Horses To Follow » Kirklees


Kirklees put up a really nice performance to land the Group 2 Skybet York Stakes at York last Saturday. It says as much about the strength in-depth of the Godolphin middle distance horses at present (lack thereof) as it does about the regard in which Kirklees is held that Dettori went up to York on King George day, but he was rewarded with a performance from Kirklees that suggested that he is right out of the top drawer. This may not have been the hottest Group 2 contest ever run, and Kirklees only got home by a length and a quarter from Allied Powers, but he was vastly superior to his rivals. He travelled really well the whole way, took it up at the two-furlong pole travelling easily, and was just kept up to his work by Dettori to go on and record a fairly facile victory, if only by just over a length.

A Group 1 winner in Italy as a juvenile, he is progressing nicely now this term, following up here another easy win in a decent listed race at Sandown at the beginning of July, and he is now beginning to fulfil the potential that he showed in two victories at the end of the 2007, having missed most of last season and put in two fairly lack-lustre performances at the back-end of last season. They are talking about the Juddmonte International for Kirklees now, and that would be interesting in a normal year, given that the race is run over the same course and distance as Saturday’s race. This is not a normal year, however, with the wholly abnormal Sea The Stars waiting for whatever lines up at York next month. Betting without the Oxx horse, however, Kirklees will be interesting.

25th July 2009