Horses To Follow » Gm Hopkins

Gm Hopkins

There were several horses to take out of the Betfred Mile at Goodwood on Friday.  Basem, Munaaser and Donncha were all inconvenienced by being held up off a relatively sedate pace.  However, the horse who made the deepest impression was Gm Hopkins, despite the fact that he only finished ninth.

John Gosden’s horse was inconvenienced for starters by his wide draw. stall 18 of 21 stalls, 18 runners, in a race in which a low drawn has historically proven to be a significant advantage.  That was also the case in this year’s renewal, with the first five home emerging from, respectively, stalls seven, nine, two, 11 and four.  Richard Hughes took his time with Gm Hopkins, trusted to luck in-running and a fast pace.  Unfortunately, he got neither.  He was disputing second last place as they started the turn for home, and he was still just third last as they passed the two-furlong pole.  It was always going to be difficult for him from there, given that they did not go a great gallop.

Hughes manoeuvred him through traffic, then moved him towards the outside.  Still no better than 14th or 15th passing the furlong pole, he made ground from there under just a hands and heels ride – his rider obviously accepting of the fact that he couldn’t win – to finish ninth, closest at the finish.

The Dubawi gelding remains on a steep upward trajectory.  He promised much last year as a three-year-old, he won three on the spin, ending with the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket in September off a mark of 91, and he has progressed again this term.  He was a little unlucky against Spark Plug at Newbury in May, but he made no mistake next time in the Royal Hunt Cup, showing a really good turn of foot and keeping on strongly.

He won the Hunt Cup off a mark of 103 and he raced off a mark of 109 on Friday, but his performance suggests that that mark is still within range.  He is fully deserving of his entries in the Group 2 Celebration Mile and in the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend, and he will be of interest now stepping up in grade.  A fast-run mile suits him well and, as a son of Dubawi, he seems to be equally adept on fast and on easy ground.

31st July 2015