Under the Radar #4

Under the Radar had its first and second ever winners recently with Roger Varian’s Zeyaadah and
Colin Tizzard’s Princess Midnight both winning well next time out after their features in previous
articles.

Zeyaadah, who was highlighted as ‘one to consider going forward’ and as ‘being underestimated
by many’ in
Feature 1 following her Class 5 victory at Beverley, won next time out in a Listed Class
1 on Saturday, at odds of 11/2.

Princess Midnight from Feature 3 then made amends for her costly mistake last time out, staying
on strongly to win at odds of 11/2 as well.

Hopefully this week we can underline a few more winners-in-waiting…

 

Galileo Silver (2nd)

Navy, white and green silks, (Sam Thomas)

Tuesday 27th October – 14.20 Chepstow

Nowadays, the chances of a race result being altered by a stewards enquiry is very minimal, with
only the most obvious interferences forcing a change in results.

Therefore, when Tim Vaughan’s 22/1 shot Spectator overtook 3/1 favourite Galileo Silver in the
dying strides of their 2m7f hurdle race after hanging into Sam Thomas’ well-backed gelding for
the entirety of the final two furlongs, many thought that the stewards had no option but to
reverse the first-past-the-post results, but instead the result stood.

Personally, I believe the five-year-old was let down in the stewards room. Obviously, contact is
part and parcel within horse racing and it is inevitable that there will be a nudge or two here in a
race;  however not to this extent. Galileo Silver, the younger of the two horses in question, looked
intimidated from the moment the eventual winner began edging into him and carried him further
and further off of his original line as the line came closer. Spectator put in a commendable display,
but I believe that without the head-to-head eyeballing and carrying Galileo Silver left, he would
not have won.

Anyhow, the by Galileo out of Famous gelding put in a great round of jumping and travelled well
enough to say that the step up to 3m did suit. With the stewards taking the view that the selection
would have still lost regardless of the interference, they should follow that up by letting the 117
rated hurdler off lightly for the second-placed finish. If so, he looks incredibly likely to add to his
two career victories in the coming races, especially with how versatile he is over distances and
conditions.

 

Cabot Cliffs (3rd)

Black and orange silks, (Dan Skelton)

Friday 30th October – 14.45 Wetherby

For young horses, keenness is often one of the greatest obstacles for them to overcome in an
entire race. The excitement of being in a race often leads inexperienced types to become lit up
and sweat out as they attempt to surge to the front against their jockeys’ will, thus wasting energy
and wilting their concentration span.

Therefore, the brave backers of Dan Skelton’s Cabot Cliffs, who has been incredibly keen in all
of his four starts this year, will have been infuriated to see the gelding pulling very hard again in
the opening furlongs of his Class 1 hurdle race last Saturday.

The three-year-old looked to have thrown away his chances of victory in the first mile of the two
mile hurdle race, vigorously swinging his head from side-to-side in a bid for jockey Harry Skelton
to allow him to push on. However, Skelton’s decision to only take his mount forwards after a steady
pace was set by the front-running Hiconic allowed his horse to come back into contention.
Unfortunately, the early antics proved costly as Cabot Cliffs simply didn’t have anything left in the
tank to match the powerful run of Gordon Elliott’s Duffle Coat, who looks likely to be a strong
contender in the Triumph at Cheltenham next year.

The by Gleneagles gelding jumped well and showed signs of being a smart type, often reorganising
his stride in order to find an extra length at the hurdles. On the straight, the bay found well under
pressure, marginally missing out on second place by a shorthead whilst closing all the way to the line.

Given how Cabot Cliffs was thrown into a very competitive Class 1 following a weak Class 4 victory
and still managed to finish third despite the greenness, there is no doubt in my mind that as he
continues to mature and improve he will win races. In his next few outings there remains the risk of
his immaturity recurring, however if he settles well and can find his rhythm early then victories are
certainly on the horizon.


 

Teona (2nd)

Grey and maroon silks, (Roger Varian)

Friday 30th October – 18.45 Newcastle
Often market support for debutants is the greatest indicator of what is to be expected from a horse,
with those who are being punted upon usually showing enough at home to justify it. Therefore, when
Roger Varian’s Teona was punted into favouritism, many expected a big performance from the
t
wo-year-old. However, sadly for backers, the filly found just one too good when pulling five lengths
clear from the rest but displayed plenty of promise and ability to indicate that better things are to
come from her.

The two-year-old broke slowly but soon made up ground to settle quickly in mid-division for David
Egan, where she effortlessly coasted along for the majority of the race. However, coming into the
final two furlongs the half-sister of the useful Al Hilalee quickly became outpaced and was caught
in behind a wall of horses as eventual winner Sea Empress swooped around the outside on the bridle.

With nowhere to go and ground to make up, Teona had to sit and suffer as she was forced to wait
for the eventual winner to go a few lengths clear to open a gap for her to stride into. But when the
by Sea The Stars filly found daylight, her turn of foot was impressive and she made up ground
rapidly on the winner to diminish the winning margin to just a length.

After such a promising display on her debut and the market support before the off, it would be
nothing less than foolish to think that Teona won’t win races soon. Additionally, the experience
she will have gained from the race will certainly make her difficult opposition in races to come.



Taipan (1st)

Purple silks with green cap, (Jessica Harrington)

Sunday 1st November – 13.00 Naas

Missing the break in any race is often costly, but especially in a big field when the countless other
competitors lengthen away to make it a near impossible task to ever reach the front. However,
Jessica Harrington’s Taipan did exactly that when winning well on his racecourse debut, coming
from last to first to lead close to home.

Shane Foley’s mount showed his inexperience when completely missing the kick and having to sit
in the rear of the 18-runner maiden during the opening stages of the one mile trip. But, thankfully
for connections, as the race unravelled the two-year-gradually picked off his competitors and grew
into contention.

Despite being niggled along from a long way out, the colt showed a great battling attitude to plug
on in the heavy conditions and continue to find more. Coming into the straight Taipan had plenty of
ground to make up on the leading Team Of Firsts, who was well backed before the off, however the
two-year-old continued to close on Ger Lyons’ colt and headed him inside the final furlong.

Given how incredibly wet and boggy the conditions were and the energy that Taipan would have burnt
through to recover from his poor start, the turn of foot shown by Zoffany out of Mount Crystal debutant
was impressive. Moving forward, Harrington’s young colt will have learnt a lot from his first ever run and
the experience of running in awful conditions will be a massive plus heading into the later stages of the
season; he is definitely one to keep onside of.

by Charlie Parker-Turner