Newcastle switched from a turf to a Tapeta track in 2016 and since then it has become a breeding ground for horses destined for even greater success. The next in line could be Golden Horn’s debutant winner Cape Palace, who had little trouble in beating his rivals by upwards of eight lengths on Friday, 30 August.
Timeform was suitably impressed, allotting the John Gosden-trained colt a very high race rating of 94, the third-best debutant performance at the track for the past three seasons. He is certainly in elite company with three of the top four already heading onto either G1 or G2 glory.
Heading the list was future G2 Coventry Stakes winner Rajasinghe, who won on his debut in 2017, running to a figure of 97. One pound less was the Roger Charlton-trained Headman, who has won his last three starts in his Classic season including a brace of G2s in France in the Prix Eugune Adam and Prix Guillaume d’Ornano.
One pound behind Cape Palace is another John Gosden-trained runner, Without Parole, whose biggest triumph was in 2018 when landing the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
John Gosden has made a habit of sending top-class runners to make their debuts at the Northumberland track, none more so than star filly Enable, who triumphed by nearly four lengths back in 2016, running a race rating of 83.
Another juvenile debutant winner that rated inferior to Cape Palace was recent G3 winner Moonlight Spirit (Dubawi), who ran to a rating of 88 last season.
Golden Horn broke the juvenile track record when making a winning debut at Nottingham in October of his first season to race. His first runners on the track this year have impressed and include the G3 Sweet Solera Stakes heroine West End Girl, Yarmouth winner Festive Star, and the highly rated maidens Craylands, Tulip Fields and Shandoz.