Dubai: Godolphin’s La Barrosa, a well-bred son of French Derby winner Lope De Vega, was handed his first real test when having to work reasonably hard to land the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse on Thursday.
Having easily taken out the EBF Future Stayers’ Maiden Stakes at Ascot on his career-debut three weeks ago, the step up to Group company was another step forward in his racing education where he scored high marks.
A 750,000 guineas purchase who is seen as a Classic hope, La Barrosa was quoted at odds of 25/1 for next year’s English 2000 Guineas.
Ridden by William Buick for ultra-successful Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby, La Barrosa tracked early leader Dark Lion (David Egan) together with Jim Crowley and Qaader for the first part of the seven-furlong trip.
Roger Varian’s Dark Lion was travelling strongly at the head of the six-runner field and looked like he had the gas to stay the trip well.
But once Buick got to work on La Barrosa there were signs that he had another set of gears waiting to be triggered and once they were he stepped up the tempo and surged forward to win by a length. Dark Lion stayed on for second with Qaader hanging on for third.
It was by no means a performance to get carried away with but given the fact that it was only his second visit to the racecourse, and a much higher examination, you could expect Appleby’s charge to come on for that run.
Meanwhile, Friday’s card at Newmarket is highlighted by two important Group 1 contests for two-year-olds, the Middle Park and the Cheveley Park Stakes.
The leading horses from the Middle Park usually go on to compete in the following season’s 2000 Guineas while the Cheveley is an early pointer to the 1000 Guineas.
Both Godolphin and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, are represented in the Middle Park with Tactical and Minzaal, respectively.