Caravaggio beat Mehmas in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By David Baxter 1:40PM 29 JUL 2016
POCKET rocket Mehmas was given quotes for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, Commonwealth Cup and Dubai Dewhurst after securing another Group 2 in the Qatar Richmond Stakes – but if connections want to make good on their ambition of winning a Group 1 before the end of the season, the Juddmonte Middle Park looks a more suitable target.
Battle-hardened, Mehmas is very willing, and used all his previous experience to fight past Blue Point in the closing stages. His tenacious attitude is a huge advantage when taking on rivals who are still likely to be learning the ropes.
Runner-up Blue Point may have lost his unbeaten record but should have gained plenty of experience as he had to get down in the trenches for the first time. The difference in size between himself and Mehmas was stark and James Doyle had to organise the son of Shamardal on the undulations.
The Prix Morny is reported to be next for Blue Point, but 8-1 for the Dewhurst looks fair and an extra furlong should be within his compass.
Runner-up to Caravaggio in the Coventry, the subsequent brace of Group 2s for Mehmas has further enhanced his Royal Ascot conqueror’s reputation as the leading juvenile colt this season, and stablemate War Decree displayed the strength and depth at Aidan O’Brien’s disposal when winning the Vintage Stakes.
Toormore, Highland Reel and Galileo Gold were the three previous Vintage Stakes winners before War Decree, so it is a race with recent Group 1 heritage. Ryan Moore felt the son of War Front was still showing signs of inexperience despite going away by a length and three-quarters from Thunder Snow and that he has more to offer.
His American pedigree means the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita has already been mentioned, while he offers each-way value for the 2,000 Guineas.
As big as 16-1 for the Newmarket Classic, his place in the Ballydoyle pecking order will become clearer as the season develops, but he could do no more than win.