The horses have been in fine form over the past 10 days with winners flowing. It has been a real mixture of horses and races, which was proven once again as the 3yo Thundering and 2yo Revision both earned their first career wins at Newcastle’s first day of the Northumberland Plate Meeting.
Thundering has proven to be a real slow burner but had some top quality Novice and Maiden form leading up to his handicap debut. When entered off a mark of 79, it looked very fair, which got better when he was due to go up 2lb following this run. He made no mistake with an emphatic win in the 1m4f Jenningsbet Handicap.
Having made just one start as a 2yr old, Thundering has tracked sterner tests of stamina this season. Stepping up to 1m2f and then 1m4f, he has bumped into some quality individuals. The pick of this form was when he finished behind Eldar Eldarov who subsequently won the Gr 2 Queens Vase at Ascot. With this being on the Tapeta Kevin was certain that he could handle the surface so sent the gelding back to make his handicap debut.
Looking through the 8 runners it did seem as though Thundering held the best form and the punters agreed, making him joint favourite. Having seen him wander around on the his latest run, Kevin Stott was tasked with utilising patient tactics. This looked ideal for the gelding but it was clear early on that the pace was quite sedate. Being drawn wide, Kevin couldn’t risk being stuck 4 wide so he ended up sitting dead last.
Although Newcastle has a long straight, the steady pace was lending itself to a late sprint to the line. Unfortunately the place not to be is way out of the back, just where Thundering found himself. As the field came around the bend and into the straight he still hand to pass the entire field. Kevin wasn’t panicking and now he could angle out to get a clear run.
The race really begun around the 3f marker. This was where the first injection of pace came and the field began to dash for home. It may have been 26* heat but Kevin was the coolest man in Newcastle. Loosen the reins and squeezing his mount, Thundering began to move up menacingly down the centre of the track,.
When these tactics work they are the silliest to watch. Thundering had swooped down the outside to slide past rival after rival. He moved into contention pulling double and Kevin still perched high upon the saddle. At this point it just looked like a matter of when and not if. The when was moving into the final furlong. Quickening up, Thundering pulled clear and proved well named as he thundered clear. Crossing the line with a 1 3/4 length advantage, the 3yr old put on a stunning display.
Thundering had always shown ability and it was nice to see that come to fruition. He has been a little unlucky with some of the rivals he has bumped into. This performance was a very taking one so it will be interesting to see how the handicapper asses’s it. There is still more to come and Thundering could be a nice middle distance prospect moving forward.
Stats do not always paint a full picture and this has been the case with the juveniles so far this season. Despite the low number of winners, there have been some big performances and likely to run up a tally in the coming weeks. Revision was the perfect example of this and after a promising runner up on debut, he earned the maiden win when taking the 6f Pertemps Network Novice Stakes, completing the double.
Ardad has made an unbelievable start to his stallion career and this led Kevin to purchasing a strapping colt at GoffsUK. Revision looked the part and thrived throughout his home work. Although showing promise early on, Revision always looked likely to be a 6f prospect and the extra time did him the world of good.
Making his debut at Haydock, Revision ran a great race, chasing home an experienced and exciting rival. He looked sure to improve for the experience and should take all the beating next time out. With the ground firming up due to the heatwave, Kevin selected the Tapeta as it works the opposite way around. Heat means it rides slower, something that could be more beneficial to a big horse like Revision.
Sent off the 10/11 fav, it was clear that he was the one to beat. Although confidence was high, they are very inexperienced horses so that always has to be taken into account. Jumping on terms, Kevin Stott just allowed him to find his rhythm which Revision did to sit on the leader’s heels. They edged from the centre just nearer to the stands side.
Revision travelled well through the first half of the race. Kevin rode like he was on the best horse in the race and looked to keep everything simple. The pace quickened up over 2f from home and this was where Kevin decided which way he was to go. Simplicity at the core, he just edged out towards the centre of the track, giving him clear daylight. Revision quickened up to challenge for the lead, with no rival hampering his run.
Moving into the final furlong Revision had the lead. Now clear he looked to stride out to the line. Now he had nothing to run with and just began to edge right towards the stands side rail. Initially it looked like he had put the race to bed but a newcomer was finishing fast. It looked as though Revision was in a little bit of trouble for a second but he was always doing enough. Kevin just got a little more serious, educating his mount for the future. Revision had his head to the ground and galloped all the way to the line to secure a win by a head.
Revision possibly didn’t gain the winning margin most would have thought but he can be marked up for this win. He travelled with ease and quickened up when asked. Revision kicked clear which probably took him by surprise a little. Once he hit the front he thought the job was done and showed greeness. He is a lovely horse with scope to continue improving. Holding an entry in the DBS Sales trace, this could be a big option for him moving forward.