Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Harbinger of the Breeders’ Cup Turf

Did you see that??? This has been the repeated response after viewing yesterday’s turf shattering performance. Anyone who wants to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf come this November, may want to seriously root against a certain 4-year-old son of Dansili from making the trip across the pond. Yesterday’s result in the $1.5 million King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot should be proof of that. Facing a compact, but class filled field of six, Harbinger crushed his foes into submission with a stretch run that harkens back to the best performances ever witnessed at the tradition rich racecourse. The result was impressive on every front as he cantered home to a stunning 11 length victory.

Underlining the quality of the performance was the final time of 2:26.78 on the good turf, bettering the former track record by nearly half a second.  Harbinger’s victory margin was the greatest in the history of the King George, England’s most important race for older horses at the classic 12 furlong distance. The eye-catching margin came at the hands of Irish Derby winner Cape Blanco, English Derby winner Workforce, Hong Kong Vase winner Daryakana, and three-time Arc runner-up Youmzain. So impressive was Harbinger yesterday, that some betting houses in England have knocked down his future odds to win the Arc to an astounding even money.

The win raised the Michael Stoute trained runner’s record to six wins in nine starts, with a perfect record in four increasingly impressive starts this year. The second choice at 4-1, the bay colt gave trainer Michael Stoute back-to-back King George victories. Last year he trained Conduit to victory, before successfully defending his crown in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Stoute trains him for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, a partnership that includes American interests. After the race the connections praised their colt, and looked to the future, mentioning the Arc and the BC Turf as possible targets.

I like several of the American turf horses this year, such as Paddy O’Prado, Gio Ponti, and The Usual Q.T., but honestly, I do not think they want any part of this...


  1. BZI,

    No doubt, that was an impressive late run and at the trip of the Arc and BC Turf. GIO is the only one of the U.S. trio that has successfully run 1 1/2 miles and he's never looked as electrifying as HARBINGER.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Sure Rob. I like to see the best run, so I am hoping he shows up at Churchill.

    Question ... What would have Sea the Stars of 2009 done in yesterday's race???

  3. What an AWESOME turn of foot! He swapped leads back in fourth, then boom he has a four length lead in 2 seconds. I agree with Rob, no horse in NA has shown the ability to get 12 furlongs and produce such, and i'll borrow his term too, electrifying turn of foot. However, 2 horses that I think would be able to give him a run for his money, providing they get the 12 furlongs are Paddy and the Usual QT. The latter made a complete mockery of 3 other grade one winners last out and has proven to be a monster over turf. Paddy, in his last electrified me with that burst on the turn, then his ability to sustain that run.

  4. This was a big eye opener. But the aim surely is the Arc. The Breeders' Cup comes a little to soon after the Arc. Tight bend racing may be the problem for such a free running horse.

  5. Racing Titbits, did you see him win att tight-bended Chester?

    Conduit came 4th in the Arc and then won the BC Turf last year