Horses To Follow » Darley Sun

Darley Sun

Darley Sun made a more than satisfactory debut for Godolphin when he finished third in the two-mile Group 2 Henry II Stakes at Sandown last Thursday. Frankie Dettori let the son of Tiger Hill track a slow pace that was set by Akmal from flagfall. It remained that way until the straight, when Dettori started to shake up Darley Sun over two furlongs out. He got a bit outpaced here and Saptapadi passed him, but he ran on strongly all the way to the line after that, holding on to third placed and eventually beaten three lengths by the winner.

This was a nice run from last year’s impressive Cesarewitch winner, despite the fact that he sweated up in the paddock beforehand. He ran a solid race, and he can be forgiven for not picking up off such a sedate pace on his seasonal debut. It is also worth noting that Saeed Bin Suroor’s horses have not really hit top form yet, the stable have only had five winners from 46 runs so far this year. It is likely Darley Sun will improve a lot for this outing, connections expressed they view beforehand that he would and, given how rapidly he improved last season, there is every chance that he will get better again as this season progresses. After winning off a mark of 69 on his seasonal reappearance last year, he bounded up the handicap as the season progressed. On his penultimate start he finished second in a Group 2 contest, and then went on to become the first three-year-old to win the Cesarewitch since 1998 (only one three-year-old had even managed to make the top five in between). He was 12lb well-in that day, but it was still an emphatic performance by the ex-David Simcock-trained colt.

The Ascot Gold Cup is the obvious main target, the extra four furlongs will be ideal for him and he won a handicap at Ascot by 10 lengths last year. His trainer’s horses have been running back into form of late, and with the benefit of this run, Darley Sun should be a major player in the Ascot Gold Cup and in the other Cup races later in the season.

27th May 2010