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Foad Opens Account Determinedly

Sun 11 August 2019

The Kodiac two-year-old Foad got off the mark at Lingfield yesterday evening in the six-furlong nursery, a victory that was greeted by a mixture of joy and relief. Having endured a difficult start to the month of August, featuring a series of unexpectedly poor performances, it was a thrill for the whole team to register our 21st victory of the season. It was our first success of the calendar month and, most notably, the first triumph from our current crop of juveniles. Hopefully it is a portent of a strong end to the season from the La Grange youngsters.

Foad was a 125,000gns yearling purchase out of the multiple sprint winner Slatey Hen, who had previously produced the dual sprinter winner (including at two years) Gold Stone. Such credentials on the distaff side, allied to the influence of his record-breaking sire Kodiac, brought Foad to the front of the two-year-old pack early on, and he was the most forward of our 2019 crop. 

He made his debut at Leicester in early April, where he finished a highly encouraging fifth and it looked at that point as though a victory of his own would be a mere formality. We were perhaps fooled by that race however as, apart from the winner following up next time out, the only winner to have emerged from the race is Foad himself.

So it was that Foad went to Nottingham and Haydock on his next two starts and proved a bitter disappointment on both occasions, trailing home a well-beaten sixth of seven and eighth of ten respectively. These tame efforts left us trying to instil a bit more fire into Foad’s belly, and a recent gallop in blinkers gave a little hope that headgear might just make the difference. We thought they might be worth chancing at Lingfield, where he would get to race in handicap company for the first time from a basement rating of 59.

Reunited with Jim Crowley, Foad broke sharply from the stalls and raced handily for the duration. Travelling strongly into the lead two furlongs out, Jim could be seen looking to his left and he realised that this was the moment to make a decisive move. Foad was motivated into top gear and a  couple of taps with the whip saw him burn off the majority of his rivals. Come On Girl, however, positioned in centre track, went with Foad and the pair set down for a tremendous scrap inside the furlong. There was every opportunity for Foad to duck the issue, and indeed at what point he seemed sure to be edged out of things, but he stuck his next out in the final drive for the line and took the honours by a head.

Having started winning from just 59, it is hoped that there is more to come from Foad. We must not get ahead of ourselves, as this was clearly an ordinary race, but it is great to get the juveniles going, and our Muhaarar colt Red For All also showed abundant promise in the novice earlier on the card. Let’s hope that this was a portent for things to come.

We send our warmest congratulations to Foad’s loyal owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and all his team at Shadwell, and thank all the staff in the yard for their perseverance and continued efforts during this exceptionally busy part of the season.

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