Godolphin Mile: Day's most open affair
by Handicappers (firstname.lastname@example.org) / Globeform (http://www.globeform.com)
Last update: 2013-03-27 16:48:12 (First published: 2013-03-26 08:00:43 )
GODOLPHIN MILE (G2)
Meydan 30 March 2013 / 1600 metres Tapeta
Runners presented with best Globeform rating, trainer, jockey
117 - PENITENT / David O'Meara / Daniel Tudhope
117 - RED JAZZ / Charles Hills / Ryan Moore
115 - MOONWALK IN PARIS / Mahmood Al Zarooni / Ahmed Ajtebi
115 - BARBECUE EDDIE / Doug Watson / Pat Dobbs
115 - ZAZOU / Waldemar Hickst / Khamzat Ulubaev
114 - MASTER OF HOUNDS / Mike de Kock / Christophe Soumillon
114 - MUFARRH / Ali Rashid Al Raihe / Kieren Fallon
110 - SARKIYLA / Alain de Royer-Dupre / C-P Lemaire
114 - ALPHA / Saeed bin Suroor / Silvestre de Sousa
113 - REROUTED / Mike de Kock / W C Marwing
112 - SURFER / Satish Seemar / Richard Mullen
112 - TIME PRISONER / Mahmood Al Zarooni / Mickael Barzalona
110p - SOFT FALLING RAIN / Mike de Kock / Paul Hanagan
110 - CAPITAL ATTRACTION / Ernst Oertel / Tadhg O'Shea
108 - HAATHEQ / Ali Rashid Al Raihe / Royston Ffrench
107 - SAAMIDD / Saeed bin Suroor / William Buick
Sarkiyla: 2kg (4.4lbs) sex weight allowance.
Add 4.4lbs to her rating for direct comparison with the males
Without doubt the most open race on the day, the Godolphin Mile may be a contest where luck in running plays a big part. With a full field of 16, and an evenly matched field at that, the draw is also likely to have a crucial effect. Horses have finished placed from wide posts every year since World Cup night moved to Meydan, but a middle to low draw is best – especially on days when the field is as big as this.
PENITENT is a tough and battle hardened challenger from David O'Meara's successful stable in England. Previously trained by William Haggas, Penitent changed home after a 40,000 guineas sale in October 2011. He seemed to be an older horse on the downgrade but O'Meara gave the gelding a new spark and he was as good as ever last year. He won a Listed race at Doncaster on his first start of the season, beating Group 2 winner Questioning. Was it a fluke? Not at all. When they met again in the Sandown Mile (G2) three weeks later, on heavy ground, the pecking order was exactly the same. Three defeats were to follow, one in top class company in France, before Penitent came back to winning form in the Joel Stakes (G2) at Newmarket in September, when he beat World Cup hope Side Glance by a neck. Penitent handles testing conditions better than most, and took full advantage of that ability once more when stepped up to Group One company at Longchamp in October. He ran in the Prix de la Foret over 1400 metres and produced yet another fine performance. Only Gordon Lord Byron, who goes for the Golden Shaheen, proved too good. He beat Penitent by 1 ½ lengths. Soft to heavy ground suits Penitent best on turf, and it will be interesting to see how he fares on the Tapeta. He has twice won on his seasonal bow so his lack of a previous run this year is hardly a worry.
SOFT FALLING RAIN has to improve again to win this but improvement is most likely from this talented colt and, despite post 13, he must rank highly on our short list. He could also have gone for the UAE Derby but keeping him to 1600 metres makes perfect sense. That was the trip he tackled when gaining a facile win over Snowboarder in the UAE 2,000 Guineas (G2) in February. Racing keenly in the early stages, the rather speedy son of National Assembly proved far too good for his rivals in the straight and won as he pleased by 2 ¼ lengths. He had won the Guineas trial a month earlier and, having a 4-for-4 record in South Africa, Soft Falling Rain is still unbeaten. He was most impressive when winning the South Africa Nursery Stakes (G1) over 1200 metres at Turffontein last year. Ridden by Anton Marcus, Soft Falling Rain was always up in the firing line, took the lead 400 metres out and strolled right away. Quite how good he is cannot be said at this stage, but he looks an exciting horse – who will be going places. Which is also the plan. Trainer Mike de Kock has mentioned Royal Ascot and the July Cup (G1) at Newmarket as future options.
MOONWALK IN PARIS, a new Godolphin trainee this year, raced in France last season, when he was a smart sort with two wins from five starts and a narrow defeat in Group 3 company. He began his UAE career in the best possible way, winning the Firebreak Stakes (G3) over 1600 metres at Meydan in February. It was one of the most exciting finishes of the Carnival, as a bunch of horse were all in with a chance early in the stretch. Moonwalk In Paris did not seem the most likely one to pull it off, but he suddenly shot forward through an opening by the rail, and quickened past Fulbright for a stylish 2-length success. Barbecue Eddie, who had already won twice at Meydan in the winter and captured a Group 2 on his preceding start, checked in third. The form looked quite solid. It was, therefore, not surprise to see Moonwalk In Paris make an impact on the Burj Nahaar (G3) on Super Saturday. This is the main prep leading up to the Godolphin Mile and Moonwalk In Paris was one of the favourites. He ran a game race again but had to make do with third place, behind African Story and Capital Attraction. These two runs have made Moonwalk In Paris one of the better Tapeta milers this season and he holds a good chance in the Godolphin Mile, a race the sponsors have won on no fewer than seven occasions.
RED JAZZ ran respectably (without producing his best form) in this event twelve months ago, when third to African Story. He was returning from an eight-month break then, while he has now had a prep run at Meydan. Normally a genuine performer, he ran way below form to finish tenth behind African Story on Super Saturday. He is effective from 7 furlongs to a mile and well capable of beating most of these – if he has retained his form that is. Based on his seasonal debut that is a bit of a question for this six-year-old.
BARBECUE EDDIE also disappointed on Super Saturday but this nine-year-old, clearly trained to be fit and ready as the season opened, has had a good Carnival. He completed a four-timer stretching back to last March when beating last year's Sham Stakes (G2) winner Out of Bounds in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round I (G3) in January. Barbecue Eddie used to be a smart sprinter in the US but he stays a mile well these days, and is an off-the-pace runner. Which means that he would not be as badly compromised as others from a wide post. But post 16 is going to be tricky.
MASTER OF HOUNDS (coming off solid runs in defeat on the turf), SURFER (particularly interesting since he has twice been chasing World Cup hope Hunter's Light) and the in-form MUFARRH are all also in with a chance, while a win by last year's Travers (G1) winner ALPHA, the French filly SARKIYLA or the Mickael Barzalona ridden TIME PRISONER would only bring out comments like 'a mild upset' amongst reporters.
A: 13 SOFT FALLING RAIN
B: 11 PENITENT
C: 5 ZAZOU, 6 SURFER, 15 MOONWALK IN PARIS, 16 BARBECUE EDDIE
NO BETS RECOMMENDED
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