Colour Vision and Opinion Poll are prime Melbourne Cup targets after their Ascot Gold Cup quinella
“Nothing is too good for the Melbourne Cup,” declared Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford after the stable overnight quinellaed the Ascot Gold Cup with Colour Vision and Opinion Poll with a triumphant Frankie Dettori aboard the winner.
Crisford was responding to the question as to whether either of today’s runners or yesterday’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes third Farhh might be aimed at the 2012 Emirates Melbourne Cup.
“Obviously it’s too early to call but they’ll have entries for the Cup and we’ll wait and see their ratings and how they’re handicapped. Today’s two are very genuine stayers of course and Farhh looks very progressive,” he said.
It was Saeed bin Suroor’s fifth win in the race and the same for Dettori who is still clearly the most popular jockey in the UK.
He was greeted with thunderous applause after his trademark star jump dismount from the four-year-old winner.
And any thought that Dettori is playing clear second fiddle to the young gun Mickael Barzalona might have to be put on hold.
“Sheikh Mohammed gave Frankie the choice of rides here and he went the right way,” Crisford said.
Dettori had ridden both horses in their last start wins. Colour Vision, who had beaten 2012 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux at Kempton on May 2, is now two from two for bin Suroor after being formerly prepared by Mark Johnston.
The Gold Cup was marred by a very slow pace. The overall time of 4.42.05 was about 25 seconds outside the course record and even 18 seconds slower than the median time.
Colour Vision won by a half length from Barzalona’s mount Opinion Poll and held the race after stewards inquired into interference in the straight. Saddler’s Rock was a neck back in third place.
“It means a lot to us to win this race,” Crisford said, “it’s one of the highlights of the week and our whole operation is aimed at winning the flagship races like this and the World Cup which we claimed earlier in the year.
“Colour Vision is a resolute stayer and probably better on faster ground but he coped well with the conditions today. The experience of Frankie is always an asset and I knew he wasn’t going to get beaten when he saw Barzalona on his outside.”
The Gold Cup has not been a great precursor to Melbourne Cup success with Yeats’ seventh behind Delta Blues in 2006 the best result among those who’ve tried and failed or failed to get to the post. The list includes Drum Taps, Double Trigger and Kayf Tara.
The 4/5 Gold Cup favorite Fame And Glory, who won the race last year, was a labouring seventh.
“He has come back fine and seems to be fine after the race. It was an interesting race,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien in reference to the slow pace.
John Oxx, trainer of Saddler’s Rock who is also a target for the Melbourne Cup, was frustrated by the lack of speed.
“It was a bit of a farce of a race. Obviously if you win it’s not a problem but my horse is normally so relaxed but today he was tugging the whole way,” he said.