Inisherin “He’s A Machine”

It is not very often when you have a well fancied runner in a Group 1, never mind a favourite. Inisherin announced himself a Royal Ascot contender when taking the Sandy Lane stakes but heading into the meeting he was seen as one of the bankers but many. The colt was a hot favourite for the Group 1 6f Commonwealth Cup and blew his rivals away with a performance that may have him as the top sprinter in Britain.

Inisherin has slowly been building up a reputation as a high class horse. Although connections always felt he was a classy individual, it has been his progression on the track which has captured the racing community. Many were taken by his maiden success at Newcastle, more were impressed by his performance in the 2000 Guineas but it was the Sandy Lane route that really catapulted Inisherin into a potential star. Following that performance he was installed as the Commonwealth Cup favourite despite needing to be supplemented.

The Commonwealth Cup did lose a couple of the leading contenders in the run up to the meeting. This strengthened Inisherin’s position at the head of the market but he was still up against some leading 3yo sprinter and would need to prove himself as affective under different conditions. With Ascot being baked in sunshine all week, Inisherin would be tackling good to firm ground. Also the atmosphere at Royal Ascot is something totally different to any other meeting, which can be a test for any horse.

Tom Eaves retained the ride on the 3yo and looked to keep things very simple from the off. Although he had made all last time out, the plan was to take a lead, although he never wanted to break the colt’s stride. Thankfully a few rivals jumped away smartly and Inisherin was able to to track the pace on the far side of the group. It was a nice gallop set which allowed Inisherin to stride outs they raced down the centre of the track.

By the time they reached halfway, Inisherin had cruised up to press the lead. Having done so easily, Tom had a double handful and was waiting on his rivals. He was trying to take a lead for as long as possible but one by one his rivals were coming under pressure. The race looked to be developing towards the middle of the track, with Inisherin and second fav Jasour both travelling powerfully.

Moving inside the 2f pole Inisherin had moved to the fore, still hard on the bridle. Tom was now stuck with a decision, should he wait or should he commit. Looking around there was nothing able to take him any further and so Tom committed to his challenge. Winding up his mount and getting him to stretch, Tom now went for home. Inisherin began to lengthen and quickly hit the front, looking to kick clear of the rest.

Between the 2f and 1f marker, Inisherin moved through the gears but the race was far from over. Jason was coming from the rear to lay down a challenge and followed the fav through to look like a daunting rival. It was at the 1f pole where Tom now got into his full drive and it was this point where Inisherin got into full flow. With the lead minimised, to just around a length, the final furlong is where Inisherin showed his class. Now hitting top gear the colt began to stride away. Pulling further and further away, the final 1/2f was Inisherin stamping his authority, taking the Group 1 contest by a comfortable 2 1/4 lengths.

This was the performance which everyone was hoping to see from Inisherin, dominant and proving that he could be the next sprinting star. He proved that he can do it on faster ground and on a totally different type of track. Watching the race was comfortable viewing with no real worries at any point in the race. He travelled supremely well and quickened a couple of times to assert his dominance. Tom was trying to keep hold for as long as possible but there was nothing able to take him any further. This was only the second run over 6f so there could still be improvement to come, with Inisherin only just learning how to sprint. Not only was this a great result for the yard but it was important for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. The owner bred Inisherin who is from the family of Reem Three. Not only that but he is the son of the late Shamardal, of which he is the final crop. Inisherin has announced himself now and the top sprints will be in line for the 3yo.

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