Mile Top 10 - Aug 4th
1. Gio Ponti (1)
2. Goldikova (3)
3. Ghanaati (5)
4. Monterey Jazz (2)
5. Rahy's Attorney (7)
6. Tam Lin (6)
7. Hyperbaric (8)
8. Delegator (9)
9. Mr. Sidney (10)
10. Kip Deville (4)
No horses were dropped from the original top 10 created a month ago however the order was shuffled around a bit. The situation with Kip Deville is a bit troubling, I think we just have no idea if he's ever going to be his old self again. I can forgive him enough to keep him in the list because there aren't a ton of other great options, but also I'm more willing to overlook his under performance when it comes in races that aren't two turn miles. The two turn mile has always been the specialty of Kip Deville. Failures at slightly different conditions carry a little less weight for me.
Justenuffhumor marked himself as the new kid on the block with his stirring victory in the Fourstardave but I'm still just a bit wary of him. Despite his excellent form he's only run one race good enough to compete with the best milers and he has not been doing his best work at a mile specifically. You might say it's splitting hairs since he's obviously a good horse going just half a furlong more but from 1996 to the present there have been 68 horses that have entered the Mile without having achieved their career highest Beyer (or equivalent European rating) at exactly one mile on the grass. Only Da Hoss in 1996 found his way to the winners circle. It's a stat I plan to hang my hat on when trying to identify the true mile specialists.
One horse that did emerge from the Fourstardave with credit that is a real miler is Mambo Meister. He has a long way to go on quality but he's the kind that could hit the board at a price. His best race definitely comes at a mile.
The new dominant force from Europe is Rip Van Winkle. He thrashed Ghanaati soundly in the Sussex but he does not make the list because Coolmore will send him to the Classic. In fact he may be my new #1 for the Classic. He could win this race if he were running but he won't run. Ghanaati was outclassed in the Sussex but she can still improve and the BC Mile could well be an easier race than the Sussex.
Another horse I'd love to add but can't is Colonel John. Unfortunately he's headed for the Classic too but he was very impressive in his first ever Turf race. The Wickerr is often a tougher than it seems event and Colonel John won it in very impressive fashion. If he were given a Turf campaign he could be a major contender.
Monterey Jazz had a major collapse in the last month but he doesn't fall too far down my rankings. The race was one of the weirdest ever from a pace perspective and I don't think it's a really true reflection of form. The Eddie Read only told us what we already know. Monterey Jazz is brilliant when he's not overly keyed up but once he gets caught he throws in the towel. The trick for his competition is catching him.
Gio Ponti and Rahy's Attorney are still not being campaigned like milers but they're winning in fine style and I still think we'll see even better from them once they cut back in distance.