First Win Of 2024 Is A Thriller
2023 was a fine year with 57 winners, a Group 1 win and the highest tally of prize money in a British season. Whilst those stats are nice to see, this sport never stops and as the New Year ticks over to 2024 everything returns to zero. True Promise ensured that this figure would not be there for long as he made a winning debut at Newcastle, taking the 6f BetUK. It’s Where The UK Bets Restricted Novice Stakes.
True Promise didn’t make the track as a 2yo, just needing the time to fill into his frame. The son of Washington DC had always looked like a big powerful horse but it was clear that he would require the time to carry his physique.
When patience has been the way forward, the all-weather offers a good route when the turf season becomes tough going with weather or finishes altogether. True Promise headed to Newcastle just after his racing age turned to 3yo. Shane Gray was booked for the ride as the pair lined up against 11 rivals.
Dwelling at the start, True Promise raced in mid field through the early stages. With experience to the fore, there was a decent pace on up front. Shane gave his mount time to find his feet and get into a nice rhythm. Settled in behind, the chestnut travelled well through the first half of the race.
Passing the halfway marker there was an increase inlace form the front runners and this very quickly split the field. Some of the outsiders really began to struggle whilst a few more were beginning to toil. True Promise was between the two but still travelling well. Shane just began to niggle away to get his mount lengthening. As they moved towards the 2f marker True Promise made some headway, switching to his left to gain a clear run.
With rivals dropping away and a gaping hole opening up, True Promise burst through and swept to the front. Full of momentum, it seemed that the win was clearly his to take. His rival proved a tough nut to crack but also True Promise showed his inexperience. Just showing a bit of greeness he didn’t quite go through with his effort initially, not 100% sure on what to do. This is where Shane got lower in the saddle and really helped to educate the 3yo. Grasping what was being asked of him, True Promise stuck to the task at hand and reeled in his rival. It was head to head all the way o the line as the pair flashed past the post together. It looked very close and the judges didn’t need long to call the result as a dead heat.
It was fantastic to see True Promise make a wining debut especially for the Matthews family who have had to wait to see their gelding take to the track. There were distinct signs of inexperience, which was to be expected, but he showed a very willing attitude throughout. He will have learnt a lot from the experience and will improve for the run. True Promise will likely stay in the novice division and a similar race should be well in his grasp next time out.