week stacked full of Classic trial winners, John Gosden has been attempting to
find the next logical steps for his three-year-olds.
Shutter Speed, Daban, Dabyah, Middle Kingdom and Gracious Diana all put their names into the hat for future honours, with Daban and Dabyah set at this stage for the English and French 1000 Guineas respectively.
"Shutter Speed is a good filly and has always looked our best middle-distance three-year-old filly. She ran well last year when it was soft and we are heading towards the Musidora at York with her," said Gosden. "Her pedigree is quick. The mother is by Oasis Dream and a mile and a quarter may be her perfect trip, but we will see. Gracious Diana is a lovely filly and I think she is a Ribblesdale filly. We hope to go back to Newbury with her for the Oaks trial (Swettenham) there. I am going to have a go at the Dante with Middle Kingdom and find out where we stand. He is a War Front and has a good attitude, so we will see where we go."
Gosden said of Daban and Dabyah, who run in the colours of Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah: "I don't think there is any point for an owner with two fillies who've won their trial to be taking each other on in a Classic, which is why Dabyah is pointing towards Deauville and Daban towards Newmarket.
"In the Pretty Polly (at the Guineas meeting) we have a nice filly called Astronomy's Choice and also Precious Ramotswe. She won her only start at Kempton and Astronomy's Choice won her only start at Newmarket, both are pointing towards the Pretty Polly.
"We have a nice filly that won the Zetland last year called Coronet. The plan with her at the moment having spoken to the owner is that she looks towards the Prix Saint-Alary."
One who will not be running anywhere soon is Utmost, third at Newcastle on his reappearance behind Forest Ranger. "The spring has been a little hard on Utmost and he is looking a bit light in himself. We are backing right off him and are not rushing him anywhere," said Gosden. "I am just going to give him time off and you won't see him until mid-season onwards. He is perfectly sound, he just wants backing off. The smartest thing a trainer can do is hit the pause button, the worst thing you can do is push on with them."
Gosden's patience in Jack Hobbs was rewarded with success in the Sheema Classic and his mid-season target is the King George at Ascot, with the Royal meeting first, while the likes So Mi Dar and Journey are also working towards a return. Jack Hobbs is pointing towards the Hardwicke. He started cantering yesterday. We are going for the Hardwicke as a prep for the King George," said Gosden.
"So Mi Dar is in great form and we looking towards the Middleton (at York in May). We are pointing Journey towards the Coronation Cup (Epsom). She is in good form and has not run since Champions Day last year. There is not much for Nathra at the moment. She won the Nell Gwyn and was second in the French 1000 Guineas. She will be waiting for races later on. She could possibly go for the Duke Of Cambridge at Ascot. The plan is to run Western Hymn in the Jockey Club Stakes. He is in great order, the old boy. The old chap likes a little more distance now. So he will like going a mile and a half rather than a mile and a quarter. There is the Lockinge for Persuasive, but it is a tough race for a filly. She is in good order and we could well be looking at a Group race in Ireland (Lanwades Stud) that Chris Richardson (racing manager) was keen that she was put in. She could go there, then the Duke Of Cambridge. She had a good winter and, a bit like me, she did too well."
The Godolphin-owned pair of three-year-olds Dreamfield and Valcartier both have Royal Ascot targets.
we will point towards the Commonwealth Cup and that sort of direction. I've not
decided where to start him off yet. You could look at the Pavilion or the race
at Newbury, the Carnarvon. That is most likely," said Gosden. "Valcartier
is in great form and I want to go the longer route with him. We will step up to
a mile and a quarter and see if he is good enough for the Tercentenary. He is a
nice horse, he was always a bit mentally slow and delicate but he has done