Pity. The news that So You Think is out due to lameness is a real shame.
This is still the first chance to measure the classic crop against the older ones and with the class of the older ones no longer being led by So You Think it falls to Cityscape to provide the benchmark against which the younger horses will be tested. Rodger Charlton’s colt was given a cracking ride by James Doyle to win the Dubai Duty Free over a furlong shorter than he’ll encounter here by 4 1/4 L. He previously went down a neck in the Hong Kong Mile in December but after Meyden a trip back to Sha Tin for the Champions Mile in May drew a blank when finishing tenth from a bad draw ( boxed in with too much to do when clear).
One older horse stands his ground, the seven year old Twice Over. A previous winner of this when a five year old and though recent form suggests he retains his enthusiasm its hard to see he wouldn’t be vulnerable to younger legs.
Only one five year old contests, the Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso. He sprang a surprise at Meyden where like Cityscape he was given the a fine ride by Mickael Barzalona, albeit having been given the run of the race. He won off a slow pace however it is worth noting he had So You Think back in fourth.
Of the four year olds Crackerjack King, Farhh, Nathaniel and the mare Giofra, Farhh must be considered the best chance. He put up an eye catching performance in the Prince Of Wales when a running on third to So You Think. He’s only had four runs, three which he won (all minor events) so Godolphin pulses will be racing in the lead up to this. The team have been wishing the rains to come for him all week and with the ground good or firm in places their hopes may be dashed by the sun.
Nathaniel has been attracting the cash all week and its easy to understand why. John Gosden has been banging in the winners left, right and centre and although this is his first time out this season he showed some seriously top class form as a three year old winning the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot and then the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth again at Ascot, both over a mile and a half.
The classic generation depends on Bonfire. It didn’t happen in the Derby and Andrew Balding asks us to forgive it. This we must do. His run at Epsom was out of kilter with what he has achieved and time and patience will see him right.
So You Think was to come here off the back of his best performance in the northern hemisphere. Aidan O’Brien believed he’d finally got him right (letting him use his own natural speed) the last day at Ascot in the Prince Of Wales. He showed himself a proper horse in defeating Carlton House by 2 1/4 l posting a time of 1.74 seconds inside standard with both City Style and Sir Putra 5 L and 4 1/4L in arrears. There was no denying the superiority of the Antipodean and we saw something to match the hype that arrived with him when he first came north. Ten Group 1’s , five in each hemisphere, and seven of them over 10 f are testament to this five year old’s abilities.
We didn’t appreciate him enough while he was here. Injury has robbed us of the last hurrah. The winner here will no doubt be good but the question will always remain if the benchmark had been So You Think.
In what now an open contest it’s up to Nathaniel to set the new mark.
Recommendation : Nathaniel 100/30 win