Elite Status powers clear at Sandown
Elite Status powers clear at Sandown

Timeform ratings analysis | Elite Status stars at Sandown

Elite Status' stunning five-length success in the National Stakes at Sandown on Thursday was the best performance by a two-year-old since...the six-furlong novice at Ripon on Sunday.

The praise becomes much more glowing, though, when you consider that the winner of that six-furlong novice at Ripon, Asadna, earned a timefigure of 109 which had been bettered by only one other juvenile before Royal Ascot in the last decade. That was Caravaggio (115) who went on to win the Coventry Stakes.

Asadna will try to emulate Caravaggio in the Coventry Stakes, though the Norfolk Stakes, over five furlongs, looks the most likely target for Elite Status who also clocked a timefigure of 109 in the National Stakes.

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A timefigure represents the time value of a single performance, whereas a Timeform form rating - which is on the same scale - is an assessment of the merit of a horse's form. Asadna and Elite Status both have a Timeform form rating of 109p and are at the head of the juvenile pecking order.

Elite Status has already run to a higher level than most Norfolk Stakes winners reach at Royal Ascot, so looks sure to take all the beating, for all Wesley Ward's American Rascal - a son of the top-class Lady Aurelia - was a wide-margin winner at Keeneland on debut and is a fascinating opponent.

The National Stakes was run at a strong pace, though the early tempo in the feature Brigadier Gerard Stakes was a slow one which resulted in the field covering the first six furlongs in a time around four seconds slower than the runners in the 0-75 handicap had done over the same course and distance.

It reflects well on Hukum and Desert Crown, therefore, that they were able to make up that deficit and ended up clocking a faster time than the winner of that opener.

Hukum, who was scoring for the first time at a mile and a quarter having largely been campaigned over further, coped surprisingly well with the test of speed and deserves extra credit for overcoming the trouble in running and pegging back Desert Crown after he had secured first run.

Desert Crown also emerges with credit, for all he lost his unbeaten record, and he could still do better after only four starts.

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