Just checking through today's racing results. A routine that many punters do at the end of the day.
I notice a horse I mentioned a number of times won well in the 1:30 Chelmsford. I imagine a good few punters were interested in Commander Han, trained by Kevin Ryan. This son of Siyouni cost 400,000G when purchased at two, considerable more than his yearling price tag of 62,000 euros. Those are familiar with the exceptional Group Horse (which details the best two-year-old race horses in training) would have been particularly intrigued after this chestnut colt had proved rather disappointing on his first two starts. Racing in the familiar silks of T A Rahman, this March foal had cleverly been showing up well on the gallops.
He was set a challenge on debut at York, when contesting the Convivial Maiden Stakes with win prize money of £43,575. Let's face it, how many maiden races are worth more than Group class? An indicator for all those who raced on that occasion. Backed from 16-1 - 9-1, there was some confidence behind this horse but he was far too inexperienced to do himself justice and finished 9th. I felt a bit of a fool because I had detailed this colt before he had been entered and seeing him make the line up in such a stiff race made me think this is going to be one of those days.
Second start at Redcar, another head-in-hands moment. Even money in an eleven-strong field. Thinking this should be child's play but questioning at 1/1 if it is another opportunity to look like a man with egg on his face as well as hands over eyes. An awkward start, keen, no progress 2f out, then running on too late losing by less than a couple of lengths. Frustrating.
Sometimes, horses need a bit of time to mature and learn what racing is all about. It took me 10 years of going to school to realise I was there to learn.
So, Commander Han wins on the 9th February, in a five-runner race over 7f. It was an ''easy'' 7-length victory. To be fair, the betting suggested there was one horse in opposition, Nice Shot, trained by David Simcock, the 8-13f. Perhaps the favourite disappointed and it was a breeze.
I suspect that Commander Han will shine a bit brighter this three-year-old season and worth keeping in mind.