It is hard to know the merit of the form, but on visual impression Gold Town appears to be a young horse with a big future. Godolphin's homebred three-year-old is trained by Charlie Appleby, he has run twice at Meydan this year, both on dirt, and been highly impressive each time.
The first of those outings came in a seven-furlong conditions race, which he took by four and a quarter lengths, and the second was Thursday's Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas over a mile, which he took by a 10 and a half-length margin.
The nine and a half-furlong, Group 2 UAE Derby is an obvious next target for him and, after that, perhaps some of the leading events for the classic generation. But where? He is a gelding and that excludes him from the European Group 1 classics, so this exciting prospect could become a candidate for the US Triple Crown series.
He was gelded after the third consecutive defeat that followed a debut success over five furlongs at Newbury last year, then finished third in a seven-furlong Newmarket nursery in July before taking a similar contest over the same course and distance a month later. His pattern victory appears to be a massive step forward on all of this.
Gold Town is a son of the late Street Cry (by Machiavellian), the Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner who stood in Kentucky, shuttled to Australia – where he was crowned champion sire – and whose offspring include top sprinters and milers, a Kentucky Derby hero in Street Sense and, of course, two of the greatest fillies of the modern era: Winx and Zenyatta.
He is the second foal of Pimpernel (by Invincible Spirit) who won four times in England as a two-year-old, including the Listed Radley Stakes at Newbury, and was second in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes.
Her dam, Anna Pallida (by Sadler's Wells), got her sole victory over 10 furlongs and as she is a daughter of three-time scorer Masskana (by Darshaan) it was always on the cards that she could become the ancestor of some high-class performers. Why? Because that mare is one of those rare gems with at least three individual Group/Grade 1-winning offspring to her name.
Eagle Mountain (by Rock Of Gibraltar) won the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin and was placed in each of the Group 1 Derby at Epsom, Group 1 Irish Derby at the Curragh, Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket, and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.
His half-sister Dank (by Dansili) won both the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes, while Sulk (by Selkirk) took the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at two before going on to earn placings in the Nassau Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Royal-Oak – all Group 1.
Sulk is the dam of the Group 2-placed stakes winner Ibn Battuta (by Seeking The Gold), while her unraced full-sister Slink is responsible for Bye Bye Birdie (by Oasis Dream), winner of the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Balanchine Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh as a two-year-old.
Masskana, who is also the dam of the pattern-placed stakes winner Wallace (by Royal Academy), is a half-sister to Grade 1-placed US Grade 3 scorer Madjaristan (by Irish River) and to Massyar (by Kahyasi), who won the Group 2 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh a few weeks after finishing third to Barathea in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas.
The fourth dam of Gold Town is, therefore, Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and Group 1 Prix Robert Papin heroine Masarika (by Thatch).
It remains to be seen just how good Gold Town will be when he reaches his peak, but there is every reason to hope that he can succeed at the highest level. That may come on dirt and at anywhere from a mile to 10 furlongs – and the Belmont Stakes trip may not be beyond his reach – but it is also going to be interesting to see how he fares if returning to turf.