Guest post written by Elliot Slater
It might be an unfashionable thing to say just at the moment following the publication of the World Thoroughbred Rankings, but I believe that the panel have correctly assessed the relative merits of Britain’s two leading juvenile colts, Frankel and Dream Ahead, in awarding them both a rating of 126.
There have been more than a few raised eyebrows at the pair receiving the same horse racing handicap mark following Frankel’s seven-length defeat of Dream Ahead in the Group 1 Dewhurst stakes at Newmarket in October, but in my opinion the handicappers have rightly taken the view that Dream Ahead was almost certainly over the top in the race and didn’t give anything close to his previous running.
Frankel’s performance at HQ took his unbeaten record to four, and Henry Cecil’s exciting colt remains a very warm favourite in the horse racing betting odds for both the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby. Prior to his defeat in the Dewhurst, David Simcock’s Dream Ahead had cosily landed the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, before putting up a performance no less visually impressive that that of Frankel in the Dewhurst in beating Coventry Stakes hero Strong Suit by a stunning nine lengths in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes over six furlongs.
His attempt at following up against Frankel only two weeks later over a furlong further was almost certainly a mistake on Simcock’s part, and the likeable trainer has held his hands up and admitted that in hindsight his charge was probably not fully recovered from his Middle Park exertions. Whether he proves to be a miler, or as I believe a top-class sprinter in the season to come remains to be seen, but in landing two Group 1 victories to Frankel’s one, I believe that the panel are fully justified in granting the two young stars joint billing at the end of the 2010 season.
A broadcast journalist specialising in horse racing for more than two decades, Elliot Slater remains a keen student of the form book and of handicapping. A successful tipster, he combines his knowledge of the on and off-course betting markets with an in-depth appreciation of pedigrees and bloodlines, factors that contribute to his all round understanding of the racing industry.