Will John Gosden Retain His Trainer’s Championship in 2020?
Racing is back! Hurray! Today, we are in the third day of horse racing in England, and so far, of the 39 races run at both Newcastle and Kempton, all limited to 12 runners each race there have been 468 runners. Every race full, with a long waiting list for each race, and many unable to participate. A sure testament to the keenness of owners, trainers and jockeys to start again with a bang.
Now the flat season has started again, we look at arguably the most prolific trainer in the world John Gosden, who currently trains 178 horses at Clarehaven Stables in Newmarket. Among his charges are some of the best and well known horses, again throughout the world. In recent years, John and his team have been no strangers to success, landing some most of the most prestigious races around the globe. In 2019, he was the Champion Trainer in the UK with 192 winners from 714 runners, a massive 27% strike rate of winners to runners, never mind the winning purse of just shy of 9 million pounds. The news at the end of 2019, that Enable, the wonder filly, who just missed out on becoming the only horse in history to win the Arc de Triomphe three times, (Europe’s richest race run in Paris,) was to stay in training as a five year old with the aim of becoming that only horse!
Enable is not the only blue blooded thoroughbred in John Gosden’s care for 2020. It is therefore no surprise that John and his team were particularly keen to get the flat racing season started as soon as possible; to see how the predicted stars of the yard would actually perform. Apart from Enable, there is Stradivarius, the Ascot Gold Cup winner, out to take the race again in 2020 together with a third Weatherby’s Long distance Championship with the 1 million pound bonus. The Strad is due to run at Newmarket in the Coronation Cup Stakes in a couple of days.
Among others of 2019, staying in training is the 2019 St Ledger winner Logician – considered to be rather a backward type and who would be very likely to go on and improve as an older horse. The yard have several mouth watering three year olds, including what many believe one of his best three year old prospect Palace Pier by Kingman, a good two year old winner at Sandown on two occasions last year, and therefore unbeaten. Of the fillies, there are no shortages there either with Frankley Darling, already a winner just on Monday, one of his best prospects who is of course by the famous Frankel and is next likely to go for the Epsom Oaks. Gosden’s Epsom Derby hopes are equally encouraging. He had 16 entered for the famous race in the earlier stages of forfeiture, with Darain,(Dubawi) a full brother to Too Darn Hot. Another three year old colt by Dubawi still holding an entry in the great race is Almighwar, as well as a brace of Kingman colts Palace Pier and Waldkonig. Of his two year olds, as none have run yet, it is impossible to say which may grace the turf with more authority than others, but as the Gosden Team were so extensively busy buying the cream of the top yearlings at the autumn yearling sales last year, never mind those home bred horses, also bred in the purple, there can be little doubt that many of his two year olds will more than earn their keep this season.
Frankly, it would be too ridiculous to try to write down a list which of John Gosden’s horses will catch the headlines in 2020. However, there will be surprises coming out of the woodwork, horses that did not feature much at two and have suddenly developed the wings of Pegasus since the end of last season, and there will be those who are currently expected to hit the headlines and flop! There is no doubt that will once again hit the headlines in 2020 as he unleashes his armoury of thoroughbred excellence. It also has to be remembered that John Gosden has a band of very loyal and wealthy owners who supply him with the top of the breed and with that loyalty and ammunition, and I for one would not bet against John Gosden retaining his Champion Trainer status in 2020. But certainly the likes of Sir Michael Stoute, Roger Varian, Andrew Balding, Mark Johnston and Aiden O’Brian from Ireland, together with other top trainers will give the Gosden Team a run for their money. A shortened flat season by just over two months, will make the trainer’s race that much more exciting!
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