SOFT Falling Rain was dealt his first defeat in Saturday’s Gr 2 Hungerford Stakes over 1400m at Newbury, beaten a length-and-a-half by Gregorian, but Mike de Kock said afterwards that the stable was delighted with the run.
Soft Falling Rain disputed the early lead and travelled well until he came under pressure with 300m to run, but he stayed on well late to run into second.
Soft Falling Rain (middle), stayed on well behind Gregorian. (racingpost.co.uk)
Mike commented: “He naturally needed the run after a 140-day lay-off and I think he ran a super race, he will improve a good bit with this run behind him. Gregorian is a good horse, he was beaten under two lengths in the Gr1 Queen Anne at Ascot and then had excuses when beaten in the Sussex Stakes.
“Soft Falling Rain is beginning to look more and more like a miler. This run proved to us that he is up to Gr1 level in the UK and it’s great for South African racing and breeding. We’ll discuss his next run with Sheikh Hamdan and Angus Gold. If all goes well he will run again in the UK this season.”
Paul Hanagan, rider of Soft Falling Rain, added: “I couldn’t blame the ground, he was beaten by a very good horse. I think he’ll be better with a bend. He’ll come on for this race.”