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Prixdelahorse Tracker - Keran

Keran winning at Cagnes-Sur-Mer last weekend

At this time of year, it can be very easy to forget that there is more to the world of Horse Racing than just the Cheltenham festival. It’s hard not to get caught up in Cheltenham fever and the fact that I prefer to avoid race meetings that are run on Heavy ground hasn’t helped this year. Beginning at Cagnes-Sur-Mer and now continuing at Pau, we have had a seemingly endless routine of heavy rainfall and ground that is described as the dreaded Collant or Lourd. I continue to watch, hand-time and analyze these races as much as any other meeting, but I decided some time ago not to get involved financially on Heavy ground as I think the going and how a horse will handle it has a greater influence on a result than the formbook.


The exception to this is the Racing on the All-Weather and with the unique style of the French Calendar, we get some good quality racing at this time of year down at Cagnes-Sur-Mer. It may be too early to form a strong opinion and the fact that the likes of Jean-Claude Rouget and Jerome Reynier target this meeting at a time when Andre Fabre hasn’t had a runner for 3-weeks can detract from its appeal. However, it has produced some top-class horses in recent years, most notably last year’s superstar 3-year-old Ace Impact and last weekend, for the first time this year, I saw a performance that made me think that I could have just seen a Classic contender.


Keran is a son of Blue Point out of the Listed winner Kerasona (Oasis Dream) and he descends from a well-established Aga Khan bred family. He slipped slightly under the radar last year, primarily because he was missing for 6-months after making a winning debut at Tarbes in April. Presumably he missed that spell due to a setback, but he returned in October to finish 2-lengths behind the unbeaten and extremely talented Tomakay and as a result he was a well backed 1.5 on the PMU to win on Sunday. If you took those short odds, which I must admit I did, you would have been alarmed to see Keran fall out of the stalls and veer to his right. He recovered when asked but found himself as much as 10-lengths behind the early pace and had to work to close back to the rest as they turned for home.


Having had such a difficult passage, it would have been easy to forgive Keran if he had finished tired, but once he came back on to the bridle, he swiftly circled the field and powered away to win by 4-lengths with the minimum of fuss. His closing sectionals of 11.16, 10.82 and 11.62s were incredible given the way this race panned out and would be enough on their own to point towards him being a pattern class perfomer. The horses who chased him home, Nova Ken and Daiquiberry are fair horses with ratings in the high 30s (that would be equivalent to 85-90 in the UK) and so if he is a pattern horse or better, he was entitled to win this with ease. It was the manner of the win, not the bare result, which impressed me most and I was pleased to see him given an early entry for the French 2,000 Guineas this week after this performance. Is he good enough to win that race? I can’t be sure at this stage, but this was the first time that I have seen a horse in 2024 who could be a contender and that made Keran worth highlighting.

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