Horses To Follow » Migration


Migration was unlucky in the Class 2 one-mile handicap at Salisbury last Wednesday. Held up early on from his inside draw, he wasn’t helped by the fact that the early pace was not strong. Still last of the 12 runners on the run to the two-furlong marker, the field fanned out when they reached the cutaway just outside the two-furlong pole, but David Menuisier’s horse didn’t really get racing room until they were on the approach to the furlong marker. When he did, he picked up well and, switched to the outside by Silvestre de Sousa inside the final furlong, he finished off his race really strongly to finish fourth, just beaten a total of a length and a half, and just failing by a head to catch Dashing Oscar for third.

This was a race in which it paid to be handy. The winner and the runner-up, Johan and Variyann, were first and second from early, while the third horse, Dashing Roger, was close enough to the pace, and up on the outside in the clear. Migration, by contrast, was in behind horses and on the rail. This was the Alhebayeb gelding’s first run since September 2019, and his first since being gelded. Well-backed beforehand, he would surely have gone close to winning if the pace had been stronger, or if he had had a cleaner run through the race. He was racing off a handicap rating of 94, the mark on which he finished the 2019 season, and the handicapper raised him by 1lb for Wednesday’s run, but he looks like he could be a well-handicapped horse on that mark now. He stays 10 furlongs well, and he goes well on fast ground, so he will be of interest when he steps back up to that trip and returns to fast ground. Also, his two best runs have been at Sandown, so he will be of obvious interest if and when he returns to the Esher track.
Salisbury, 23rd June 2021