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Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Gosden approaching Classic season in rare run of form

John Gosden: leaving a Shutter Speed decision late
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Nobody goes to Sandown in better form than John Gosden, whose recent numbers would even have Theresa May licking her lips.

It would be a brave punter to vote against the former champion trainer's runners in the three televised Group races given how his candidates have been performing of late – 15 winners from their last 33 appearances – and there has been an awful lot of quality to go with the quantity during a month which has already brought 20 winners.

Daban and Dabyah won the two major trials for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas, while the victories of fellow three-year-old fillies Gracious Diana and Shutter Speed earned each a crack at middle-distance Group races.

Cracksman is a leading fancy for Epsom after landing the Derby Trial on Wednesday, while recent Newmarket handicap winner Middle Kingdom could join him on the classic path and is earmarked for the Dante Stakes at York. 

Gosden's current form isn't likely to relent either given the volume of smart horses he has pencilled in to appear in the next few weeks.

Promising three-year-old fillies Astronomy's Choice and Precious Ramotswe, plus high-class older horse Western Hymn are due to run at the Guineas meeting and the Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber-owned So Mi Dar is set to return to York, where she won the Musidora so well last year.

Nobody who saw Jack Hobbs bolt up in the Sheema Classic at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night will be in a hurry to oppose him in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, or the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes for that matter.

Potential value?

Gosden is Paddy Power's 2-1 second favourite to land the trainers' championship for the third time in 2017, which could look a big price if Churchill does not live up to market expectations for Aidan O'Brien (4-11 favourite) in the Guineas next Saturday. 

Nor is Gosden's current form likely to be a false dawn, given the volume of smart horses he has pencilled in to appear in the next few weeks

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