An intriguing inclusion. This seven-year-old finished runner-up in South Africa’s Sun Met, Africa’s richest race, in early 2018 before joining Sir Michael last September.
He was immediately pitched into a mile Listed race at Sandown where he was beaten just over six lengths by King Of Change. Two months’ later he ran in the same grade over half a mile further on the Kempton polytrack where he came home over 10 lengths adrift of Young Rascal.
It’s worth bearing in mind that he’d been off games for 600 days before these outings and it’s unlikely the trainer would persevere with a horse this age if he didn’t think he could work his magic.
Dream Of Dreams
Since being beaten a head by Blue Point in the top-class Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, this fellow has been disappointing.
His next effort in the July Cup at Newmarket saw a lacklustre 10th of 12, while he was also a no show in the Haydock Sprint Cup and Champions Sprint at Ascot – although those last two races were on soft ground.
He was gelded over the winter which may well assist his concentration and that effort behind Blue Point clearly shows that he’s capable of a group race win and perhaps a Group 1 victory if all of the cards fall right.
The Frankel colt went into many people’s notebooks when making a winning debut at Leicester last September. Despite a tardy start, pilot Ryan Moore hit the front over a furlong from home and ran on well to score by two and three-quarter lengths from Macho Boy.
The speed he exhibited that day indicates he could certainly start off in the Guineas over a mile, but he might well come into his own over further when the Derby at Epsom is likely to come into the equation.
He is also Stoute’s only entry in the Irish Derby.
Sir Michael is an expert at oozing out every ounce of ability from his older horses and while this fella isn’t the most unexposed in the world – having scooped the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot – he’ll have been kept in training to make him a winner at a higher level and hopefully in a Group 1.
It was interesting that the Royal extravaganza victory came on his first start over 10 furlongs and on soft ground, so those two factors obviously open a few more doors.
Races such as the Eclipse at Sandown and the Prince of Wales Stakes back at Royal Ascot, both over that 10-furlong trip, might interest the Suffolk sorcerer and it’s always nice to go back to the latter venue with an animal that has already proved his liking for the place.
This Deep Impact colt could be anything and is one of four horses that Sir Michael still has engaged in the Derby. He was sent off at long odds on his racecourse bow but belied them in fine style, winning a novice stakes at Kempton in October.
It’s a long way from that contest to the Derby, but it was the manner of the victory that was so impressive. He travelled sweetly throughout the contest under up-and-coming jockey Jason Watson, before hitting the front late on and scoring rather cosily.
That was over seven furlongs, but he’s bred for further. Although a win on the polytrack means it will have to be taken on trust whether he’ll handle the going on his first start on turf.
This five-year-old is a dual Group 3 winner and his trainer will be desperate for him to score in a higher grade this season. The latest of those Group 3 strikes came in the Strensall Stakes at York in August, when he was very game to hold off Bangkok. He then finished a quite well beaten third in the Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket a month later.
But, Sir Michael clearly has faith in his ability as he travelled him overseas last time for the top-class Hong Kong Mile in December, when he could only muster an eighth of 10. On the bright side he was only beaten four and a half lengths.
There should definitely be a Group 2 in this chap (only beaten in that class a nose at Ascot last July) and it’s very possible he’ll become a Group 1 winner given any improvement from four to five.
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