City Of Troy running away with The Dewhurst (Picture: focusonracing.com)
Greg Wood (The Guardian)
It was inevitable that someone would drop the F-word after City Of Troy’s devastating success in the Dewhurst Stakes on Saturday, but quite the surprise that it was Michael Tabor, City Of Troy’s co-owner in the Coolmore syndicate, who got there first. “He really is our Frankel,” Tabor said after the colt’s three-and-a-half length win, effectively ensuring that similar comparisons will be drawn whenever City Of Troy sees a racecourse or, at the very least, for as long as he remains unbeaten.
It is a significant weight of expectation to hang around the neck of a colt with just three runs in the book, and the chance that City Of Troy will even approach the level of Frankel’s best form, never mind the ease and consistency with which he turned out one monstrous performance after another, remains slim.
But it is an unfair comparison too, because Aidan O’Brien’s juvenile is, and will remain, the one and only City Of Troy, and at this stage of his career, the possibilities are still endless. When a horse’s talent, attitude and action clearly sets it at a different level to even the very best of its peers, the question of whether or not it might one day be “as good” as a different horse that raced a decade or more ago should really be the least interesting thing about it.
City Of Troy’s horizons, in fact, are even broader than Frankel’s at the same stage of his career, not least thanks to his unusual breeding, with a US Triple Crown winner, Justify, as his sire and a Group One-winning mare by Galileo as his dam.
As a result, he is bred to win both the Kentucky Derby on dirt in early May and the original Classic at Epsom a few weeks later, and since City Of Troy’s earnings as a stallion of the future must be a major consideration, it is arguable which race would be most appealing to “the lads” at Coolmore.
At the very least, the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar in November 2024 will surely be in the conversation when plans are laid for City Of Troy’s three-year-old career. Then again, there were also 10-1 quotes for the English Triple Crown flying around after the Dewhurst, so the chance to finally scratch that longstanding itch could also feature strongly in the discussions.
The possibilities, in other words, are almost endless, and all manner of routes through 2024 could eventually see City Of Troy bow out with a unique career record, regardless of the number that is eventually attached to his name by the international handicapping panel. That alone should be more than enough to satisfy Flat racing’s fans as winter draws on.