Agreed, if all of the top players actually show up at Goodwood? As I'm sure you know mate, it's one thing to have the entry but another to actually show up and run. Now that they've decided to bypass the Derby at Epsom and point The Gurkha to Ascot for the St James's Palace Stakes, that's another race that's shaping up to potentially be a barn burner next month too.
A clip of the Racing Post talking with Coolmore's UK representative, Kevin Buckley, about the upcoming G1 Investec Derby at Espom. According to Buckley in this clip, likely Coolmore starters at Epsom are: US Army Ranger, Port Douglas, Deauville, & Idaho. The Gurkha, who was a recent very impressive winner of French 2000 Guineas at Deauville, is said by Buckley to now being pointed at Royal-Ascot for the G1 St James's Palace Stakes instead of to the Derby at Epsom.
A second score in as many days for Japanese based horses in France, as A Shin Erwin follows up on A Shin Hikari's impressive G1 Prix d'Ispahan victory yesterday at Chantilly with a win of his own in the listed Prix de Montretout at Maisons-Laffitte. He's also being pointed toward Royal-Ascot with an entry in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes on opening day of the royal meeting.
From this morning's Racing Post.com web-site: Classic winners Galileo Gold, The Gurkha, Awtaad, Minding, and Jet Setting, along with US star Tepin, Meydan G1 winner Tryster, and G1 Lockinge Stakes winner Belardo are among 50 horses pre-entered for this year's G1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in late July.
In his last 2 starts, A Shin Hikari couldn't have been more impressive if was Winged Pegasus himself. First, he travels to Sha Tin and from gate to wire just about galloped the field bowlegged in winning the G1 Hong Kong Cup. Then he travels to France and completely annihilates the G1 Prix d'Ispahan field by 10+ lengths, on heavy ground no less, against a field that included the likes of New Bay, Dariyan, Erupt, Vadamos, Mondialiste, Silverwave, My Dream Boat, & Wild Chief. Look out Royal-Ascot, because this horse is 100% for real.
New Bay, Mondialiste, Dariyan, & Vadamos I know for sure were all horses who came into this race having won before on soft or heavy ground.
Late last night I was watching the replay of the Hong Kong Cup and thinking what a strong galloping horse A Shin Hikari is. He ran the 2000m at Sha Tin like he was out for a morning exercise cantor and just about ran that field bowlegged. At some point before he leaves Europe, I'd personally love to see them go up in trip to 2400m with him. I think he'd get the distance standing on his head.
That was one bad a-s performance, and this wasn't by any means a lightweight field either. Looks like the ground isn't gonna be an issue for A Shin Hikari at all. He goes well on firm, good, or heavy ground. Surely he'll be a heavy favorite now to win the Prince of Wales's Stakes next month off the back of this performance?
@Icelocks, Agreed in that I'm certainly not taking a thing away from Nyquist. Every time that Nyquist and Exaggerator have come up against each other there's been little between them, and this may be a case of not as much Desormeaux's brilliance as much as Exaggerator just being the better of the 2 horses on a sloppy racetrack, IMO. Although, I would add in regard to Nyquist's jockey Mario Gutierrez that bolting out of the starting gate and running 22 second quarters on that kind of racetrack, which is very taxing on a horse, probably wasn't the smartest decision unless you're absolutely 100% convinced that your horse could run the Ascot Gold Cup trip of 2-1/2 miles without issue. Just sayin.....
Even without Solow, who began his European campaign in this race a year ago, still what a cracking good renewal of the G1 Prix d'Ispahan has lined up in 2016. Entered are the likes of last year's Prix du Jockey Club & Prix Niel winner and Arc 3rd New Bay, recent Prix Ganay winner Dariyan, recent Prix du Muguet winner Vadamos, Hong Kong Cup winner A Shin Hikari, last year's Grand Prix de Paris & Prix du Lys winner Erupt, last year's Woodbine Mile winner and Breeders Cup Mile 2nd Mondialiste, and recent Gordon Richards Stakes winner My Dream Boat are all entered to go in the Ispahan on Tuesday at Chantilly.
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