Horses To Follow » Ebaiyra


Ebaiyra did well to finish a close-up third in the circumstances in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, dropping back down to nine furlongs and racing in rear early on. She settled nicely for Christophe Soumillon early on, sixth of the six runners behind no more than a moderate pace that Romantic Rival set. Still last after the pace quickened on the run to the two-furlong marker, she picked up as they raced into the Dip but, while she wasn’t hampered or impeded, she didn’t really get into the clear until they reached the furlong marker. When she did, she picked up nicely and finished off her race well towards the near side as Dreamloper and Ville De Grace duelled on the far side. She closed on that pair all the way to the line, just going down by a nose and a short head in a thrilling finish, closest at the winning line.

It was a fine effort by Francis-Henri Graffard’s mare, given that she was racing over a distance that was short of her best. Also, she had to make her ground from the rear at a track at which pace usually holds up well, and she wasn’t able to hit full stride until they met the rising ground. Sixth in the Prix de Diane as a three-year-old, the Aga Khan’s filly won a Group 3 race and a Group 2 race last season, over 10 furlongs on good to soft ground and over 10 and a half furlongs on heavy ground respectively, for Alain de Royer-Dupre. She also finished second behind Broome in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud over a mile and a half, and she finished third in the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin on her final run last year. She has run three times now for her current trainer this year, including a third place finish in the valuable Neom Turf Cup in Riyadh, and she retains lots of ability on this evidence. She will probably be seen to best effect when she steps back up to 10 or 11 or 12 furlongs.
Newmarket, 1st May 2022