x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Saamidd will not have it easy

Frankel is a danger and Godolphin are cool about hopes of a win at the Dewhurst Stakes.

Tazeez, right, wins the Richard Hambro Darley Stakes at Newmarket yesterday. Godolphin’s Mastery finished third.
Tazeez, right, wins the Richard Hambro Darley Stakes at Newmarket yesterday. Godolphin’s Mastery finished third.

Godolphin admit Saamidd faces a big task to maintain his unbeaten record in today's eagerly-awaited Dewhurst Stakes in England.

He locks horns with the much-vaunted Frankel and Dream Ahead among others in a fascinating Group 1 juvenile contest at Newmarket. Saamidd is perhaps the one with most to prove out of the leading trio but he registered a stylish win in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last time.

"He was very impressive at Doncaster but he really needs to step up in order to win," Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said. "I think you need to take heed of what Henry Cecil says about Frankel, when he told the press he was the best two-year-old he had had since Wollow.

"That's quite a statement. He was visually very impressive and I personally haven't seen a two-year-old like him.

"It's going to be very hard for Saamidd to win. After Doncaster, Saamidd has gone a bit to sleep. I don't believe that's a bad thing for racehorses but he needs to be back to what he was at Doncaster, and better than that."

Poet's Voice, meanwhile, can make the most of his new-found maturity by making it a Group 1 double for Godolphin in the Dubai Champion Stakes at Newmarket.

The three-year-old promised much after winning the Champagne Stakes as a juvenile but his headstrong tendencies proved his undoing on his first couple of starts this term.

However, he appeared to turn the corner when only narrowly beaten in a Salisbury Group 3 in August, with the Dubawi colt finally content to take up a watching brief.

That impression was duly confirmed on his next outing when winning the Celebration Mile at Goodwood, coming with an electric turn of foot to see off Main Aim by four and a half lengths.

He did not record such a conclusive verdict when stepped up to the highest level in the QEII, but his gutsy nose victory over Juddmonte International victor Rip Van Winkle showed he has developed into a true Group 1 horse.

Poet's Voice will be trying the 10-furlong trip for the first time here but Godolphin's willingness to supplement him at a cost of £30,000 suggests that they genuinely believe he will get the distance.

He gets a handy weight allowance from his older rivals and given his progressive profile, it would be no surprise to see him take another step up.

He will be heading into unknown territory stamina-wise as he tackles 10 furlongs for the first time this weekend, but Crisford is confident it will not be a problem.

"It has taken him so long to switch off that we felt trying a mile and a quarter at this stage is the right thing to do," said Crisford.

Godolphin are bullish about Delegator ahead of his tilt at the Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes today.

The Dansili colt was good enough to chase home Sea The Stars in last year's 2000 Guineas and ran a number of other fine races after joining the Godolphin team.

He returned after almost a year off the track with an excellent comeback victory at Newbury and Crisford expects significant improvement on that performance this weekend. "It was a really solid effort at Newbury as he was very rusty going into the race, having been off for the best part of a year with a wart on the back of his pastern," Crisford said.

"He will improve a whole lot for that and we would be very hopeful we can see him back to his best. He's definitely our best chance of the meeting for a winner and if he runs well, he could go for the Breeders' Cup Mile. He has also been invited for the Hong Kong Mile."

Meanwhile, Marcus Tregoning believes Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Rumoush has solid claims in the Pride Stakes at Newmarket today.

The Rahy filly staked her claim for Group success when going down by only a length to Eastern Aria - the Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed-owned horse who will wear the colours of Godolphin in next month's Melbourne Cup - in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster last month.

Her only victory this year so far came in the Feilden Stakes on this course in April after which she was tried at the highest level, finishing seventh in the 1000 Guineas and fourth in the Oaks.

"I think she's got a good chance. She goes there fresh and well and on the back of a good run," said the Lambourn trainer.

"The trip is obviously fine for her and she has won at Newmarket before so we have to be hopeful."

Godolphin's three-pronged assault on yesterday's Richard Hambro Darley Stakes at Newmarket failed to yield a winner with Mastery, Al Zir and Vesuve finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively.