Jane Mangan on Ghaiyyath’s win and what turns a good horse into a great one

Jane Mangan on Ghaiyyath’s win and what turns a good horse into a great one
Ghaiyyath, ridden by William Buick, wins from Enable and Japan at Sandown Park last month. Picture: Healy Racing.

PEOPLE often ask, what is the difference between 'good' and 'great' — considering superlatives are frequently overused in the world of sporting media.

Everyone is entitled to their own views, but in my mind the key to achieving legendary status is consistency.

Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles. Michael Phelps swam his way to 28 Olympic medals.

Tiger Woods has won five masters, four PGA Championships, and three US Opens to his name – catch my drift?

Every year we have a new generation of racehorses hoping to become the next Frankel and as racing fans, we yearn to see the next Sea The Stars appear on the track.

Realistically, horses of Nijinsky’s calibre only come around in terms of decades.

I don’t remember Dubai Millennium or Secretariat, but their names are synonymous with the sport.

They earned the right to be remembered through their ability to not only win but break their rivals. Huge performances on the biggest stage, living up to the hype and then some.

Those horses are rare but it’s important to appreciate them in real-time rather than look back in awe of the history books.

One such horse working his way up the world rankings is Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath.

Huge in stature and aggressive from the front, this son of Dubawi was good when beating Anthony Van Dyck in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket — better when beating Enable at Sandown in the Coral Eclipse but Wednesday’s performance in the Juddmonte International where he hammered Magical by three lengths was a sight to behold.

Ghaiyyath’s forward running style undoubtedly contributes to his “wow” factor but the fact that he can set such a strong pace and maintain it for 10 furlongs is awesome.

He essentially burns away his rivals. Charlie Appleby’s colt has now won eight of his 11 starts and has firmly established himself as one of the best horses in the world.

Could he be the one that derails the fairytale in Paris this October?

York has provided some solace from the reality of current affairs this week, but today’s Nunthorpe Stakes is looking somewhat depleted from what we initially thought would line up.

It seems the mighty Battaash has scared away all international competition, although we could also blame Covid-19 for that too!

Only six rivals take on Shadwell’s bullet including Art Power and A’Ali, but they must improve considerably to reach Battaash — the horse now considered the world’s fastest racehorse.

It’s always fascinating to see juveniles line up in the Nunthorpe, but this year no two-year-old features among the Nunthorpe field.

Instead, they ship over to Deauville for the Prix Morny where the Queen’s Tactical bids to build on his July Stakes win for Andrew Balding in what looks a tricky affair on soft to heavy ground.

Closer to home, racing has been coming thick and fast since we resumed and now the bandwagon rolls back to the Curragh.

I will be on track for what looks a quality card including a pair of Group 2 races for juveniles.

Alpine Star won the Debutante Stakes last season before emerging as one of Ireland’s leading three-year-old’s this term.

If Jessica Harrington is to back up that success, she will have to overcome a band of O’Brien’s as Aidan, Joseph, and Donnacha all hold strong cards.

I was particularly impressed with Donnacha’s Shale in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown where she beat the re-opposing Pretty Gorgeous.

Donnacha has enjoyed a fairytale season so far and considering the health of his yard, Shale must be considered one for every shortlist.

Harrington might struggle to retain the Debutante, but she has every chance of snaring the Futurity Stakes from Aidan O’Brien’s grasp.

The master of Ballydoyle has won six of the last seven running’s of this race, but I fancy Harrington’s Cadillac to buck that trend.

An eye-catching nine-length winner on debut over seven furlongs at Leopardstown, this colt by Lope De Vega should appreciate soft ground unlike some of his rivals.

Ireland has been battered by stormy weather in recent days, but that shouldn’t trouble Cadillac, as he was actually withdrawn from a recent engagement owing to ground being too quick.

This horse looked a different level on debut and despite his obvious inexperience, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he proved a class apart tomorrow afternoon.

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