The general consensus from talking to people on twitter, is that Enables Arc win was the performance of the season, many will not disagree, neither will I. Having already written my race of the season, which was Enables 5 & 1/2 length romp in the Irish Oaks before the Arc win, I thought I would give you my top 5 Performances of the 2017 flat season….. Some may not be everyone’s cup of tea, others will say… Yep your right there!
I will start by saying this, I think the unlucky horse of the year has to be Ulysses, the reason? Having won 3 times – Juddmonte International at York, Coral Eclipse at Sandown & Gordon Richards, also at Sandown, to come across Enable & finish runner up twice is a touch unlucky, but it just goes to show what a horse Enable is……
Winter – Duel 1000 guineas winner, who for me best performance was winning the Coronation Stakes by 2 & 1/4 lengths from stable companion Roly Poly, was just superb. Having won both the English & Irish 1000 guineas, with the pressure on & everybody waiting & wondering if she could do it again, the grey daughter of Galileo, showed a fine turn of foot to win with ease.
Harry Angel – July Cup Stakes at Newmarket, was in my opinion his highlight of the season, with beating a field that included Brando, Limato, Caravaggio & The Tin Man by 1 & 1/4 lengths was a real treat. Now some may say his win at Haydock, on really heavy ground, by 4 lengths was the best…. But did we see the best of the rest of the field that day? Of that I am not convinced, so the July Cup victory ahead of Limato is the best of his 3 wins for me.
Battaash – Having already won the Scurry Stakes & Sprint Stakes at Sandown, Goodwoods King George, before a poor run by his high standards in York’s Nunthorpe, when finishing 5 & 1/4 lengths behind winner Marsha. The Dark Angel gelding turned that form on it’s head, with a scintillating turn of foot to finish 4 lengths ahead of Marsha & put to bed any thoughts that he was a spent force.
Cracksman – The son of Frankel, yes the legend that is Frankel….. Gave him his first UK Group 1 win with a fine performance at Ascot in the Champions Stakes, to beat Poet’s Word by 7 lengths, on what most would call Soft to heavy ground, but in my view, had this been run on good ground, the outcome would have been the same. He had been building towards that run all season & by missing the Arc & potential clash with Stable companion Enable, instead won the Niel Group 2 stakes at Chantilly as preparation for the Champion Stakes & a fine 3 & 1/2 length victory….
Enable – What can I say that hasn’t already been said before about this daughter of Nathanial? Quite simply she is the best…. winning 6 Group 1 races, including the English & Irish Oaks, both by some 5 lengths, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes by 4 & 1/2 lengths, not to mention the Yorkshire Oaks…. But to defeat the Arc de Triomphe field, which included Winter, Order of St George & Ulysses by 2 & 1/2 lengths was special….. The fact that connections are keeping her running next season is fantastic news for all racing fans.