RACING: Colt Has Sights Set on Derby Record

Article excerpt

Racing fans cry "wonder horse" so regularly that the claim must always be treated with care, but in Celtic Swing we may have found the most talented performer since Dancing Brave, perhaps even since Brigadier Gerard.

Celtic Swing, a two-year-old trained at Arundel by Lady Herries, won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October by 12 lengths, an unheard of margin in a top-class event.

The most significant verdict on the performance came from the mathematicians with stopwatches who analyse race-times, all of whom agreed that Celtic Swing's victory was the finest by a two-year-old for many years.

His reappearance at the start of his Classic season, expected to be in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket on 20 April, may overshadow even the Cheltenham Festival as the most significant date in the first half of the year.

Assuming, of course, that he gets that far. Other brilliant two- year-olds have failed to show equivalent form at three, because of injury or a failure to develop as swiftly as their peers. Though they weigh half a ton, horses are remarkably delicate athletes, and Celtic Swing has already suffered from splints in his legs, a sign that they are under stress. His engine is clearly superb. The most important question of 1995 will be whether he has the chassis to match. …