By News Team
22nd January 2021
Across the pond there’s the small matter of the Pegasus World Cup and our resident US expert has previewed the best of it for us.
CODE OF HONOR, a horse that can delight and infuriate in equal measure, can enjoy his biggest payday in the Pegasus World Cup on Saturday night (10.44pm) at 4/1. After a 2019 that was threatening to anoint him as a serious horse after wins in the Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup (awarded), he failed to push on in 2020, looking a bit tripless and slightly sulky in the heat of battle. When a race unravels around him over a reasonable distance, however, he comes into his own, and it was here at Gulfstream two years ago that first he set tongues wagging as a likely Kentucky Derby winner when scything through spent horses in a fast-run Fountain of Youth.
The deserving favourite Knicks Go, so dominant in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, will be a tough nut to crack, but he is pedal-to-the-metal over distances shy of this and will surely be roughed up a bit by last year’s pace pusher Mr Freeze and Tax, who moved up a gear last time around here. The likelihood is that Knicks Go will see off that arguably fraudulent pair, but he might have expended a bit too much energy in the process over this extra distance (and away from his beloved Keeneland), and I can see the sometime rascal Code Of Honor finding himself in front when the music stops.
SAY THE WORD is the suggestion in the Pegasus Turf that precedes the big race (9.59pm). A horse that slides around the barns with the seasons, he has proven himself a tough and versatile performer for a variety of trainers in several jurisdictions. Now with the very capable Phil d’Amato, he stepped it up behind the genuine G1 horse Arklow at Del Mar in late autumn, finishing with his customary flourish. He might want a bit more pace on ideally, but class wise he fits fine here and could even be improving at 17/2.
I’ll have a small bet on STORM THE COURT as well at 20/1: he ran a corker in the Derby last year, and might yet have a future on Turf (he’s by the BC Mile winner Court Vision). A possibility to glide along quite unhurried on the lead, he looks a high cruiser without a devastating turn of foot and the race might set up quite well for him.