equally adept on good to soft ground and on good to firm ground. He should do better too back at a track at which a clear passage for hold-up horses is not as uncertain as it is at Epsom. He could be an Ascot horse.
Epsom, 20th April 2021