Caravaggio winning the Coventry Stakes last year. Picture courtesy of Getty Images and Julian Herbert.
Caravaggio comes here looking to extend his unbeaten run to six.
His introduction to the racecourse was at Dundalk last year where you could see immediately he was something special. He followed up in the Marble Hill Stakes before coming to prominence when winning the Coventry Stakes here last year.
We only saw him once again as a juvenile when he took the G1 Keenland Stakes where he was returned as the 1/8F. That was his best performance to date. He glided across the ground winning effortlessly. A set back meant the end of his season and we had to wait until this year to see him again.
That came in the Lacken Stakes at Naas a month ago. Again he was imperious. When Ryan Moore pulled him out and asked him to quicken his trust of speed was immediate and in a matter of strides it was over and the job of pulling him up had begun.
He’s all speed inherited from his father Scat Daddy who himself was a son of Johannesburg, a very quick two-year old for Aidan O’Brien in the early noughties.
Two very good English horses oppose him in Harry Angel and Blue Point.
Harry Angel trained by Clive Cox, who won the Queen Mary yesterday, has been purchased by Godolphin and will wear the blue cap. He has mixed his four runs with two wins and two seconds. First time out last year at Ascot he was beaten a nose. Then he was thrown into the deep end for the G2 Mill Reef Stakes where he duly obliged by a cosy 2 1/2 L.
Godolphin also own Blue Point. He’s more experienced than the other two, this will be his eighth start. He’s won four including last years G2 Gimcrack Stakes. He was beaten by The Last Lion when stepped up to G1 level in the Middle Park Stakes and again in the Dewhurst when he was third to Churchill. After that the sprinting route looked the more likely option.
His return to the track came back here at Ascot in May for the Pavillion Stakes. He went off favourite and he got the better of Harry Angel easily. That was Harry Angel’s second defeat. He returned to the winners enclosure next time out in the G2 Sandy Lane Stakes where he was a very easy winner.
There’s also another unknown quantity in the race, Wesley Ward’s Bound For Nowhere. He’s had two runs at home in America, the first at Turfway Park where he was an easy winner and the second in an allowance race at Keenland where again he did it easy. There’s no telling how good the form is but he won pillar to post so you can expect him to break quick today.
The fact that the challenge from the Godolphin pair is so good means Carraviggo is a reasonable price at a shade of odds on. He could be exceptional even by Ballydoyle standards.
Naas racecourse will be very happy if Alpha Centauri trained by Jessica Harrington does the business in the Albany. She’s won both her races there. She put in a cracking trial at listed level the same day Caravaggio won and she’s a worthy favourite in the opening contest, the Albany.
The Commonwealth Cup : Caravaggio 10/11 win
The Albany Stakes: Alpha Centauri 11/4 win
Double on both