Sky Sports Racing’s senior analyst Jamie Lynch believes Reach For The Moon has emerged as the sport’s “most prized possession” ahead of a potential shot at the Epsom Derby next year on the weekend his owner Her Majesty The Queen is set to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
The John and Thady Gosden-trained two-year-old is already as short as 11-1 (Sky Bet) for June’s Classic after an impressive victory in the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.
The Queen’s runner was denied a Royal victory in the Chesham Stakes at Ascot in June this year, finishing half a length down in second to Aidan O’Brien’s Point Lonsdale – also a winner last weekend in the Group Two Futurity Stakes.
“The one-two in the Chesham have gone their separate ways but have revealed themselves as the pre-eminent two-year-olds,” Lynch told Sky Sports Racing.
“The six-furlong horses all tend to beat each other, but these two are different.
“They both came to the Chesham with big reputations and having run only once. They put distance between themselves and the rest of the field.
“You get the impression now that they are on a collision course for a big Group One in the Autumn or even in the Guineas or the Derby next year.”
Reach For The Moon has plenty of high-class entries to end his two-year-old season, including the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October, but Lynch hopes the horse is minded carefully.
“All of a sudden he has become racing’s most prized possession, in terms of who he represents, what his trajectory is and the significance of the climate in which he is operating,” Lynch said.
“Racing is full of fractions and we hear about that all the time but if there is one thing for racing to hope for, it’s that this horse, Reach For The Moon, makes it to Epsom next year as a 4 or 5-1 hope.
“If you’re watching John [Gosden], get all the cotton wool you can, and all the bubble wrap, and just put it round Reach For The Moon and hopefully we’ll see him there next June.”
Stradivarius win melted the heart
The Ebor Festival at York last week provided two standout performances, adding more great storylines to an already enthralling 2021 flat season.
Stradivarius bounced back from Ascot Gold Cup disappointment and showed his battling qualities are still very much alive at seven years old to win the Lonsdale Cup, while Mishriff blew away his rivals in the Juddmonte International.
“I can barely remember a season when every single division was so compelling,” Lynch said.
“You’ve got the milers Palace Pier and Poetic Flare going head to head to see who is best; with the middle distance horses – Adayar, Snowfall and Mishriff – you’ve got these fireworks going off; and then the staying division where Stradivarius lost some of his power but added to his prestige by winning the Lonsdale Cup.
“I’m quite cynical by nature but even my cold heart melted at what Stradivarius did and what it meant to Frankie [Dettori]. I think it is the moment of the season so far.
“Mishriff provided the performance of the week. That puts him top of the tree in the world, for now. It was majestic.
“Everything went perfect and it might be that the field was a little thinner than we thought, but he was imperious in how he strode away.
“It highlights the form of the King George and how Adayar dealt with him. We’re now seeing these horses shine a light on themselves but also on each other.”