Delegator will spearhead Godolphin's raiding party for next month's Breeders' Cup in Kentucky, despite playing his part in a Champions Day that Sheikh Mohammed's international organisation will want to forget.
Frankie Dettori, Godolphin's jockey, went into yesterday's Newmarket meeting hoping to enjoy a first victory in either the Dewhurst Stakes or Champion Stakes but rain-softened ground proved a hindrance to his well-fancied mounts, Saamidd and Poet's Voice, who both completely failed to fire and trailed home well beaten.
Delegator, the favourite in the Challenge Stakes, did at least fare better in finishing fourth behind Red Jazz and his performance deserves upgrading for the fact that he was not drawn as close to the favoured stands' rail as those who finished in front of him.
Godolphin's racing manager, Simon Crisford, confirmed that the colt would be aimed at the Breeders' Cup Mile, a race in which he finished a close-up fifth behind Goldikova last year. "He got isolated out in the middle of the course and we didn't see the best of him but the Breeders' Cup remains the target," said Crisford. "He's a fresh horse as he's had plenty of time off through no fault of his own and top of the ground is what he wants, which he clearly didn't get at Newmarket."
Biondetti, the winner of the Critérium de Saint-Cloud last weekend, is also on course to travel from Newmarket for the Breeders' Cup with the Juvenile Turf pencilled in as the unbeaten colt's target, while the team for the meeting will be supplemented by other Godolphin horses trained in the United States.
Crisford also confirmed that both Saamidd and Poet's Voice will travel to Dubai in the coming weeks to spend the winter there. "Saamidd obviously didn't run any sort of a race but we knew when we saw the track that, after the overnight rain and the early-morning rain, we were going to be struggling," he said. "He had worked on that kind of ground at home before and hadn't acted on it. I don't want to go down the 'if' road as to whether he should have run but we took our chance, we chose to run him and it didn't work out.
"You can't fault the winner [Frankel]. It was a great performance by him, as good as you will see. But that wasn't the real Saamidd. Poet's Voice wasn't suited by the slow pace in the Champion Stakes and was too headstrong to give himself any chance of staying the trip. He stays in training next year too."
Also licking his wounds today was David Simcock, whose Dream Ahead fared little better than Saamidd in the Dewhurst, rolling left and right when asked to quicken going into the Dip. "In hindsight he was trying to do what no other horse had done – to win the Prix Morny, Middle Park and the Dewhurst," said Simcock. "He didn't give his running. When he was let down, he was all at sea and he finished very tired."