Firstly, hands-up, I am a fully paid-up member of the Ghaiyyath fan club having backed the horse on possibly every start; he has been a member of my Dirty Dozen horses to follow as a three-year-old, four-year-old and this season at five. Following victories in the Coronation Cup, Coral-Eclipse and now Juddmonte International this season the question is where next for the Godolphin superstar?
I am not considering any of the Dirt races across the Globe though a tilt at the 1m2f Dubai World Cup might not be that crazy an idea come next March!
As for the Turf races that could be considered towards the end of this season, the Arc will of course be talked about again, he was tenth in the race last year. Scheduled for Sunday 4th October this year I am not sure it would be top of my list of targets for him. The Champion Stakes at Ascot is I think a more obvious possibility being over what everyone must now agree is his optimum trip of 1m2f. The one fly in the ointment is the ground, the weather affecting Ascot for Champions Day in October having been well reported down the years. The likelihood of good racing ground in Berkshire come Saturday 17th October being minimal and he has little to prove here anyway. The Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September, with respect , has become a bit of a prep race for the remaining major races in the Autumn schedule and he don't need one of them. The Japan Cup at the end of November is a 1m4f test worth a lot of cash but I doubt a visit to Tokyo Racecourse is on the agenda. Equally I doubt he will be seen at Sha Tin in December for the Hong Kong International Races though the Hong Kong Cup is the ideal trip of 1m2f. Personally, and who am I to tell Sheik Mo and Charlie Appleby what to do, I would be tempted with a trip in a different direction, literally, to the Breeders Cup. The Breeders' Cup Turf is surely there for the taking as he has nothing to fear from anything running in America or from the likely European raiding party. Magical, Magic Wand, Japan, Anthony Van Dyck and Lord North have all been dealt with along with Japans Deirdre. Enable, who he has also already beaten this year in the Eclipse, and the three-year-old filly Love are both fully targeted at Longchamp and we all know how hard it is to do the double – only Enable has ever done it and is unlikely to try and repeat the feat. The mile-and-a-half on a flat as a mill pond left-hand oval at Keeneland won’t stretch the stamina and the likely firmer going is of no concern. I’d love to know what team Godolphin are thinking but I would be seriously considering heading to Lexington Kentucky and Keeneland Racecourse for Saturday 7th November.