John Gosden Horses In Training 2020
The most powerful stable in England, John Gosden has 178 horses in training in 2020.
2019 proved a record year for the stable with 192 winners in Britain from 714 runners at a strike rate of 27%. Along the way amassing just over £8M in win and place prize money.
With some established stable stars and a top-class pool of younger upcoming horses, in this post we take a look at some of the potential stars from the John Gosden stable for 2020.
John Gosden Older horses
Stable stars Enable and Stradivarius have carried all before them in the last few seasons. Enable needs no introduction, she’s back with the long-term goal of reclaiming the Arc De Triomphe.
Logician, last year’s St Leger win stays in training. As a 4-year-old he is lightly raced and remains unbeaten in 5 runs, there is potential for even better to come from this late-maturing type.
Although a Leger winner over 1-mile 6-furlongs, there’s nothing to suggest Logician won’t be equally as good if not better back in trip at 12-furlongs. The form of his York win in the Great Voltigeur, over 12-furlongs in August last year is arguably his best.
I could see Logician making up into a serious King George and Arc contender, albeit he’s likely to be pitched against stablemate Enable at some point.
From the older horse brigade, Lord North takes the eye as the type capable of making the step up to Group company in 2020.
A big improver in the second half of 2020, his best performance arguably came in defeat in a super competitive handicap at Ascot. While only a handicap, Lord North carried 9-8 there on heavy ground and produced a performance on the clock that shows he is capable of winning in Group class.
Lord North seems versatile regarding ground, though he handles soft ground very well.
Update: 20th June 2020
Lord North has now run twice in 2020, winning the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Haydock from Elarqam at 3/1.
He then ran at Royal Ascot. Stepping up to Group 1 company, he impressively took the Prince Of Wales stakes by 3 ¾ lengths having been backed from an early price of 11/1 into 5/1.
Afterwards, connections hinted that his next target could be the Coral Eclipse.
Waldstern appeals as another who could have a fruitful season. Stoutly bred and from a family that does well as they mature, I think there are races to be won with him.
He won a decent 3-year-old handicap at Newmarket on his penultimate outing last season. Racing off an official handicap mark of 96 at Newmarket, that was a strong race on the clock.
Waldstern starts 2020 off a mark of 107, I would say he is a particularly well-handicapped horse and there won’t be that many handicaps he will qualify for. I see him as a potential Group performer in time and while he’s proved best to date at 10-furlongs there is every encouragement from his pedigree that a step up in trip might eke out a little more improvement.
John Gosden Horses In Training - 3-year-olds
Turning to the 3-year-old generation and as you’d expect there is an absolute wealth of potential and talent.
With such a depth in quality, a good place to start to look for the future stars is those who’ve earned a Classic entry.
John Gosden 2000 Guineas entries
At this stage, John Gosden has 8 horses entered in the 2000 Guineas.
Waldkonig, Encipher, Tsar, Palace Pier, Enemy, King Leonidis, Mishriff and Hypothetical.
I’ve given my views on Waldkonig below, 20/1 for the 2000 Guineas looks very short to me for a horse bred to come into his own over 12-furlongs or further.
My pick from this group would be the twice raced and unbeaten colt Palace Pier. He won twice at Sandown in good style as a 2-year-old, despite not looking like the finished article.
He ran green and on both occasions, changing his legs repeatedly and not looking particularly race wise when asked to go on. Palace Pier gave the impression there would be more to come as he gains experience.
Pedigree wise, he looks like a mile might prove the top-end of his stamina range. I see him as a potential Group class miler in the making.
Update: 20th June 2020
Two runs from Palace Pier in 2020. On his first outing, Palace Pier won a Newcastle handicap, returning at an SP of 11/10.
He then stepped up to Group 1 company winning the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot defeating champion 2-year-old Pinatubo at odds of 4/1.
John Gosden 1000 Guineas entries
Looking at the 3-year-old fillies, John Gosden has 6 entered in the 1000 Guineas.
Cressida, Donnybrook, Wasaayef, Maria Rosa, Frankly Darling and Shimmering.
My picks from the fillies would be Cressida, Wasaayef and Frankly Darling.
CRESSIDA & WASAAYEF
Cressida and Wasaayef made their debuts in the same Kempton maiden with Cressida coming out narrowly on top.
Cressida didn’t appear again whereas Wasaayef stepped up on the Kempton run in 2 subsequent runs. Cressida was quite diminutive as a 2-year-old and I’d have a question in my mind as to whether she has the scope of Wasaayef to progress as a 3-year-old.
Looking at the pairs dosage profiles, neither have stamina attributes and I see both as being best at up to 1-mile.
Update: 20th June 2020
So far Cressida has run once in 2020 when she was easily beaten into second in a Newmarket novice race.
I’d be cautious about her progressing, she didn’t appear to have progressed much physically at Newmarket.
Frankly Darling is bred for middle distances. She made her debut over 1-mile on soft ground at Yarmouth. She travelled like the best horse for most of the race and was run out of it in the final furlong by Cabaletta in a race that was run short of a true pace throughout.
She’s going to progress given emphasis on stamina. I’d doubt she’ll be quick enough for the 1-mile test of a Guineas but could be an altogether different proposition when stepped up in trip.
There’s a big gap to bridge in terms of form, but she could be one of the stable’s hopes for the Oaks, a race John Gosden has won 3 times in the past 6 years.
Update: 20th June 2020
Frankly Darling has now run twice as a 3-year-old, winning a Newcastle maiden easily before heading to Royal Ascot where she was an impressive winner of the Ribblesdale.
She reportedly now heads to the Oaks at Epsom where she is currently second-favourite at 10/3 behind the 1000 Guineas winner Love.
John Gosden Derby entries
Currently, John Gosden has 16 entries in the Epsom Derby.
Almighwar, Byzantine Empire, Cape Palace, Colonize, Copper Point, Darain, Enemy, Grand Bazaar, Nasraawy, Nova Roma, Pharoah King, Taqareer, To Nathaniel, Tuscan Graze, Ursa Minor, Waldkonig.
All these horses have been entered relatively cheaply as yearlings with an additional fee of £1,100 paid in March 2020 to keep them in the race. The next entry-stage and fees are due in April.
The process for entering a horse in the Epsom Derby and also how you can supplement a horse is unique.
Whilst you may be drawn into thinking ‘the horse has a Derby entry, it must be decent’, the significance can range from ‘very little’ right through to ‘take note’, significant trainer intent. You can read here about how to enter a horse in the Epsom Derby.
4 of the 16 horses John Gosden horses entered in the Derby are currently unraced. A quick examination of their pedigrees shows some exceptionally well-bred horses.
None more than Darain who is a full brother to the stables very decent Too Darn Hot.
It’s difficult to know much about the unraced horses at this stage, needless to say, the stable is packed with the best of the best in terms of breeding and it will be worth noting these horses on debut run.
Of those that have run, the beautifully bred Almighwar, a Dubawi colt out of the Oak’s winner Taghrooda is going to be a major disappointment if he isn’t much better than his debut 10th at Newmarket.
Possibly one that could get qualified for handicaps before stepping up in trip/performance.
Waldkonig has gone in just about everyone’s notebook after a visually impressive debut at Wolverhampton. Without wanting to crab that effort which was brim-full of potential, he could only beat what was against him but he beat a field of very average horses in a race that produced an average time. On the bare form, Waldkonig didn’t achieve more than a 70 rated horse!
Nothing against the horse at all, just from a betting perspective I suspect the world will be backing him on his next few runs, and that doesn’t appeal to me as a likely value betting proposition.
Waldkonig has an illustrious family and a depth of stamina in his pedigree. He has a Guineas entry (if we ever see a 2020 Guineas!) but he’s not going to be quick enough for that.
A note from his Wolverhampton debut run, Waldkonig hung around the home turn and again up the Wolverhampton straight. Possibly this was just immaturity, possibly he was ill at ease on the all-weather surface? His half brother, the Arc winner Waldgeist was at his best on soft ground, possibly that will be the case for Waldkonig?
A long-range speculative thought, but Waldkonig’s stamina laden pedigree screams St Leger, a race John Gosden has won 5 times. I suspect he is a top-class horse in the making, maybe we’ll see the best of him with time and with another season on his back.
Update: 20th June 2020
Waldkonig reappeared in a Listed 10-furlong race finishing third to stablemate Mishfiff. A heavily backed favourite at 8/11, while Waldkonig will have no doubt disappointed many, he actually stepped up considerably on what he achieved in his win at Wolverhampton.
His breeding suggests he is going to need time and a thorough test of stamina. His immaturity was displayed at Newmarket where he became very unbalanced running downhill.
Nothing I saw at Newmarket changed my view that he is a top-class staying prospect, if not this year then next. I’d be keener on him for the St Leger (currently 33/1) after the Newmarket run than before.