Godolphin Mile: Top stable double handed
by Geir Stabell (firstname.lastname@example.org) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2008-03-29 10:00:27 (First published: 2008-03-23 04:46:36 )
Nad Al Sheba Saturday: The ‘boys in blue’ will be sending out two runners in the first thoroughbred race on DWC night, as the evenly matched pair Elusive Warning, a North American import, goes with Blackat Blackitten, an English import, in the Godolphin Mile (G2).
Diamond Stripes, winner of the Meadowlands Cup (G3) last year, is joined from the USA by Barcola, while Hong Kong will be represented by Watch What Happens. That may be exactly what most punters will have to do, as predicting the outcome of this event is not so easy. One name does stick out though, so let’s see if we can get off to a flyer on the big day.
THE GODOLPHIN MILE (G2)
Nad Al Sheba 29 March 2008 – 1600 m. dirt
Horses presented with sires best Globeform
ratings achieved, and riders (1 length = 2lbs).
116 – DIAMOND STRIPES (Notebook) / E Prado
112 – ELUSIVE WARNING (Elusive Quality) + / K McEvoy
111 – BLACKAT BLACKITTEN (Inchinor) / L Dettori
110 – BARCOLA (Old Trieste) / G Gomez
108 – GOLDEN ARROW (Danehill) / M Kinane
108 – ZACOCITY (Precocity) / R Albarado
106 – BAHARAH (Elusive Quality) + / J Spencer
105 – GREEN COAST (Green Desert) / A Gryder
105 – WATCH WHAT HAPPENS (Stravinsky) D Beadman
103 – ROSBERG (A.P. Indy) / T O’Shea
102 – ALEUTIAN (Zafonic) / J Murtagh
102 – JET EXPRESS (Jet Master) R Ffrench
100 – BRAVE TIN SOLDIER (Storm Cat) / K Shea
..99 – HALKIN (Chester House) / W Smith
…? – DON RENATO (Edgy Diplomat) / W Ramos
Zakocity’s rating is best performance in the USA in 2005
Diamond Stripes, the best of the North American contenders for this race, was actually priced up at 8-1 for a short while last week, but in revised books he dropped to 7-2 and he is now best priced at 3-1 (VC Bet). The son of Notebook is the obvious choice, even against a pair of in-form Godolphin runners; Blackat Blackitten and Elusive Warning. They both go into this off solid efforts but neither has been in company even resembling what Diamond Stripes has been in – and run well in.
He was game and consistent last season, when he won the Meadowlands Cup (G3) and was a good third in the Clark Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs. He had also been third, albeit beaten 9 ½ lengths, behind Globeform’s top rated older horse Lawyer Ron in the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
All these three races were over 9 furlongs but Diamond Stripes is 2-for-2 over a mile, so the distance is not a problem. Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr, he has been aimed at this event all winter. His run at the Sunshine Millions back in January was simply too bad to be true. Forget that and judge him on last year’s form, and you will agree that he has an excellent chance in the Godolphin Mile.
Backing him at 3-1 could give us a good start to the day. And no, before you ask, I did not get any of that 8-1 either… missed it being too busy studying the Lincoln form, where my selection failed to make the cut!
Elusive Warning beat his stable companion Blackat Blackitten by half a length when they filled the first two places in the Burj Nahaar (G3) over this course and distance on Super Thursday. The World Cup contender Asiatic Boy was third, while other Godolphin Mile runners were further behind and well beaten; Halkin (4th), Jet Express (5th), Brave Tin Soldier (6th), Green Coast (7th) and Watch What Happens (10th) will find it difficult to get much closer to the paychecks here. Elusive Warning, who is 3-for-4 and won twice over 6 furlongs at Aqueduct last year, probably has more improvement in him and he looks the biggest danger to Diamond Stripes. He took the lead two furlongs out in the Burj Nahraar and ran on gamely. A running style that is not easy at this track, so it was an impressive performance.
Blackat Blackitten, a progressive handicapper for trainer Gerard Butler in England last year (who has Baharah here), had previously beaten Golden Arrow by ¾ length with Halkin third (also over a mile at this track) and, though the runner-up is now 3lbs better off at the weights (1,5kg) Blackat Blackitten is expected to be the best again. Golden Arrow has since been fifth in a Listed race (behind Third Set).
Barcola lost by a head when meeting the verteran Evening Attire in the Queen’s County Handicap (G3) over 9 furlongs at Aqueduct in New York in December. That form would not be good enough to win here, but Barcola was not quite at his best that day and on previous form he has a chance. He was an easy winner of a minor stakes race at Delaware Park back in September, again tackling 9 furlongs but Barcola had also won a similar event over a mile at that venue in the summer, and this drop in distance may not be a problem for him. He has top jockey Garrett Gomez on board, which is a big plus.
Diamond Stripes is the only horse with proven form in decent G2 company, he has even done well in G1 company, and he is impossible to oppose.
A: 8 DIAMOND STRIPES
B: 2 BLACKAT BLACKITTEN, 13 ELUSIVE WARNING
C: 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15
8 Diamond Stripes
A: 8 with 2, 13 (2)
B: 2, 13 with 8 (2)
A: 8 with 2, 13 with 2, 13 (2)
B: 8 with 2, 13 with 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15 (12)
C: 8 with 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15 with 2, 13 (12)
A: 8 with 2, 13 with 2, 13 with 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15 (12)
B: 8 with 2, 13 with 4, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15 with 2, 13 (12)
Spring At Last was Globeform’s selection in this race last year, and won at 7-1.
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