I hope to recover the RFO extracts at a later date.
Issue 38 May 25 2000
At York last week I confirmed that Sakhee, trained by John Dunlop, had done really well since Sandown and was worth backing. The colt won well and is now a real contender for Epsom. However the very firm going did not help his action and he won in spite of the ground. He is capable of much better and this handy well made sort can do himself justice providing there is no sting underfoot. The form of his Sandown trial has not stopped working out.
SA Issue 41
Sakhee was flagged up for those who view the Sportsadviser Website after his appearance at Sandown in April and was included in the list of horses to follow in this column a few weeks ago. The colt fulfilled all expectations by finishing in second place, five lengths clear of the third. It would have been nice to win but he simply found one too good on the day.
SA Issue 46 July 20 2000
Sakhee gave a gallant display in the Derby and finished clear of his field when second to Sinndar who subsequently slaughtered the opposition in the Derby.
Likewise Sakhee was in supreme order and could not be faulted in the parade ring. There was no indication that his Epsom exertions had taken anything out of him and his running was disappointing. Perhaps the rapidly drying ground was against him and it may be possible that he will always need a bit of cut to be at his best, while a distance of 12 furlongs could be his optimum trip. In all he deserves another chance.
SA Issue 62 9 November 2000
Sakhee was unlucky enough to meet Sinndar in the Derby and that colt proved himself to be the best Classic horse to have come out of Ireland since the peerless Nijinsky some 30 years ago. Sakhee came clear of the rest of the field but it was not enough to land this writer a six figure punt.
SA Issue 98 26 July 2001
Another of last year’s contenders to stay in training is Sakhee and he entered the ring at Newbury last Saturday in a bid to re-establish his place in the official rankings.
Sakhee first caught the eye of writer when perusing the breeding of the John Dunlop two year olds. His dam was Thawakib who was also owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum.
It is nearly ten years since Thawakib went through the Houghton Sales at Newmarket. The Sales are a time consuming affair as horse pass through in an endless Indian file. While this procession continues horses are viewed in and out of their boxes.
Trainers swap their suits and ties for casual clothes and on this particular evening it was John Gosden, relaxed in his brown suede Gucci top, who spent the most time viewing the Sadlers Wells yearling later to be named Thawakib.
Put simply she was the only class act on show that night. John would have been disappointed not to get the horse but sibling hierarchy prevailed and Sheikh Mohammed had to give way to his elder brother Sheikh Hamdan on this occasion and the filly was sent to Arundel.
Thawakib was an elegant rather than powerful type and would barely have made 16 hands in height. She was still at her owners stud recovering from injury when John Dunlop held an open day at Arundel in the May of 1993 and returning after the briefest of training preparations she was good enough to take the Ribblesdale Stakes at the Royal Meeting.
After a promising but fairly modest first season as a two year old, Sakhee made his bow at Sandown in April for the Thresher Classic Trial over ten furlongs. Not a big horse, Sakhee was dwarfed by the very tall Pawnbroker in the paddock. Reported to have missed work he looked some way off peak fitness but was noted as the main Derby contender for sunscribers to www.sportsadviseron Paddock Online. It was also noted that his action was longer than that of Thawakib who rather like Salsabil had a quick economical action.
Sakhee then won the Dante Stakes before succumbing to Sinndar in the 2000 Derby. He was then unplaced in the Eclipse which was his last race of the season. Since the he has been transferred to the Godolphin establishment and has also been under the surgeon’s knife for an operation to his knee.
It is inevitable that when he entered the paddock the four year old would be some way short of his best and this was reflected in the market where he drifted from long odds on to the 4-5 marker before returning the 8-11 favourite.
Sportsadviser 30 August 2001 Issue 103
There were some good winners during the week sufficient to pay for the bacchanal. Sakhee started proceedings on the Tuesday though bets were subdued by the fear that the Grade One race may come too soon after the colt’s win at Newbury where he was less than fully fit.
Pre race inspection revealed that the son of Bahri had done well since the outing and had filled a deal but the description ‘big and well’ may have been more pertinent rather than ‘hard fit’ and there was some trepidation on the part of this writer as Sakhee was being asked to take on a top class field when less than fully fit.
Such doubts were unfounded as he won in fantastic style decimating the opposition. The inference is that the best is yet to come and Sakhee should win again in the Champion Stakes or the Arc.
There was no scope to belittle the race as Medicean looked magnificent beforehand and both Black Minaloushe and Grandera had done well physically.
Readers of this column will need no introduction to Sakhee as he was the nominee for the Derby last year in the inaugural column at a time when Kings Best was still favourite. Though he was no match for Sinndar he was clear of the rest of the field at Epsom and the form was good enough to win the Arc, barring the Currabeg colt. Having improved again the Arc is his for the taking this autumn should connections declare him – even allowing for the running plans of Ballydoyle.
SA Issue 162 October 24 2002
The race (Champion Stakes) was devalued by the omission of Sakhee who was retired to stud before the race. His career was traced closely in this column and his win at Longchamp in the Arc capped a brilliant career over middle distances. Hopefully he will be as successful as a sire.
Despite being drawn in the Car Park Sakhee was one of the most impressive winners of the Arc ever!