Todays meeting at Pau was a mixed card and whilst the races over the Jumps might have been the main focus, the Flat races on the PSF look to be the above average ones based on the figures that they have produced. Top of the list is the winner of the 3-year-old Fillies Maiden, Tarob. Owned and bred by Al Shaqab racing, she is a daughter of Shalaa out of the Galileo Mare, Iltemas. Well-bred, she make a great impression on her debut when narrowly beaten by See the Dream here at the start of December and quickly built on that to win impressively today.
Having bounced out under Matthias Lauron, she quickly hit the front and was in command from the end of the first furlong, eventually kicking clear off the home bend to win going away by 5-lengths. The 2nd placed Jakima, although a frustrating sort, has some fair form of her own both for Andrew Balding and now Ludovic Gadbin, which gives some substance to this piece of form, but it is the time that is the most interesting point that I wish to make.
There is an issue with the times at Pau, namely that they are rounded up and often incorrect. Officially, she ran a time of 1:33.90. I can't work that out myself and having watched and hand timed it 3 times, I have it more like 1:34.85 for the mile today, but that figure is still exceptional. If my average time is correct, then this was the 8th fastest time for a horse over the 1,600-metres at Pau in the last 2 years, but the fastest by any horse to win a maiden and the fastest by any horse who made all of the running. This was an exceptional performance from such an inexperienced Filly and on this evidence alone, I would be happy to think that she could prove capable of making up into a pattern class performer. She was over 4-lengths faster than the Colts and Geldings maiden won by Coronoado over the same course and distance on the card today and he got a perfect tow into the contest. I have her producing a speed rating of 97, the fastest of any maiden winner so far in 2024 and to do this at Pau, an all-weather track that can be notoriously slow, is very impressive.
It remains to be seen whether her connections will keep her on the go for the PSF races this winter or whether they will elect to put her away for a turf campaign later in the year, but either way she has made a superb start to her career and both she and her conqueror from last time, See the Dream, have been upgraded in my notebook.