5 Godolphin horses To Follow 2020
In this post, I’m going to look at 5 Godolphin horses to follow who I consider decent prospects for 2020.
Rather than focus on the more established Godolphin names, I’m going to drop down a level and look at horses who have yet to prove themselves in pattern class.
Horses to follow lists....
Lists of horses to follow are useless to a certain extent. I say that primarily because at the time of writing I can have absolutely no idea of the quality of opposition any horse will meet in the future. The terms they will meet the competition on, weights carried, distance and going conditions, and most importantly the price versus chance on the day.
I will say that in researching these prospects, primarily it is for my benefit. Going deep and gathering knowledge on each horse sets me up for having an opinion next time they race.
There have been some excellent pieces, lots of research and effort, with the authors giving their views away for nothing. I would never discourage someone from exploring their passion and then sharing what they’ve discovered with others. There are also some clever marketing people out there ‘who do it for the money’ – from what I’ve read, they know very little about how to make a profit from betting.
The issue I have with some ‘lists’ is ‘where is the angle’?
There needs to be an approach used that attempts to find value in the future. Anyone can write a list documenting a story of what happened in the past, it adds little value.
Without going into too much detail, the horses I discuss below have all clocked times in the grade that indicates they are potentially ahead of general perception, or crucially, where they have qualified for a handicap mark, they have already achieved more than the official handicappers assessment.
So, with that out of the way, here are my thoughts.
Dubai Mirage - Saeed bin Suroor
3-y-o ch c Dubawi - Calipatria
Twice raced as a 2-year-old, Dubai Mirage bumped into a couple of good ones in Molatham and Celtic Art in what is traditionally a strong York maiden.
The 2019 running looks no different, the time of the race stacks up well. Molatham went on to win a Listed contest at Doncaster before being put in his place by the potential top-class Military March in the Autumn Stakes.
Celtic Art followed up by winning his maiden at Goodwood before running with credit in France and himself is a promising type for 2020.
For Dubai Mirage, a standard quality maiden is a formality. Much will then depend on the handicap mark he is assigned before casting thoughts to future prospects.
Trip wise, he stuck it out well over a mile at York so I think a little further will be within his range, on pedigree 10 furlongs may be as much as he wants.
An observation from his York run is he looked a little ill at ease on the good to firm ground – slightly high head carriage and hung in behind the front two. He looked a lot more comfortable on debut at Sandown on good ground with the uphill finish. He may be one who is going to be better with a little juice in the ground. Worth noting for future engagements when more evidence will be presented.
Dubai Souq - Saeed bin Suroor
3-y-o b c Dubawi - Balsamine
A similar type to Never Alone (see below) in that he may have been/continue for the short term to ply his trade in handicaps but, he looks a pattern class performer in the making.
Dubai Souq somewhat blew his cover and handicap mark with a demolition job in a Nottingham nursery last October. His 5th run of the season, his form took a big step forward by winning a competitive looking race by a very easy 6 lengths.
Raised 11 lbs by the handicapper for the victory, you might think the handicapper has now got hold of him? My interpretation is that the hike still underestimates what he achieved at Nottingham, the clock certainly bolsters that view and I think he can win again off his new mark of 96.
The Nottingham race was the first time Dubai Souq raced over 10 furlongs and also his first attempt on soft ground. Difficult to say which, if any, was the reason for the rapid improvement that day, though he was very well suited by both the ground and distance.
On his previous outing, Dubai Souq disappointed over 1 mile on the all-weather at Kempton, a race he looked to hold a strong chance of winning. A retrospective look at the Kempton heat and it’s clear that it proved a stronger race than it looked at the time.
Oisin Murphy took over in the saddle on Dubai Souq at Nottingham and deployed different tactics than at Kempton. For his Nottingham win Dubai Souq made all, it is possible the more aggressive approach aided an uplift in Dubai Souq’s performance too.
Rated 96, I think there is a handicap to be won with Dubai Souk before he steps up to Listed or Group company. The time recorded at Nottingham shows his ability is already at the bottom end of pattern class. Given the liking he showed at Nottingham for the underfoot conditions, I’d like to see him on similar ground, though I wouldn’t rule him out on a faster surface just yet, more I’d like to see he can be equally effective before committing funds.
Electrical Storm - Saeed bin Suroor
3-y-o b g Dubawi - Mujarah
Another Godolphin horse who has shown more on the racecourse than the handicapper has given him credit for and therefore finds himself on a winnable handicap mark.
He was seen 5 times on the racecourse as a 2-year-old without winning and put up his best effort on his final start when finishing 11th in a hot Doncaster Sales race in September.
I’m taking the view that the Doncaster event has been under-assessed by the official handicapper, my view is based on the time recorded for the race. I think it will be a race that produces a good few winners from lenient handicap marks in 2020 and is a race to pay particularly close attention too.
The 6 ½ furlongs of the Doncaster heat was as far as Electrical Storm raced last season. There’s plenty of reason to be optimistic that he’ll find improvement once given a chance to be tested up in distance and with an emphasis more on stamina than speed.
A son of Dubawi, out of the mare Murajah who produced the high-class miler Ribchester, Electrical Storm is going to want the minimum of 1 mile to produce his best. Looking to his dosage index, he has solid and professional points in his profile indicating he may have inherited stamina for a more middle-distance test. Certainly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as effective over 10 furlongs.
For starters, Electrical Storm is one to look out for in a mile handicap at one of the better tracks. He’s shown enough already to indicate he can win off a handicap mark of 89 and could be one that progresses as he moves up through the distances.
Never Alone - Charlie Appleby
3-y-o b g Dubawi - Yummy Mummy
Never Alone appears underestimated by an official handicap mark of 87 and a horse certainly capable of winning off this mark.
I’m taking this view on the evidence of Never Alone’s 2nd run, he’s run 5 times now, behind Via De Vega at Sandown. If you are looking for a race to produce future winners, then it’s a good place to start. The handicapper has undervalued the form of the race and there are several interesting horses who contested the Sandown race that find themselves on very viable starting handicap marks.
Never Alone becomes more interesting when you consider his potential.
From the all-powerful Charlie Appleby yard who are not averse to getting a pattern class horse into handicaps before progressing them. Atty Persse, First Nation, Bin Battuta, Cross Counter, Old Persian to highlight just a few. At present, Never Alone is very much on a par with this illustrious group at the same stage of their racing careers.
The furthest Never Alone has raced thus far is 9 ½ furlongs when winning a class 5 maiden at Wolverhampton. As you’d expect, he has a high-class pedigree and one that points strongly at 12 furlongs and possibly a little further proving to be his optimum racing distance. I expect to see a much better horse when he steps up in racing distance.
In a normal year, I’d have him noted for a race like the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, a race Charlie Appleby won with Space Age in 2015. It’s worth checking out Space Age’s profile, not dissimilar to Never Alone?
This is not a normal year, so predicting targets is an impossible task. Hopefully, we get some racing at some point and I’ll be on the watch for Never Alone in the high class 12 furlong handicaps.
White Moonlight - Saeed bin Suroor
3-y-o b f Medaglia d’Oro - Fitful Skies
Twice raced and unbeaten as a 2-year-old, on her 2nd run in a 1 mile Newmarket novice she put up a visually very impressive performance when making all to win easily from a field full of backward types.
Often these impressive winners are not as good as they first appear and subsequently overbet in future runs. I don’t think White Moonlight was flattered by her win here. The overall time was decent and sets her up as a potential group class filly.
Oisin Murphy rode a beautiful race on the filly, dictating a decent pace. The most taking aspect of her performance was how White Moonlight put distance between herself and the pursuers between 2 ½ furlongs out and a furlong out and without her jockey needing to offer much encouragement from the saddle. This marks her down as a filly who is considerably better than she had to show to win a Newmarket.
White Moonlight has an official handicap mark of 92 which underestimates what she achieved at Newmarket. I’d imagine she’ll avoid the handicap route and be targeted at a higher class. She’d be of real interest if she turned up in a handicap off 92.
Optimum distance – while there is a little stamina in her pedigree, I suspect a mile, possibly a little further will prove to be her best trip. A sizeable filly as a 2-year-old, she has the scope to make better than average improvement as she matures.
Godolphin horses to follow 2020
- Dubai Mirage
- Dubai Souk
- Electrical Storm
- Never Alone
- White Moonlight