Horses To Follow » Pearle D’Or

Pearle D’Or

You can easily argue that Pearle D’Or was at least a little unlucky not to win the Challenge Cup at Ascot on Saturday. Drawn in the middle in stall nine, you can understand why Jim Crowley went far side instead of near side. Quinault was drawn over there and he was the most likely pace-setter. But with the benefit of hindsight, on the balance of the evidence that we now have over the course of the weekend, it is likely that the near-side runners had the edge, and that was how it played out too in the Challenge Cup. Pearle D’Or travelled really well into his race on the near side of the far-side group, and he picked up well to actually hit the front around a furlong out, but he had nothing with which to race out there in the centre, and he ultimately gave best to Atrium and Popmaster, who duelled through the final furlong against the stands rail.

Nevertheless, this was probably a career-best by David O’Meara’s horse, and he continues to progress. He finished a close-up third behind subsequent Ayr Gold Cup runner-up Ramazan in a Racing League race at Chepstow in August, and he stepped forward from that next time when he won a seven-furlong handicap on heavy ground at Newbury. The handicapper has left him on his mark of 90 after Saturday’s race, the mark off which he raced in the end, 2lb higher than his actual official mark, and he will be of interest again now off that mark wherever he goes. Seven furlongs is his trip, and he goes well on soft ground.

Ascot, 7th October 2023