Passion for Gold Trounces Criterium Field

Another group I win for Godolphin as French season nears close.

Passion for Gold rallied wide in the straight to score an impressive six-length win in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) for 2-year-olds, the final group I race of the French season at the Paris racetrack Nov. 14. 

The Medaglia d'Oro  colt's easy win for Godolphin in the 1 1/4-mile event comes a week after Vale of York's surprising success in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), giving trainer Saeed bin Suroor another strong Investec Derby (Eng-I) hope for next year.

"He's one of the best two-year-olds I've sat on this year," winning rider Frankie Dettori told Racing Post afterward. "He was very impressive, liked the distance and acted on the (heavy) ground. He's got a lot of scope.

"He is a very nice colt and a good looking one. He looks sure to stay a mile and a half and is a Derby type so now I have got one to ride in the Classic."

Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford added: "We are absolutely delighted and he will now come over to Dubai for the winter and get some sun on his back. He will be entered in all the top races."

Dettori, aboard Passion for Gold for the first time, held the colt mid-pack in the field of nine as Layali Al Andulas showed the way into the final bend. Passion for Gold made headway on the outside to get the lead as the field reached the straight 2 1/2 furlongs from home, and put the matter to rest quickly.

Mikhail Glinka, one of three in the field for trainer Aidan O'Brien, ran on from eighth to get second under Seamie Heffernan, edging the German colt Zazou by three-quarters of a length. The final time for the 2,000 meters was 2:19.1 over heavy going.

Godolphin landed its 12th group or grade I success of the year. Passion for Gold won his career debut by five lengths in August at Thirsk and was coming off a third-place finish in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Ire-I) on Sept. 27 at the Curragh. He is out of the Thunder Gulch mare C’Est L’ Amour, a grade II winner and runner-up in the 2000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I). He was bred in Kentucky by Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jackson.