Improving Dajraan Impresses Again
Maturity can help in so many ways. Physically a horse may need to strengthen into their frame. Or it can be mentally where they learn to race correctly and allow their potential to come through. Dajraan could probably fit into both of those categories and he has thrived over the last couple of months, most recently winning for the second time at Leicester in the 7f williamhill.com Best Odds Guaranteed Handicap.
Having arrived at Hambleton Lodge late last year, with one run already under his belt, the home bred son of Frankel certainly struck you as an imposing physical. It wasn’t long before he made his stable debut, finishing fourth in a decent novice at Redcar. Although he would have a short break, Dajraan was ready early this year and it meant he would return on the AW at Newcastle. Again running over 6f he ran a big race to chase home Dragon Symbol, a horse who has gone on to be a Group 1 performer and is now rated 116.
Each run had been a step in the right direction but then a speed bump halted that. Rated 66 he headed to Southwell and ran way below par, trying 7f for the first time. Reverting back to 6f for his next run he then raced far too keenly, again disappointing. He was surely better than his mark but he had yet to learn how to harness his ability and race properly.
Stepping back up to 7f next time out, he went to Redcar and was a lot more professional in the pre-lims. Taking control of the race he romped home in the handicap to secure a first career win by 8 1/2 lengths although it could easily have been double that. Rightly so the handicapper was taking bio chances with the gelding and lumped 12lb on to his mark. It was deserved and he did very well in trying to defy this when again attempting to dominate next time out at Leicester, getting collared late on.
Those two runs had seen his handicap mark soar to new high of 80, something which would surely test Dajraan and really find out just how far he could go. Given a little time between runs he would return to Leicester to tackle a similar race once again. Lining up against 5 rivals he would have top weight to tackle this time as the joint highest rated rival in the field. Kevin Stott was on board looking to make amends for the last defeat and he had not been perturbed in his way of riding the 3yo.
Bounced out from stall 6, Dajraan was immediately to the fore as he led the field towards the stands side. His rivals were happy to let Stott set the tempo as they filed in behind and raced in his slipstream. It was a nice even gallop as all seemed happy with how the race had set up thus far. It was the first time that Dajraan had faced soft ground this year but he looked to travel smoothly through the first half of the race and conditions were of no hindrance.
Kevin had let his mount stride on up to the 3f but always had just enough rein to ensure Dajraan was never going to do too much. Dajraan was showing his new maturity and raced in a lovely rhythm throughout. By the time they headed into the second half of the race he held a good 1 1/2 length advantage. Sensing this, Kevin just loosened the reins and Dajraan took the hint, lengthening out and moving away from the field. Whether it caught them by surprise or whether they just couldn’t match the leader, Dajraan easily opened up a bigger lead. Suddenly and with ease, Dajraan had trebled his advantage and this move had his rivals at it, trying hard to cover him.
Kevin had made a race winning move but it was a fine balance of judging when to go for his mount. Passing the 2f pole with a comfortable lead, Stotty began to get lower and work on Dajraan. The colt responded and maintained his forward momentum, keeping his rivals at bay without stretching the lead. He did have a little wander in front and the margin closed a little but Kevin was quick to adjust. Grabbing a tighter hold of Dajraan and a couple of reminders, Kevin ensured he stayed concentrated on the task at hand. In fairness to Dajraan he picked up the instructions, changed his lead and kicked on once more. This time the gap increased rapidly and he had put the final nail in the coffin. Recording another comfortable victory with an all the way 2 3/4 length win.
Dajraan is rapidly improving and has really learnt how to race properly now. This has helped him thrive and there is no telling how far he can go. Bred and owned by Emirates Park he has top class pedigree and looks to be one who can continue his rise up the ranks. With the powerful way he travels and quickens up there is no doubt he will stay a bit further. Whatever the handicapper decides to do will dictate where he goes next but it will be exciting to see him once again.