Monday 18 December 2017

Mick Kinane: Gosden deserves his golden moment thanks to Golden Horn

Frankie Dettori celebrates after riding Golden Horn to victory in The Qipco Irish Champion Stakes. Irish Champions Weekend. Leopardstown
Frankie Dettori celebrates after riding Golden Horn to victory in The Qipco Irish Champion Stakes. Irish Champions Weekend. Leopardstown

This time last week I felt it would take a seasonal best from Golden Horn to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and all credit to his trainer John Gosden, that is exactly what he produced.

Frankie Dettori has been swimming in praise for his ride on Golden Horn ever since last Sunday and I'll come to that next but it is a sign of a really good trainer to be able to have a horse so consistent all year and then produce his best performance at the end of a long season. He won a listed race back in mid-April.

To be able to keep a colt like that content and get an improved performance at this time of the year is great.

With retirement on the horizon, connections now look like letting the horse sign off in America and with the field in the Breeders' Cup Turf it looks as if he probably doesn't have a lot to do. If it works out, it will be a great way to finish. If it goes wrong, they probably won't be applauded for it, but there you go. The owner is enjoying his moment and he's entitled to do what he wants to do.

Obviously, the dream scenario would be to see him go to the Breeders' Cup and take on American Pharaoh in the Classic but that was never realistically going to happen as there's no need for Golden Horn to be asked that question. Flintshire looks to be his biggest danger in the Breeders' Cup Turf and he handled him very easily in the Arc so you'd be predicting a similar outcome later in the month.

But in regards to Frankie's ride in the Arc, I would echo the praise of everyone elsa. He turned a bad draw into a great position, while Thierry Jarnet on Treve was just too cautious and turned a good draw into a bad position.

If you changed the jockeys, you could change the result, as I don't think you'd have seen Frankie make the same move as Thierry if he was on Treve last Sunday. He was very positive on Golden Horn and he deserves the credit he's getting for that ride.

Thierry wanted to take no chances, as regards trouble in running, so he brought her wide and she definitely hung all the way up the straight and the ground was probably a shade quick for her but I imagine if he could repeat the race he wouldn't do that again.

Looking ahead to tomorrow and I think we are probably going to see the champion two-year-old crowned in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.

When I was riding for Coolmore it seemed to be ourselves against Godolphin every second week and we had some right good battles and you'd have never thought back then that it would become something of a rarity, but it's fantastic to see them locking horns with a couple of high class two-year-olds tomorrow in what looks set to be a cracking race.

I have been a huge fan of Air Force Blue following his last two wins and I think he'll shade it again tomorrow but it's a mouthwatering race with both camps seemingly very confident.

William Buick gave a glowing report on how Emotionless worked this week, but I've been in Newmarket for the week at the Sales and with the ground set to dry out, I think Air Force Blue will shade it.

Tony Martin sends three over for the Cesarewitch and he's a trainer who always seems to know his horses inside out and is a very dangerous man in these type of races. He has a good man in Ryan Moore to help him with Quick Jack, who has been dealt the difficult task of winning from gate 30.

The draw isn't the winning and losing of the Cesarewitch but you can lose a lot of ground from out there. However, if anyone can negotiate around that it's certainly Ryan (and maybe Frankie after last week!).

Finally, just to mention another rider who deserves notable praise and that is Pat Smullen.

He'll be crowned Irish champion jockey again at the end of the month and he once again excelled on Covert Love in Longchamp.

He has now won two Group Ones on her this season with fantastic rides and he continues to prove his status as a world-class jockey whenever the opportunity arises.

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