Global Weekly Review - 18.07.16
Andre Fabre is renowned for his skill and patience with talented young horses, so it is fascinating to watch the current work in progress on two Godolphin colts from his stable with similar ambition.
On a weekend in which Godolphin enjoyed 10 wins worldwide, the success of Ancient History in Sunday's Prix Motrico, a small conditions race for three-year-olds at Maisons-Laffitte, Paris, was perhaps the most significant.
This Shamardal colt had greatly impressed Fabre at home earlier in the season, and big things were expected when he made his racecourse debut at Saint-Cloud in May.
As often happens in racing, the colt did not excel on the day and finished third. Next time out, he went to a small maiden at Compiegne, where again he failed to live up to expectations, this time coming in a disappointing eighth.
But Sunday saw a very much improved performance when Ancient History galloped home an easy winner by four and a half lengths under Vincent Cheminaud, to beat Bronze Swan, with a length and a half back to Pirate's Cove, another Godolphin runner.
The penny had finally dropped. Coming back to one mile seemed to have suited him. Now on the winning trail, better still can be expected from this likeable colt.
While G1 aspirations are held for Ancient History long term, Ultra had already become a member of that elite club when landing the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp last October.
Fabre had warned he would need the outing when reappearing for the first time in over nine months, in Sunday's G2 Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte. Indeed he did, but in a messy race, tactically, he finished an honourable second to Heshem.
The main protagonists were on opposite sides of the straight 2,000m track, making it hard for any identifiable rhythm to develop. In the circumstances, Ultra did very well.
"I thought he would need it, and he will come on a lot for that," Fabre said. Some juicy G1 targets await the colt in the second half of the season, now that he is back on the racecourse.
In the UK, Godolphin sent out several important runners, but the one who caught the eye was Scottish, who made all in the Listed Steventon Stakes, over a mile and a quarter, at Newbury.
This Teofilo colt is being prepared for a trip to Australia later in his career. His liking for fast ground, and an ability to quicken, makes him an ideal type for Down Under.