Good day HRN readers. Well I was planning on doing a preview
on the up and coming Pennsylvania Derby, but in the middle of writing I got a
call from Godolphin’s
Racing Manager Simon Crisford.
I had sent some
interview questions in via e-mail, so to get the call was definitely a very
good, but unexpected surprise. However, as a writer we are expected to go with
the flow of things and that is precisely what I did.
During the interview I asked several questions regarding
this weekend’s Cotillion
and Pennsylvania Derby
, along with some questions
pointed towards any Breeders Cup plans.
On the subject of this weekend’s happenings at Parx
, I asked
him one of the main questions that is on everyone’s mind…Can Questing
run as effectively outside New York as they do in-state? His answer, summed-up,
is you don’t know until you run. He noted that the main reason they have stayed
in New York is not because their horses take to the surface better than others,
but because that is where the best racing was. “The Travers is the Travers and
the Alabama is the Alabama,” said Crisford, emphasizing the importance of those
On Questing he didn’t quite say whether he believed the
distance was a concern or not, but he did note how hard it was for a horse to
put together back to back big performances. Questing has put together three top
performances, termed by Crisford as “Wow, wow, wow.” For a horse to do that,
and to do it at three different distances is no easy feat. Now, they are just
hoping that she can continue to carry that form into the Cotillion.
On the issue of weight, yes, Crisford does believe the
seven pounds makes a difference. My Miss Aurelia
is an unbeaten champion, whom
Crisford and Godolphin have the ultimate respect for. “You cannont dismiss the
quality of an unbeaten champion,” says Crisford, “You wouldn’t believe a
champion would get seven pounds from her own age group or gender, but those are
how the conditions are written.” Crisford says they know it would be a
challenge, but have chosen to accept the challenge.
In the Pennsylvania Derby, when asked on who he believed would provide them with the stiffest challenge, Crisford noted that while not a lot
separated Golden Ticket
from Alpha, the horse he believes should bear watching
is Macho Macho
. Crisford termed him as "dangerous" and had this to say about the
Steve Assmussen trainee, “You can pick through and see that he is the horse to
watch.” However, he believes if Alpha is able to carry the progression that we
have witnessed from the Jim Dandy to the Travers into this weekend’s race he
will be very competitive.
After talking about Parx, and discussing the elements and
expectations of those races, it was only natural for the conversation to progress to the Breeders Cup. Some stables like to head out to the track where
the event is held, believing that it helps acclimate their horses. That will
not be the case with Godolphin, “They will stay in New York longer, before
shipping,” said Crisford who also said they would not breeze after they arrive at
Outside of Godolphin’s main two we discussed some of the
other Breeders Cup contenders and what they brought to the table. “They all
have different elements,” said Crisford, saying that It’s Tricky
was a very
tough mare who “shows up every day.” On that subject, the next day we should
see It's Tricky resurface is the Beldame at Belmont Park.
, Godolphin's Juvenile hope, was also discussed. Crisford believes the colt received
a lot of experience from the Hopeful. “He got a good education from the
Hopeful. He was down inside and had a lot of dirt in his face.” Heading into
the Champagne Crisford believes the Hopeful experience and the added distance will only move his colt up.
My last question for Mr. Crisford was who we might be seeing
back in 2013. The only definite he could give me was Fortify. The others will
finish the season and await Sheikh Mohammed and his evaluation.
On a side note, I would just like to wish Godolphin good
luck in the upcoming weeks, and in the Breeders Cup. Also, I would like to thank
Simon Crisford, it was a pleasure getting to interview you, sir.