Horses To Follow » Alexandros


Alexandros was the moral winner of the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on Saturday. Not only did Frankie Dettori have the whip knocked out of his hand inside the final furlong, but his body was actually in front of Jimmy Fortune’s as they flashed past the line. However, the fact that Fortune’s mount, Virtual, had his head down on the line meant that he got the verdict, with Alexandros having to settle for the runner-up spot. He has raced 18 times now and was looking fairly exposed before he went to Dubai this spring. There, he won his first two starts, both handicaps, really impressively, and was allowed take his chance in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free as a result. Even though he was Godolphin’s third string in the race, and was allowed go off at 40/1, he ran a cracker to finish third, by far the best of the Godolphin triumvirate, just five lengths behind the winner Gladiatorus and just two lengths behind the top class Presvis. Although he disappointed in Hong Kong subsequently, his run in the Lockinge proved that his Dubai form was not restricted to racing in the desert.

The Godolphin horses are starting to run into a bit of form, and Alexandros could be a bit of a flag-bearer this season. Thought of as a potential Derby horse at this time last year, he ended up running in the Diomed Stakes over a mile and half a furlong at the Epsom Derby meeting last year, and running a cracker for a three-year-old to finish a half-length second to Blythe Knight. Although he appears to be at his best on easy ground, he did win one of his handicaps in Dubai easily on fast ground. They are talking about having another crack at the Diomed again this year, but that is just a Group 3 contest, and you have to think that he is better than that. He would be like a Group 1 winner in that contest without a penalty, and he should be a bet in that race if he takes his chance in it, as long as the ground is at least good (which it usually is at the Derby meeting this year) and as long as they don’t put him in too short.

16th May 2009