PLEDGE OF HONOUR, unseated when travelling well at Windsor a month ago, made amends in style at Newbury yesterday when winning stylishly under Liam Keniry at 13/2.
The 10 furlong handicap for 3yos and upwards rated 0-85 saw 12 go to post and the 4yo son of Shamardal was always handily placed and moved easily throughout the race.. After tracking the leaders, he led over a furlong out and although challenged strongly by Kattani inside the distance, Pledge Of Honour kept on well for a half length success over the runner-up. It was a further two lengths back to the third, the favourite, Inclyne.
This victory was no more than he deserved as prior to unseating his rider in his previous race, he had been placed on all four previous starts. Bred by Godolphin, he’s a full-brother or half-brother to three winners, one of whom, Lucida was also second in the English 1,000 Guineas while the dam is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup turf winner, English Channel. Unraced at two, he went through the sales ring at Ascot in March of last year for just £22,000 which is looking like money well spent by Dean Ivory.
Some of the stable’s older stars such as Tropics, Lancelot Du Lac and Librisa Breeze are in the twilight of their careers, so it’s always nice to have younger, progressive horses coming through to take their place. There looks to be plenty of scope for improvement in this lightly-raced 4yo gelding, so he could well shape up into a useful middle-distance handicapper for Harper Lodge Farm. Could Pledge Of Honour be another well-bred Godolphin “cast-off” to climb the ranks for the yard?
Yesterday’s win by follows Laurentia’s success the previous day and with Badenscoth winning nicely at Goodwood at the back end of August and other horses recently being placed, it seems the yard is hitting form after a sluggish summer. There should be more winners to come as we move into autumn and the latter stages of this year’s turf season.