Horses To Follow » Federal


The Irish Cambridgeshire result was another example of the talents of Joseph O’Brien as a trainer, as his two runners in the 28-runner handicap finished first and second. Not only that, but the winner Federal was racing for just the fourth time in his life, and for just the second time since his return to action after a break of over a year. Signs are that he wasn’t wholly expected either, given that he was allowed go off at 28/1, more than four times the SP of his stable companion Good Heavens, who also ran a massive race to finish second, beaten just a neck.

Of course, Federal isn’t under the radar any more, but he is a horse who should be worth following. He travelled like the most likely winner from a long way out and, under a superb ride by Mikey Sheehy, was delivered to lead close home. He only won by a neck, but he left the impression that he had a fair bit more in hand than that.

The handicapper raised him by 7lb for that win, and that was more than fair. He appeared to win the race with plenty in hand, a 28-runner Premier Handicap, an Irish Cambridgeshire, and it was just his fourth run ever, so he has bags of potential to improve again. He was beaten by four and a half lengths by Good Heavens at Cork on his first run back after a long break and after a gelding operation, so he obviously improved significantly for that, and there is every chance that he will improve again. He would be of big interest again in another big handicap, and he will also be of interest if he steps up into listed or Group 3 company.
The Curragh, 27th August 2022