2012 will be remembered as one of the best Royal Ascot’s ever -if not the best. Crockford after reflecting on the week that was asks where next for the stars of the show:
Frankel – Imperious, brilliant, scintillating; what more could be said about his demolition of his rivals in the Queen Anne. Rated the top in the world there can be no argument that he is not the best that many of us have ever seen. His next Glorious victory will be at Goodwood according to Sir Henry before moving up to 1m2f for the Juddmonte International at the Ebor meeting.
Dawn Approach – The Irish confidence behind Bolger’s Coventry winner proved right. Winning well whilst still looking green, the colt has been marked up by Paddy Power as short as 7/1 to take the 2013 2000 Guineas. Other firms are offering more realistic odds of 12/1 (Magic sign included). With his form not being franked by the run of the disappointing Hannon horse Mister Marc later in the week questions have to be asked if the current favouritism is justified and if that there will not be someone better coming along later in the summer.
So You Think – O’Brien showed his true mettle and why he is world class this week in admitting that he had made mistakes with So You Think up until now by training him for stamina and not speed. On Wednesday things fell into place and this star added another Group 1 to his tally in winning the Prince of Wales. Next stop will be the Eclipse where he will be odds on favourite given the fact that neither the great Frankel or already legendary Camelot will not be present.
Princess Highway – Many overlooked this filly including Crockford in his assessment of the Ribblesdale on Thursday to their peril. Her stunningly impressive victory sealed her place as the leading filly in many pundits eyes putting daylight between her and the classy The Fugue back six lengths behind her. Weld says that her next stop is the Irish Oaks which if she appears in the same form should be a formality.
Sea Moon – In a year that has not been so kind so far to Sir Michael Stoute this horse has shone. His win in what was a good renewal of the Hardwicke Stakes on Saturday has certainly placed him in with an excellent chance to land the next big prize at Ascot – The King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Obviously key to his success will be the presence or otherwise of Camelot and the like.
Black Caviar – Well she did it – 22 straight victories and remains unbeaten. The official distance of a head and what was almost false confidence of Luke Nolen belied the true nature of her victory. It was clear that the hyped horse had not appeared that day and the testing nature of the race was underestimated. If the horses that are currently included in the line for the July Cup had opposed her that day there may well have been a different result and a lot of broken hearts down under. Crockford thinks unfortunately we can be sure that the super mare will never bless us with her presence again.
Simenon – Mullins pulled off one of the greatest training performances in years winning both the Ascot Stakes and Queen Alexandria Stakes with this progressive type. The Irish gamble was truly landed in the last race of the meeting with talk of a tilt at the Melbourne Cup abound soon after. Yesterday Mullins confirmed that his next stop will be the Goodwood Cup at Glorious Goodwood on the same day as the Galway Hurdle. If Mullins arrives as promised on the Sussex Downs and deserts the Galway Festival for the day Crockford is sure you will see the bookies running.