21st February, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
Godolphin’s talented but frustrating Delegator won on his seasonal debut for the fourth time in a row when landing the Range Rover Evoque Trophy Handicap at Meydan, his first ever start in a handicap event, writes Elliot Slater.
Now a six-year-old, the son of Dansili was settled in the mid-division of the 16-runner field for the seven-furlong contest and always appeared to be travelling well in the hands of Frankie Dettori. Picking up powerfully at the two-furlong from home marker, delegator readily strode to the front, leading inside the final half-furlong to win with rather more in hand from Jaasoos than the official winning margin of three-quarters-of-a-length might suggest.
The Saeed bin Suroor trained entire had also won in style on his debut last term on the Knavesmire when scooting up in the Grade 2 Duke of York Stakes, meaning he was a regular headline maker in the horse racing betting news. But he has since then failed to go on and prove incredibly frustrating. Whether or not he is able to build on this first win at Meydan remains to be seen but he is undoubtedly very well handicapped off 111 when judged against his best form.
It’s hard to believe that Delegator hasn’t fulfilled the immense promise he showed as a juvenile, where he was tipped for greatness by horse racing tips writers. Even more so when you realise he was one of the few horses ever to make Sea The Stars work hard when failing by just a length-and-a-half to beat John Oxx’s legendary performer in the 2009 renewal of the 2000 Guineas.
Beaten by just a neck by Mastercraftsman in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot then disqualified after winning the Celebration Mile at Goodwood (after a prohibited substance was found in his post-race sample), Delegator has endured a roller coaster career that has promised so much but invariably amounted to a great deal less than expected.
Maybe the tide has at last turned for the Godolphin horse who could yet be a major force to be reckoned with if the key to him can finally be found