Photo Credit: EpsomDownsRacecourse via Twitter
Golden Horn produced one of the finest seasons in the flat racing by claiming victory in the Dante Stakes, Epsom Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
The bay colt was named Horse of the Year for his exploits in 2015, and his triumphs were the envy of every owner, trainer and jockey in the sport – at least, those not named Anthony Oppenheimer, John Gosden or Frankie Dettori.
The dream of every competitor will be to match the four-year-old’s success, with the journey beginning for many at the Dante Stakes in York.
One of those horses, Syphax, has caught the eye in his fledgling career, despite having only three races under his belt thus far – which have included two victories.
The three-year-old will have one final chance to round into form before the showdown in York at the Guineas Stakes at Newmarket at the beginning of May. Syphax is backed in the latest horse racing odds at 40/1 to secure the win, highlighting the challenge ahead to match Golden Horn’s achievements.
The American horse shares some similarities with one of the greats of the past, as Golden Horn had only two races to his name before competing at the Dante Stakes.
Syphax made his debut at the Maiden Stakes at Musselburgh and produced an excellent performance to clinch the victory. The bay colt produced an impressive surge down the final furlong to beat out the race favourite Lucky Esteem, beginning his career on the right note.
Much like Syphax, Golden Horn was not considered to be the favourite for his Maiden Stakes in Nottingham. However, he just managed to edge out Storm The Stars by a head to claim the win.
One of the major advantages that the American horse will have at the Dante Stakes is his past experience at York Racecourse. The famous stadium was the site of his second career win at the Acomb Stakes – where he won in different circumstances to the first race.
Photo Credit: Racing UK via Twitter
Syphax had a poor start to the meet and was forced to come through the field, although he did manage to find an inside lane. The horse burst down the final furlong to take the victory just ahead of Best Of Days.
The three-year-old did not quite reach the heights accustomed at Newcastle in the Conditions Stakes, where he and the rest of the field were comfortably beaten by Forest Ranger. However, he did manage to finish second, despite the change in conditions on the all-weather track.
He will be back on turf at the Dante Stakes, with William Buick expected to return in the saddle. The 28-year-old rode Golden Horn to victory at the meet two years ago – so he knows all about the rigours of the race ahead and how to get the best out of the Bay Colt.
North Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan should have Syphax well prepared for the meet and further challenges ahead. It has the talent and the ability to win the first prestigious race of the season, which could send it on the journey to match the exploits of Golden Horn two years ago.