Global Weekly Preview - 15.04.16
As if it wasn't hard enough to weigh up the flimsy offerings being passed off as British Classic clues, now soft and heavy ground have intervened to make assessments even more difficult.
Anybody, who was on Newmarket's Rowley Mile on Thursday, witnessed conditions late in the afternoon more akin to jump racing in deep winter.
They also heard a crack of thunder that had the audible impact of an Exocet hitting the grandstand. It blew out transmission on most CCTV monitors on course and rendered the course commentator silent (due to technical problems).
Godolphin colours were carried to victory by the John Gosden-trained Linguistic, whose win in the Tattersalls Millions netted the Royal Blues a juicy prizemoney boost early in the season.
The Lope De Vega colt had earlier been pinpointed by Gosden as a horse to follow from the squad of 40 he trains for Godolphin this season. The G2 Dante Stakes at York is the colt's next assignment and it should give a clue as to whether he can measure up to Classic standard.
Linguistic ran the mile and a quarter right out, which is understandable as he is out of a mare by Montjeu, who has been such a classy influence for stamina in the past decade.
The heavy rain had not arrived at that stage, but it certainly had by the time the Ed Walker-trained Stormy Antarctic lifted the G3 Craven Stakes in ground very much on the soft side.
It was hard work in the ground for Godolphin's Very Talented, and jockey James Doyle was not going to undo the good preparatory work put in by giving him a hard race in those conditions. He should be given another chance.
On Saturday at Newbury, trainer Richard Hannon is cautiously optimistic that Godolphin's Log Out Island can win the G3 Greenham Stakes in which the colt faces four rivals.
The possible snag is that he will be attempting seven furlongs for the first time -- on ground expected to be heavy.
Hannon is clearly placing great faith in Log Out Island's good second over 5f in 'heavy' at Deauville last August. He had earlier finished 2nd in the G2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, and later landed the big-moneyed Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy, over 6f at Redcar, both solid indicators of his class.
Gradually, the pieces threaten to fall into place, but patience is required.
In Australia, now that The Championships have concluded in Sydney, there are still high quality horses to be seen -- the most obvious being Godolphin's Old North, who runs in the G3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick on Saturday.
Old North has always been held in high regard by trainer John O'Shea and is expected to be a major player for Team Godolphin in the Spring.