By Tom Peacock
Never doubt Stoute:
"We've certainly been thinking about the St Leger," says Sir Michael Stoute of Crystal Ocean pic.twitter.com/bukSoKFJ2n— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) August 5, 2017
There were questions for Crystal Ocean to answer in the Qatar Gordon Stakes, and how he did.
While there was nothing at all wrong with finishing third behind Permian in both the Dante and King Edward VII Stakes, it still felt as if he had not yet justified the faith in which he seemed to be held at Sir Michael Stoute’s Freemason Lodge stable.
Time and again, of course, Stoute’s patience and persistence pays off with horses from illustrious dynasties such as those of Crystal Ocean’s Rothschild family owners.
Now more relaxed, hassle-free and on easier ground, the colt strode right away from his rivals to complete the trainer’s 10th win in the race.
Ryan Moore’s view in the immediate aftermath as to whether Crystal Ocean would be a William Hill St Leger type was inconclusive, commenting that, “He’ll stay but I don’t think he’s a mile and six horse” but Stoute said the Doncaster Classic was certainly a possibility.
Although it took the trainer 25 goes to end his jinx in the Leger with Gordn Stakes winner Conduit in 2008, it ought to be another race he knows a fair bit about.
Lancelot's hood works:
It seems that you can teach an old dog (or horse) new tricks in the case of Qatar Stewards’ Cup winner Lancelot Du Lac.
Only once in 46 previous career starts, and four years ago when not the force he is now, had the gelding ever been fitted with any headgear. He broke moderately that day at Sandown and never featured.
Lancelot Du Lac has been doing just fine in subsequent seasons as a solid, Listed-level sprinter, but he reportedly got buzzed up before an ordinary performance in the Wokingham last time.
Trainer Dean Ivory went for the hood once again in an attempt to calm him down and it delivered one of the most significant moments in his training career.
This particular information is of no consolation to those of us who didn’t notice the 25-1 chance here, but serves as a reminder to scrutinise every aspect of a horse’s profile.
Dee Ex Bee could go Farhh:
Mark Johnston’s fourth winner of the week looked as if he could be pretty useful.
Dee Ex Bee was making his debut in the Qatar EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes and already knew what he was doing as he forged away from the front under Johnston’s old ally Silvestre De Sousa.
He finished comfortably ahead of the more experienced Bathsheba Bay with the rest of the field well strung out. He is entered in the Gimcrack Stakes, in which he would not be out of place, but has already started off over seven furlongs and could easily be more of the type for the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster or even the Royal Lodge Stakes over a mile.
The winner is only the second in Britain from the small first crop of Farhh, who is clearly a stallion going places as the Tim Easterby-trained Wells Farhh Go also impressed on his recent debut at York.
Doyle does his homework:
To Eternity, who had been off the track for nearly a year, bolts up in the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes under James Doyle. pic.twitter.com/f10fAhBWb2— Newmarket Racecourse (@NewmarketRace) August 5, 2017
One was left to wonder after the opener at Newmarket whether James Doyle was the only jockey who had bothered to walk the course.
He ploughed a lone furrow down the stands’ rail in the opening British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes, while the rest of the field congregated towards the far side.
Doyle was on a clearly capable filly in To Eternity but he was definitely in the right place, with action predictably happening on nearer the stands in the following races. His action handed the filly not only some valuable black type but a comfortable victory, as well as doubtless the gratitude of trainer John Gosden and owner Lady Bamford.
The new Hawkeyethenoo?
Jim Goldie could use a replacement for Hawkeyethenoo, that marvellous sprinter who was retired recently at the age of 11.
His biggest victory came, by just a whisker, in the 2012 Stewards’ Cup, which might be a race for his old stablemate Tommy G one day if he can continue on an upwards curve.
Another cheaply acquired sort for the same owners, Tommy G is only four and still finding his feet but caught the eye from an unfavourable wide position to finish second to the progressive Scorching Heat in the consolation race.
He has some way to rise in the ratings, not to mention a lot more heroic performances to deliver, to be considered in the same league as Hawkeyethenoo, but he is in the best of hands with the affable and always underrated Goldie.