Horses To Follow » Matilda Picotte

Matilda Picotte

Matilda Picotte did well to finish a good second to Never Ending Story in the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday. Smartly away from her outside draw, she was quickly into her rhythm in front, but she wasn’t given an easy time of it by Zarinsk, who raced keenly up on her outside. Ronan Whelan appeared to try to steady it down as they raced out of the back straight, but it wasn’t easy to do that and retain the lead and the inside berth, and Zarinsk actually headed his filly for a couple of hundred yards. Once into the home straight, Matilda Picotte picked up well and went about two lengths clear. She was run down inside the final furlong by Never Ending Story, but she still kept on well enough to finish a clear second, two and a half lengths in front of Zarinsk.

This seven-furlong trip was the longest trip over which Kieran Cotter’s filly had ever raced, her six runs last season were all over six furlongs. She was fast last season, she was high-class over six furlongs, as she proved when she finished third in the Lowther Stakes at York and when she won the Listed Bosra Sham Stakes at Newmarket in October. She does hold entries in the Guineas at Newmarket and at The Curragh, but it may be that she will be at her best this season over shorter, possibly seven furlongs but probably six. She can be ridden aggressively over six. She is obviously well suited by Newmarket, and she will always be of interest at a track that favours forward-going tactics.
Leopardstown, 2nd April 2023