Dream Ahead - our 2011 star
15 November 2011
FROM start to finish the 2011 season has been one to remember for David Simcock and his team at Trillium Place.
In terms of prizemoney it has been their most lucrative yet with over £1million won at home and abroad. A significant proportion of that was won by Dream Ahead who netted three Group 1 prizes and earned the title of leading sprinter in Europe.
Due to the unusually dry spring a 2000 Guineas campaign had to be aborted and the son of Diktat didn’t make his seasonal reappearance until the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. He ran respectably against Frankel and Excelebration, among others, that day over a mile but it was the drop back to sprint distances which proved the key to reigniting his fire.
On his next start, Dream Ahead showed a devastating turn of foot to win the Darley July Cup under a perfectly timed ride by Hayley Turner. It was a first Group 1 for the leading lady rider and a third for her mount. He was back!
A lacklustre run in the Prix Maurice de Gheest followed before Dream Ahead showed tremendous battling qualities to win the Haydock Sprint Cup by a nose from his old rival Bated Breath. Dream Ahead saved argubly the best until last and on his final visit to the racecourse he triumphed over the mighty Goldivoka in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp.
Dream Ahead has been retired to Ballylinch Stud in Ireland. With five Group 1 wins to his name, he is assured of a place n the sport's history books.
David reflects: "In some ways, I don't think he has got the credit he deserves. From nine runs he had six wins - five of them at the highest level - and apart from his first run in a maiden at Nottingham, every other race he ran in was a Group 1.
"All his three wins in 2011 were very significant in their own way but Newmarket was perhaps the most special for us. It was there that he restored and also enhanced his reputation in what is Europe's most prestigious sprint.
"Haydock was special, too, as he bounced back after his run in Deauville and, of course, he gave us an unforgettable day when he beat Goldikova last month.
"We were obviously very sorry to see him go but his departure has just made us even more determined to find another one like him."
Trillium Place's season was far from being just about about Dream Ahead's successes with plenty of other good performances to mention. I’m A Dreamer was another to land a Stakes race when taking the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket in emphatic fashion. The daughter of Noverre came very close to winning a Group 1 herself when going down by just a head in the E P Taylor Stakes in Canada.
David says: "To run as she did in the EP Taylor was very pleasing. Nothing had fallen right for her through the middle of the season and the fact that she was ill at that time didn't help.
"We've got her to look forward to in 2012 and I think she is certainly up to winning a Group 2. The first half of her season is likely to be in Europe and the second half in North America."
There was a big handicap victory by Noble Citizen who rolled back the years with a last-gasp success in the totepool handicap at Ascot in July.
The yard’s juveniles have recorded a healthy strike rate of 14% and impressive wins from Hello Glory, Gloriam, Montaser and Ghost Protocol mean the future looks bright for 2012 and beyond.
While the turf season has now finished, these are still busy times at Trillium Place. The yearlings are due in - "we'definitely got more earlier types than we've had before" - and David has a small team for the all-weather. Then there is the Dubai International Racing Carnival where Trillium Plave will again be represented.
It never stops within a racing stables - and that's precisely why the lifestyle and the environment remain so interesting. Not least at Trillium Place.