Epsom Derby (G1)

The first Saturday in June brings the ultimate test of the thoroughbred, the Epsom Derby.

This year’s renewal has a field of thirteen, eight from Ireland, seven from Ballydoyle along with Kevin Prendergast’s Madhmoon, and five from England. The forecast is good and the ground will be good to firm.

Let’s review the recent Derby trials:

The Sandown Classic Trial G3, 26th April

Bangkok 10/1, took the Sandown Classic Trial on good to firm ground. He’s somewhat of a forgotten horse in the market as prior to winning this he’d beaten Telecaster in a maiden who went on to win The Dante. The market has been cold on him, you can back at more than twice the odds of Telecaster. A win for him will be hugely emotional, his owners King Power lost Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in the Leicester helicopter crash last October.

The 2000 Guineas G1, 4th May

Madhmoon 11/1, by Dawn Approach, is the only horse who contested the Guineas to come to the Derby. He was a very taking juvenile, a maiden winner in August, he beat Broome in easy fashion in the Juvenile Stakes in September. His Guineas run at Newmarket where he finished fourth suggested a Derby tilt would be within his compass.

Madhmoon after debuting at Leopardstown last August

The Chester Vase G3, 8th May

Ballydoyle’s Sir Dragonet, a son of 2012 winner Camelot is the 3/1 favourite and will be partnered by Ryan Moore. Proven at the trip, he was unraced as a two-year-old only making his appearance at Cork over a mile and a half in April on yielding to soft ground. He was unfancied, let go off at 14/1, he pissed up. Sent to Chester for the Vase he did it again, this time coming from last to first to beat Norway, his better fancied stable companion in an even more authoritative performance, yet the market let him go off the fifth choice at 13/2. Aidan expressed his surprise as he showed little at home. He was supplemented for this as expected on Monday.

Norway 40/1, by Galileo out of Love Me True is a full brother to 2013 winner Ruler Of The World. He contested a G1 late last year, he went off favourite in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud finishing fourth, a similar path taken by Wings Of Eagles who won this in 2017.

The DEE STAKES Listed, 9TH MAY

Circus Maximus odds have halved from 20/1 on Wednesday to 10/1, he mixed it with some of the best last year, second to Persian King, fourth to Magna Grecia (only beaten 1L) with Pheonix Of Spain just ahead, he beat Mohawk in the Dee Stakes comfortably here over a 1m2½f, by Galileo out of Duntle, a miler. Will his stamina stretch the extra 1½f?

The Lingfield Derby Trial Listed, 11th May

Anthony Van Dyck, another Galileo has been a drifter in the market all week out to 8/1 from 5/1, this on the back of a Lingfield Derby Trial success where he certainly looked the part. This was a big step up on an active juvenile campaign where in seven runs he never went beyond a mile. The step up in trip definitely suited. No issue with him staying.

Broome returns after winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May

The Derrinstown Derby Trial G3, 12th May

Broome, second in the market at 9/2, is a son of Australia. He came a more conventional path, five runs as a juvenile and two preps this year where his form picked up considerably on his juvenile career. In April he was a very impressive Balysax winner, in May in the Derrinstown he won again, he did look to labour briefly in the straight before being gathered by Ryan Moore to pull away impressively. Sovereign cut the deficit between himself and Broome from the Ballysax to the Derrinstown, beaten 8L in April it was reduced to 3L come May. Is there further improvement? If so the 100/1 on offer could look silly.

Sovereign on the way out to contest the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown

The Dante Stakes G2, 16th May

Hughie Morrison leads the home defence with Telecaster, a 5/1 shot. He’s certainly bred of it, by a Derby winner New Approach out of an Oaks second Shirocco Star, he was also supplemented having come to prominence by overcoming Too Darn Hot in the Dante. Like Sir Dragonet he only made the racecourse this year, he had the two run’s prior to the Dante, beaten by Bangkok first time out in a maiden then demolishing a field 9L to break his maiden before the Dante.

Japan, a 10/1 shot was talked about with the Derby in mind after winning the Beresford last year where he beat Norway, niggles put him last to trial of the Ballydoyle party in the Dante where the further he went the better he travelled. He finished fourth with Line Of Duty, a G1 winner in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf dropping out tamely finishing second last.

John Gosden runs Humanitarian 50/1, the only one not to trial, he won a novice stakes at Salisbury on the 16th May. It’s a big ask to step up to win a Derby in the space of two weeks.

Conclusion

The trials have been informative, Sir Dragonet, Anthony Van Dyck, Broome and Telecaster were all good winners. It leaves Ballydoyle going in mob-handed, it’s easy to think the team are average, no standout, yet the trials entitle them to send in the troupes.

Sir Dragonet’s homework is incomparable with what he’s done on the track, he keeps his best for the public to see, it’s his inexperience that is a concern going into such a demanding situation as the Derby. The market drift of Anthony Van Dyck also puts one off. Broome and Telecaster appeal, the former for his improvement from two to three, the latter for his high-class defeat of Too Darn Hot, though how good Too Darn Hot is after defeat at the Curragh remains to be seen.

Of all of the trials, the best is the Guineas, fourth at Newmarket says just short of a milers pace, preserving that pace to extend to 12F and the pointer tilts to Epsom. Masar was one place better last year at Newmarket and then went on to win at Epsom. He will have to overcome stamina doubts, connections are bullish he can, should he do so Madhmoon can follow suit.

Madhmoon gets a pat from Chris Hayes after winning the Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown last year

Recommendation: Madhmoon 11/1 ew

Madhmoon, Broome, Sovereign (trifecta)

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2019 Horse, PRWC 2019 Jockey, PRWC 2019 Trainer, PRWC 2019 Sire, PRWC 2019 Owner, PRWC 2019 Breeder

View last years championships here by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder

Advertisements

Irish 2000 Guineas (G1)

The Irish Guineas has been lit up with the news that Too Darn Hot will come to the Curragh, beaten over 10F in the Dante at York, the petrol gauge running empty in the last furlong, John Gosden has decided to strike while the iron’s hot saying he came out of York so well and fresh he need’s to get another run into him.

Decrypt retuning on debut last year at the Curragh

Europe’s top-rated two-year-old who took all before him, culminating in a very impressive Dewhurst win will face Magna Grecia, an unsatisfactory 2000 Guineas winner at Newmarket who has 6 lbs to find with Too Darn Hot on official ratings despite a classic win.

Surely it’s a two horse race, so the market says, 5/4 about the English horse 6/4 about the Irish horse, 8/1 bar.

As a juvenile last October Magna Grecia took the Vertem Futurity beating Pheonix Of Spain whom we’ve not seen since, only a head separated them. Prior to that Charlie Hills colt was 1¾L behind Too Darn Hot in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September. The issue for him is not only does he have to bridge the gap with the principles, he also has to do it in his first run of the season.

Skardu has 4¼L to find with Magna Grecia on his Newmarket third. The Craven winner was quietly fancied by connections going into the Guineas and didn’t disappoint in what was a messy race, they split into two groups. Magna Grecia stayed on the rail with another pair, Willie Haggas’s colt came up the middle with the main group, including Emaraaty Ana. He finished strongly to head Madhmoon to finish third. He must have felt like the winner. The fact that Magna Grecia and the second, King Of Change came from the rail trio suggests they was a definite advantage to the near side on the day, whether the advantage came from pace or track bias will only be told here.

Shelir crosses the road from Roswell House coming into the race not having had a juvenile campaign. His debut, a winning one at Navan in March was followed by a Tetrarch Stakes win here at the Curragh in April. He was professional about how he went about it and he will improve again. I Am Superman, favourite for the Tetrarch faded close home to finish fifth and he’ll also come on. Jim Bolger’s representative, Guaranteed goes more in hope than confidence, he won the Eyrefeild Stakes last season’s end.

Ballydoyle also sends the exposed Van Beethoven, the most experienced in the race, this being his twelfth run. He was at Longchamp two weeks ago for the Poulains finishing sixth to Persian King beaten 5L. He’s joined by stable companions Globe Theatre the pacesetter, and Mohawk who reverts back to a mile from 10F where he ran second in the Dee Stakes at Chester. Old Glory, an expensive yearling son of Frankel at €1.6m will have a lot to do given his best form was third in the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown last October.

Old Glory at Leopardstown last year

Decrypt, to change electronic information or signals that were stored, written, or sent in the form of a secret code may the message to interpret here. Paddy Twomey introduced him at this meeting last year where he ran second in a maiden. He returned to the Curragh two weeks later to win his maiden with Lady Kaya making her debut back in third. Hillwalker also debuting filled forth, he went on to win at Listed level at Gowan Park. Decrypt’s racecourse return was left to Cork this year where over 7F he was a very easy and impressive winner.

Of course he’s a mountain to climb, Too Darn Hot looked unbeatable last year but this year he’s been beaten, the drop in trip may well restore his shine. Magna Grecia might not have been flattered at Newmarket, he might just have outpaced them. If that’s the case, yes it’s a two horse race, and one hell of a cracker at that. However, if this has come too soon after York, a nine-day break for Too Darn Hot and the split in the Guineas field led to track bias then there is a message here to be deciphered.

Recommendation: Decrypt 20/1 ew

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2019 Horse, PRWC 2019 Jockey, PRWC 2019 Trainer, PRWC 2019 Sire, PRWC 2019 Owner, PRWC 2019 Breeder

View last years championships here by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder

Update On The Pattern Racing World Championships 2019 (24th May)

Five G1’s last week, two in Australia, the Doomben Cup and Goodwood Handicap, one in America, The Preakness Stakes, one in England, the Lockinge and one in Japan, the Yushun Himba – Japanese Oaks.

1. The Horse Championship

Not much change in the overall standings, Osbourne Bulls remains top with Beauty Generation and Winx joint second. Kenedna, the Doomben Cup winner added a second G1 to go with the Coolmore Legacy Stakes won last month, the others, Despatch (Goodwood Handicap), Mustashry (Lockinge), War Of Will (Preakness Stakes) and Loves Only You (Yushun Himba) were all first-time G1 winners.

2. The Sire Championship

Deep Impact goes top on the back of one-two in the Japanese Oaks usurping Street Cry.

3. The Jockeys Championship

Hugh Bowman didn’t score this week but remains in pole position. Joel Rosario’s second in the Preakness moves him to joint fourth.

4. The Trainer Championship

James Cummings is still top. Chris Waller closes in on him with a second in the Doomben Cup while Sir Michael Stoute scores his first points of the year with Mustashry’s victory in the Lockinge.

5. The Owner Championship

No change for Godolphin who remain top after a blank weekend. Not so for Hamdan Al Maktoum, the Lockinge win puts him joint third with Coolmore.

6. The Breeder Championship

Darley stay in pole though Northern Farm closes the gap with a first and third in the Japanses Oaks.

Coming This Weekend

CountryTrack Date StatusPattern Race Name
AustrailiaEagle FarmSaturday 25 May 2019(G1)Kingsford-Smith Cup
IrelandCurraghSaturday 25 May 2019(G1)Tattersalls Irish 2000 Thousand Guineas
USASanta AnitaSaturday 25 May 2019(G1)Gamely Stakes
USASanta AnitaSaturday 25 May 2019(G1)The Gold Cup At Santa Anita
FranceParisLonchampSunday 26 May 2019(G1)Prix d’Ispahan
FranceParisLonchampSunday 26 May 2019(G1)Saxon Warrior Prix Saint-Alary
Hong KongSha TinSunday 26 May 2019(G1)Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup
IrelandCurraghSunday 26 May 2019(G1)Tattersalls Irish 1000 Thousand Guineas
IrelandCurraghSunday 26 May 2019(G1)Tattersalls Gold Cup
JapanTokyoSunday 26 May 2019(G1)Tokyo Yushun – Japanese Derby

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2019 Horse, PRWC 2019 Jockey, PRWC 2019 Trainer, PRWC 2019 Sire, PRWC 2019 Owner, PRWC 2019 Breeder

View last years championships here by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder

 

The Lockinge Stakes (G1)

The Lockinge kicks off the G1 season for older horses in Britain over a mile.

Laurens entering the parade ring at Leopardstown before winning the Matron Stakes

It’s an open contest, favouritism falls to the Aidan O’Brien trained Le Brevido, an intake from the Andre Fabre yard in France. This is his second run for Ballydoyle having made his reappearance in the Gladness Stakes at Naas three weeks ago where he put in an adequate performance running third.

His market position is largely due to reputation, a talking horse whose best performances came in 2017. In the French Guineas he was beaten a short head by Brametot and followed up with a win at Royal Ascot in the Jersey Stakes. He looked to have an exciting future.

Injury curtailed his season and Andre Fabre only got him to the racecourse once last year where favouritism was not justified when sixth in the Abernant Stakes last April at Newmarket.

He’s there to be shot at.

Last year the mile division was dominated by Alpha Centurai, alas injury in the Matron Stakes on very firm ground led to retirement. She was beaten by Laurens herself a multiple G1 winner who was a nose winner over September in the Fillies Mile at Ascot as a juvenile. As a three-year-old she lit up the season for connections with wins in the Prix Saint-Alary, Prix Diane, Matron Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes, all confined to her own sex.

Two other fillies will also take on the boys, I Can Fly and Billesdon Brock. I Can Fly did just that at G2 level last year in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown coming from last to first under a hands and heel ride. She proved it was no fluke when pushing Roaring Loin to a neck in the Queen Elizebeth 11 Stakes on Champion Stakes Day. Billesdon Brock took the Newmarket Guineas at a big price, 66/1 but failed to build on that later in the season.

No stand out colt emerged from the mile division last year. Three G1 winners come here, Romanised (Irish Guineas), Without Parole (St James’s Palace Stakes) and Accidental Agent (Queen Anne) to try to add another. Of them, Ken Condon’s Romanised offers most appeal. He won at the Curragh (tipped here) on very fast ground coming from the back, picking off the pack and pipping Saxon Warrior.

He never hit those heights again in three subsequent runs at G1 level but he’s had a comeback run like Le Brevido, in the Gladness Stakes where he couldn’t get daylight until too late. The run suggested the engine is still there, Le Brevido was only a ½ L in front of him come the line.

Of the others Beat The Bank and Lord Glitters are appealing to try to make the top level breakthrough, the latter put in a great performance behind Almond Eye at Meydan over a slightly longer trip of 9F in the Dubai Turf.

Aidan might have rebuilt Le Brevido but he offers little value. Laurens might need an extra couple of furlongs to really shine however her class may win out. It’s Romanised on quick ground, the quicker the better, that stands out most. If he gets a bit of racing room he can come late to steal it.

Recommendation: Romanised 22/1 ew

Romanised and Laurens (RFC)

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2019 Horse, PRWC 2019 Jockey, PRWC 2019 Trainer, PRWC 2019 Sire, PRWC 2019 Owner, PRWC 2019 Breeder

View last years championships here by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder