Danzighill shows unlimited potential
TONY HARBIDGE (Topspeed)
Last Wednesday's Calcutta Plate at Happy Valley produced the best griffin performance of the season.
Danzighill has always worked like a potential star and last week's impressive success proved he is every bit as good as he looks in the mornings.
Despite breaking slowly, he displayed true class to score in a quality one minute and 11.10 seconds, which equates to a Topspeed rating of 65.
Make no mistake, a time figure of 65 clearly stamps this son of Danehill as the best griffin seen out this season and for him to clock such a high rating first up suggests he is destined for the very top.
Certainly Danzighill is fully entitled to improve simply for the experience but he also possesses bags of physical scope and will appreciate a mile next season.
As for future punts, the winner is not the only one to take away from this race as the runner-up Coach Maniac and third Canny Star both look certain to pay their way in future.
Coach Maniac is another to have shown plenty of ability in his work and an initial Topspeed rating of 56 stamps the Ivan Allan-trained youngster as a ready-made winner.
The same applies to the likable Canny Star (56), who is improving with racing. He will be unlucky to run into such talented opposition again and now looks ready to strike in a normal contest.
There was also a couple of useful griffin races at Sha Tin on Saturday with both sections of the Mount Butler Plate won in relatively good times.
Professional landed the opener and is a young horse who possesses blistering early pace and he had clearly progressed for his previous starts, making all to earn a speed figure of 48.
He looks the type to continue progressing next season but there has to be a slight word of caution as he undoubtedly benefitted from the faster ground along the rails.
Indeed, Thatsaknownfact comes out best at the weights on a rating of 62 and considering he raced on the slower ground it has to be regarded as huge effort from the runner-up. Track bias should never be underestimated or ignored when considering future punts and Thatsaknownfact is clearly an animal to keep on your side.
Beijing Star is another that is likely to pay her way next season.
Again this Patrick Biancone-trained youngster hit the gates running and was never really threatened at any time, recording a fraction faster time than the previous contest and earning a Topspeed rating of 56.
She won with something in hand over the newcomer Cornwall Hero, but in clocking an initial 42 and showing plenty of early speed the runner-up also gave notice there was a race or two in him, especially if he gets another front-running track.
On an International note, the 2,000 Guineas was another race affected by track bias with the front three - Mark Of Esteem, Even Top and Bijou d'Inde - all racing along the better going near the stands rails.
With the fear of firm ground, Newmarket was heavily watered up to and including the night before the big race which resulted in a slower strip of ground towards the centre, a strip on which several fancied runners (including the favourite Alhaarth) ran and lost any chance.
It is outragous that artificial watering can be allowed to alter the ground to such a degree and, with the overall time yielding a Topspeed rating of just 115 (normal Guineas winners achieve around the 125 mark), this was clearly not a vintage 2,000 Guineas nor a result to particularly trust.