Horses To Follow » Umm Kulthum

Umm Kulthum

Umm Kulthum looked good in winning the Listed six-furlong fillies’ race that opened proceedings at Newmarket on 2000 Guineas day on Saturday. Richard Fahey’s filly travelled well through her race on the far side, behind a decent pace that favourite Flotus set. She had her two main market rivals, Flotus and Gale Force Maya, in front of her, but actually, her main challenge came from closer towards the stands side, as Tenaya Canyon picked up smartly on the near side. But Umm Kulthum picked up well too to hit the front inside the final furlong and get home by a neck from Ed Walker’s filly, with Queen Kahlua staying on well on the near side to take third place.

Favourite Flotus obviously under-performed – she got upset in the stalls and she returned with a cut lip – but Umm Kulthum still picked up well on the far side from her low draw to get the better of the runner-up, who raced away from her towards the near side. A close-up third in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket as a juvenile, the Kodiac filly raced only twice last season. She was well beaten in the Fred Darling Stakes on her three-year-old debut in April, but she was much better in the second of those two races to finish third in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes on heavy ground at Haydock in May, when she had to be switched towards the far side in order to deliver her run.

This was her first run in 343 days – she apparently had an issue with her knee after the Sandy Lane and trainer Richard Fahey just gave her time – and, even though she was strong in the market, she should progress for the run. She goes well on soft ground as well as on this good ground, and she could make her mark in some of the good sprints later this season. She holds entries in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes and in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, and her trainer said afterwards that, all going well, she will be aimed at those two races. Looking further ahead, the Haydock Sprint Cup could be an ideal race for her.
Newmarket, 30th April 2022