The Coral Eclipse (G1)

My Dream Boat just gets the better of Found in The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. Picture courtesy of Horsephotos and Getty Images.  

Would The Gurkha beat Found? Over 10f? On this ground?

Hymn…

That’s what the market wants us to believe. The Gurkha lost his last race, the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting. The view post race was that if rerun, the result would comfortably reverse. The winner Galileo Gold was given a masterful ride by Frankie Dettori who picked him up a furlong out to go 2L clear driving him easily to the line.

When The Gurkha broke from the gate Ryan Moore dropped him in, whether that was by design or not is unclear. What is clear is in doing so he was shuffled back and from then on he struggled with his position. When he got to make his run Frankie had flown and granted he was checked and had to switch outside Awtaad but the reality is he was unable to travel comfortably through the early stages of the race and that is where the damage was done. Over this longer trip that might be less of an issue but will there be enough left in the tank to produce the pace he displayed in winning the French Guineas? That’s what he’ll need to do to win this. Travel and quicken.

Plenty of questions then for The Gurkha to answer.

So let’s go back to the question here. If The Gurkha was to take on Found who would you back to win? Fair chance that if 11/2 was available on the mare you’d take it as opposed to the miserly 10/11 on the colt given her overall level of form.

My Dream Boat is available at 11/2 having beaten Found last time out in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over this 10f trip. Found has looked to make a race winning move when she pulled clear of the pack a furlong out. Adam Kirby had My Dream Boat daydreaming at the back. He woke him up, pulled him wide and passed all to catch Ryan Moore by a neck on the line. It was a fabulous ride.

Time Test is running out of time. He missed Royal Ascot because of the give in the ground but Roger Charlton is keen to run now with similar conditions underfoot. He beat Western Hymn here in April over course and distance in the Brigadier Gerard but have connections one eye on the next time out?

Hawkbill is asked to step up on his Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes win at the Royal meeting. He’s on the up having stitched five win’s on the bounce and Godolphin have every right to put him in here. The experience will stand to him.

It’s a fascinating race, the weight of money for The Gurkha since last Sunday would suggest he’s unbeatable. If he is to be found out it’ll be by My Dream Boat.

Recommendation : My Dream Boat 11/2 win

The Irish Derby (G1)

Harzand winning The Derby. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images

Heavy pulses of rain hit the Curragh through Friday and the ground will ride with juice in it. It’s come right for Harzand. The Derby winner thrived on a heavy surface earlier in the season in the Ballysax and at Epsom he was even better when the ground was good to yielding.

He improved from Leopardstown to Epsom to confirm his authority over Idaho and although you would expect tactics will be different this time for Idaho the result will be the same.

Moonlight Magic didn’t handle Epsom at all but on form he’s not out of it. He beat Idaho in the Derrinstown in impressive style on good ground and while the showers have passed and it will dry out you would expect that decent ground won’t come in time for Jim Bolger’s colt. The same applies to Stellar Mass, the other Bolger representative who is an improver having taken the Ulster Derby at Down Royal last weekend.

Only one traveller in the shape of Red Verdon from the Ed Dunlop stable. Sixth in the Derby he has an uphill task.

Aidan O’Brien does his best to support the race and it’s a pity US Army Ranger didn’t make it. He was pulled out having scoped badly leaving Port Douglas, Shogun and Claudio Montevedi to join Idaho in the box up from Tipperary. Of the three the latter makes most appeal on the ground. He finished very well to take fourth on the first day of the season and followed up winning his maiden in very good style in April where The Gurkha was 6L behind in third. He hated Epsom when sent for the trial in April and Aidan dropped him from the team. No doubt he’ll be here to do a job, to set the fractions for Idaho.

Earlier in the week there was some doubt about the participation of Harzand with Dermot Weld expressing concern about the race coming too soon after Epsom. As the week has progressed it has become less an issue and with the ground in his favour it’s hard to look beyond him.

At even money he’s a fair price however at 66/1 a horse who can beat The Gurkha 6 L has to be backed for a place.

Recommendation: Claudio Montevedi 66/1 ew 

 

 

Royal Ascot Jersey Stakes G2 (Day 2)

Herald The Dawn chases home Air Force Blue at the Curragh last year. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.

This a step down in class here for both Ribchester and Herald The Dawn. The former finished third in the Guineas with the latter back in eighth. After the victory of Galileo Gold today that form doesn’t look too shabby. There’s nothing quite to match Guineas form and while you would have to respect the others, Gifted Master, Ibn Malik and Castle Harbour they all to step up considerably on previous effort’s.

Ribchester was in retrospect a big price at Newmarket (33/1) considering he ran second in the Gimcrack at York, only his second start, and then followed up winning the Mill Reef as a two-year old. In April Richard Fahey sent him to Maisons-laffitte for the Prix Djebel possibly thinking French rather than English Guineas. He ran second but was demoted to fifth for interference and the connections rerouted to Newmarket. They bypassed the showdown of today opting for this easier option.

Jim Bolger did likewise. Herald The Dawn was just as impressive as a two-year old. He won The Futurity and ran second to Air Force Blue in the National Stakes. He too had a trip to France for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day where he was only 2L off Galileo Gold who finished third to Ultra. Jim choose the direct route to Newmarket and rather than go for the Irish Guineas he held off for this.

We went for Herald The Dawn in the Guineas and at the price today we would have to give him another chance to rediscover that juvenile form.

Recommendation: Herald The Dawn 16/1 win

Royal Ascot (Day 1)

Big days at Ascot have the capacity to turn green. This could well be one of them.

In the St James’s Palace Stakes The Gurkha and Awtaad vie for favouritism on the back of Guineas wins at Deauville and the Curragh where both were impressive winners.

The Gurkha annihilated the opposition in France where he had them all in trouble from a long way out. He came home 5 1/2 L clear of First Selection with Zarak and Dicton in behind. They latter pair franked the form running second and third in the French Derby. Prior to that he’d won a maiden at Navan by 9L on heavy ground. No fears then on the this ground.

Awtaad won his maiden on the last day of the season at Leopardstown last year and his reintroduction this year saw him take the Madrid Handicap at the Curragh followed by the Tetrarch Stakes. This convinced his trainer Kevin Prendergast he had a colt capable of Guineas standard and so the Curragh was pencilled in to take on Galileo Gold who had triumphed so well at Newmarket. Awtaad had a smooth passage and ran out a convincing winner over the Newmarket conqueror who did have to suffer when caught in a pocket. In fairness to his team Hugo Palmer and Frankie Dettori there weren’t looking for excuses.

In the first, often the best race of the week, The Queen Anne, Tepin comes from America. She’s a superstar filly, the current Breeders Mile Champion and will look to add to a tally that includes five G1’s wins. The difficulty for her is not the ground, she can handle that, it’s the straight mile. As we saw last year with Able Friend Ascot’s straight mile is a huge challenge to horses who are used to coming around tight turns.

Evereyda was only beaten the once last year when Amazing Maria got the better of her in the Prix Rothschild and she is likely to off favourite. She won the French Guineas and Coronation Cup here last year and bounced back from the Amazing Maria defeat to take the Prix du Moulin on her last run in 2015.. She was well beaten on her comeback in May. Granted she have needed the run but she may not have trained on to the same extent as last year.

With doubts about the top two then the Lockinge must come into calculations.

Belarado leads home Euro Charline and Endless Drama in the Lockinge at Newbury. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.

At Newbury Belarado beat our selection on the day, Euro Charline, with Endless Drama back in third. The eye catcher was Endless Drama who’s only ever won the once, a maiden first time out at Naas in October 2014. Three runs as a three-year old saw him second each time however on closer inspection it’s fair to say they were very good runs.

He was beaten by a very good horse in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial, Zawraq trained by Dermot Weld. Zawraq has since been sidelined however he holds an entry in this years Irish Champion Stakes later in the year. Endless Drama was then beaten by Gleneagles in the Irish Guineas and then like Zawraq, was sidelined. Off the track for a year Ger Lyons nursed him back for the Lockinge without the benefit of a prior racecourse visit. That was a big run, he can improve again.

It could be a fairytale day for Ger Lyons Glenburnie stable. Possibly the biggest hour of their existence.

After the Queen Anne comes the Coventry Stakes where careers of top milers are launched. The Sean Jones owned Psychedelic Funk takes on Coolmore’s Caravaggio. Both have had two runs, the latter winning over 5F, the former over 6F. There’s little doubt the step up in distance will not be a problem for Caravaggio nor will the ground as his last win was on soft at the Curragh.

Psychedelic Funk is a son of Choisir who beat a well backed newcomer from the Jim Bolger stable first time out at Naas. He returned to the same venue when stepped up in class and won by a cosy 6L. That was on a on a yielding to soft surface indicating he’ll have no issue with this ground either. It was the manner of the victory which was so impressive, the ease in which he did it, Colin Keane had a job just to pull him up. There’s every chance a career at the very top level will be launched.

Great for the game, fantastic for a small outfit like Glenburnie.

Recommendation:

Queen Anne Stakes: Endless Drama 7/1 win

Coventry Stakes: Psychedelic Funk 6/1 win 

The St James’s Palace Stakes: The Gurkha  6/4 win

 

 

 

Video

The Derby (G1)

What’s sets the Derby apart and makes it such an appealing race is what it demands of a young three-year old.

The first requirement is to handle the preliminaries. The noise and build up affects animals more than it does the humans. It’s easy to boil over especially on a hot day. Then they have to go out on the course. Epsom is a horseshoe-shaped track with Tattenham Corner being the final bend 4 1/2 f from home. It’s a steep downhill track with an uphill finish with a pronounced camber which drags them into the rail. Tough. It finds them out, those how don’t stay run out of petrol before the line comes. Add ground, which by post time, will still include the word soft in places.

16 line up this year in an open year with no colt having stamped his authority over the trials.

Wing Of Desire leads the market on the back of his Dante win where he beat Deauville a neck. It’s the same path worn by his trainer and jockey who last year combined with Golden Horn to lift the blue riband.  He did it well always holding the challenge of Deauville. Like Jack Hobbs his maiden was won on the all weather at Wolverhampton 10 days after his racecourse debut where he ran third to Winning Story. He’s one of four to be supplemented.

Ballydoyle throw 5 at the target. The ante post favourite for the the last few months has been US Army Ranger. He’s been the Ballydoyle talking horse this spring. He won his maiden readily in April and then went to Chester for the Vase. Disappointment filled the air after his victory when in receipt of weight he just got home a short head from stablemate Port Douglas. People forget that as a juvenile Port Douglas won the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh last year hence the penalty he carried into the Vase.

Godolphin have supplemented Cloth Of Stars. Andre Farbe’s Prix Greffulhe winner beat Robin Of Navan (whom had beaten him twice as a juvenile) comfortably on good ground at Saint Cloud. He then like Pour Mio came to Epsom for breakfast with the stars where connections expressed their enthusiasm in a similar manner to 2011.

Godolphin’s other representative is Jim Bolger’s Derrinstown Derby Trial winner Moonlight Magic who had a convincing win over Shogun, Idaho and Beacon Rock. The form got a subsequent boost when the latter took Gallinule over Irish Guineas weekend.

The Ed Dunlop inmate Red Verdon has put in two good performances in handicap company over this 12f trip, enough to tempt his owners to stumped up the £75,000 supplementary fee. Humphrey Bogart owners also took the plunge encouraged by their colts second to So Mi Dar in the Epsom Derby Trial followed up by winning the Lingfield version.

Massaat brings the Newmarket Guineas form to the party. Owen Burrows colt ran second to Galileo Gold in a quick run Guineas and is very tempting at 16/1.

Dermot Weld has put Harzand away since he took the Ballysax in early April where he got the better of Idaho by a 1 1/4L . The pair went well clear of the third and visually it looked a very good trial. Harzand had won his maiden a few weeks before at Cork by 16 L’s and both runs were on heavy ground so there’s every possibility both will relish the surface here today. The ground today may just slightly favour Idaho.

In an open year we’ll rely on the Ballsax as the best trial and back both Harzand and Idaho each way.

Recommendation: Harzand 10/1 ew.

                                   Idaho 16/1 ew

Lockinge Stakes (G1)

The Hannon factor added to the Godolphin factor makes Toormore favourite here. Between the pair they have won five of the last six runnings with only Frankel in 2012 interrupting the sequence. As a partnership Night Of Thunder did the business for them last year when Toormore ran a fine race in third. At G1 level it was his best run of the season. Therafter he bagged two G2’s beating Dutch Connection in the Lennox Stakes (form he franked on his return this year) and going to Turkey to win the Topkapi Trophy. In between he was beaten in the Queen Anne, Jacques Le Marois, Prix De La Foret and Hong Kong Mile.

He’s worth taking on.

Two who should be considered are Euro Charline and Arod.

Euro charline with Frankie in the plate on her way out for the Matron Stakes last September

Euro Charline with Frankie in the plate on her way out for the Matron Stakes last September

Arod ran third here last year and like the favourite scored at G2 level in the Summer Mile. He then ran a cracker to get within a 1/2L of Solow in the Sussex. That form reproduced here would be enough. Connections were confident enough of his capabilities to send him to Australia to contest the Cox Plate and Emirates Stakes. The trip didn’t work out. Maybe it was the exertions behind Solow or maybe he just wasn’t a traveller. In any event it’s forgivable and he deserves another chance.

Euro Charline has scored at G1 though we’ve to go back to the Beverley D in August of 2014 for that. It’s what she done lately is the encouraging piece. On a spring trip to Dubai she ran second in the Balanchine. That was a prep for the Dubai Turf where she repeated the dose chasing home Japan’s Real Steel. She must be in good form as last year on her return from Dubai she didn’t see a racecourse until July when she ran second in the Falmouth. Marco Botti must feel she’s in good form to bring her back two month’s earlier this year. She has the added benefit of Ryan Moore on her back.

There both worth backing.

Recommendation: Arod 20/1 EW, Euro Charline 20/1 EW

2000 Guineas (Group 1)

Air Force Blue running away with The National Stakes from Herald The Dawn. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.

 

Punters are being asked to take 8/11 about Air Force Blue as we speak, not great value when compared with Gleneagles return of 4/1 last year.

Both were the dominant two-year olds.

Air Force Blue was a triple G1 winner as a juvenile while Gleneagles had one in the bag. It would have been two had he not been disqualified by the stewards in France in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day. They had different campaigns with the only common thread being the National Stakes where both won however Gleneagles time was 4 seconds quicker than Air Force Blue’s albeit on much quicker ground.

Air Force Blue enters the race rated 124 as opposed to Gleneagles mark of 116 last year. That goes some way to explaining the bookmakers stinginess but are either the rating or the price justified? In the last decade Frankel, Dream Ahead and New Approach all entered their three-year careers rated 126. Top miler, top sprinter and top middle distance athletes of their generations.

Is Air Force Blue up there with them?

He was visually impressive in quickening in the Phoenix Stakes and in the National Stakes and to a slightly lesser degree in the Dewhurst though it was never in doubt.

He did get beaten. In the Coventry 2nd time out by the Mark Johnston trained Buratino who caught him for toe when he didn’t settle. Can that happen again? Unlikely he’s settled in all after that though there is a risk that freshness could be a factor.

There’s a sense he hasn’t been tested at two (immaturity being the issue at Ascot) and a sense he could have put on the afterburners if required, which would have put his rating up there at the 126 mark.

It didn’t happen because he didn’t need to. The others couldn’t live with the ease of his acceleration. He glided by. As a three-year old the same might not be the case. The opposition is bigger, stronger and will also have matured.

His times weren’t fast last year, the G1’s won in slower than standard. In the first, the Phoenix he beat Washington DC who started favourite on Wednesday at Ascot in the Pavillion Stakes over 6f. He was well beaten.

Also of concern is the ability of his sire War Front’s progeny to carry their form from two to three. War Command was a very exciting two-year old who didn’t reproduce at three.

So can he get beat and if so by who.

Of course he can, sure it already happened and now he wears headgear, a tongue-tie and noseband to mitigate the worry about him getting the trip.

All that adds up to the price not being justified but the question of the rating can’t be answered until we seen the run. For racing let’s hope the figure stands up as it’s rare to see a champion miler in the making but speaking from the pocket the one’s that might catch him out are this weeks plunge horse Hugo Plamer’s Galileo Gold and Godolphin’s Buratino who after beating him at Ascot couldn’t live with him at the Curragh in the National. He then ran second to Shalaa in the Middle Park, not shabby form at all.

Then there’s the other Godolphin runner Jim Bolger’s Herald The Dawn, second in the National ahead of Buratino and 3 1/4 Ls behind Ultra when pulling too hard in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. He has  3L’s to make up on Air Force Blue. We might be in for a Kingman moment, beaten here in the Guineas the only blot on the copybook in an otherwise flawless career.

If we are to have a Night Of Thunder then we may well Herald The Dawn. Watch out for the white cap.

 

Recommendation: Herald The Dawn 33/1 e.w 

 

 

 

 

Pattern Racing World Championships 2015 – Part 2

In the previous post we revealed the winners of the first 3 categories of the Pattern Racing World Championships 2015.

Now we’ll reveal the other 3 categories;

Sire, Owner and Breeder.

Below are the top 5 in each category.

Remember – For a G1 placing you get:

Points                1st = 10 pts,                    2nd = 7 pts,                 3rd = 5 pts.

4. Pattern Racing World Championship Category – Sire

Galileo is the Pattern Racing World Champion.

Photo by Martyn Hayhow courtesy of Getty Images

 

Place

 

Sire

2015 Points Won  

Place

2014 Points Won
1  Galileo (IRE) 257 1 261
2  Dubawi (IRE) 220 6 88
3  Deep Impact (JPN) 169 2 131
4  Tapit (USA) 124 5 92
5  High Chaparral (IRE) 105 3 102

Galileo tops the bill for a second year in a row. His dominance isn’t as pronounced as in 2014 where he had a 130 point cushion over the opposition, effectively 13 G1 wins. This year it’s been reduced to 37 points. It’s not that Galileo’s powers have diminished, he’s only 4 point’s off where he was last year. It’s more about the rise of the younger generation. He had 14 G1 wins from 10 individuals with 11 2nd’s and 8 3rd’s.

Dubawi 6th last year jumped to 2nd this year improving his tally by a whopping 132 points. He had 11 G1 wins from 10 individuals with 10 2nd’s and 8 3rd’s.

Deep Impact, Tapit and High Chaparral all bettered their performances of last year with 6, 5 and 4 G1 winners from 5, 4 and 3 individuals.

Click here for the full list                                             Click here for the full detail

5. Pattern Racing World Championship Category – Owner

Godolphin are the Pattern Racing World Champion.

 

Photo by Vince Caligiuri courtesy of Getty Images

Place Owner Points Won
1  Godolphin 372
2  Coolmore 330
3  H H Aga Khan 88
4  U Carrot Farm 82
4  Wertheimer & Frere 82

Godolphin had 12 trainers in 5 countries contribute to their tally. The star was new recruit John O’Shea in Australia whose scored 120 points for them. They won in total, 16 G1’s with another 16 2nd’s and 20 3rd’s. This was a tight race with Godolphin’s global operations just getting the better of Coolmore, the predominately Irish based operation.

Coolmore had 5 trainers contribute with Aidan O’Brien’s 252 point tally for “the lads” being the loins share. They won 18 G1’s with another 15 2nd’s and 9 3rd’s.

The dominance of the leading pair is apparent by the distance back in 3rd to the Aga Khan. The margin between 2nd and 3rd is 242 points equivalent to 24 G1 wins. The Aga Khan had 3 home based trainer’s provide him with 5 G1 win’s, 4 2nd places and 2 3rd places.

In joint fourth, Japan’s U Carrot Farm had 8 trainer’s provide their total of 3 G1’s, 6 2nd’s and 2 3rd’s including raids in Australia where they hauled a G1 win and 2 places.

The brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer matched their Japanese counterparts with 2 trainers amassing their total winning, 6 G1’s (5 courtesy of Solow) placing 2nd once with 2 3rd places.

Click here for the full list                                              Click here for the full detail

6. Pattern Racing World Championship Category – Breeder

Darley are the Pattern Racing World Champion.

 

Photo by Darrian Traynor courtesy of Getty Images

 

Place Breeder Points Won
1  Darley 241
2  Northern Farm 107
3  Juddmonte Farms Ltd 101
4  Wertheimer Et Frere 94
5  Northern Racing 87

It’s no surprise that Darley come out on top. The strength behind Godolphin will soon to be subsumed into one operation under the tutelage of John Ferguson, the new head of Godolphin. Darley were breeders to 24 horses who scored points with 9 G1’s winners ,13 2nd’s and 10 3rd’s.

Northern Farm had 11 score for them winning 5 G1’s with 4 animals and recording 6 2nd’s and 3 3rd’s.

Juddmonte had 6 score with 2 individuals winning, 8 2nd’s and 5 3rd’s.

The Wertheimer brothers had 5 score winning 7 G1’s with 3 individuals adding 2 2nd’s and 2 3rd’s.

Northern Racing in Japan had 9 score with 3 winning G1’s, 6 2nd’s and 3 3rd’s.

Click here for the full list                                               Click here for the full detail

 

Pattern Racing World Championships 2015 – Part 1

After 312 Group/Grade 1’s we can announce this years winners in the Pattern Racing World Championships.

We have 6 categories now, Horse, Trainer, Jockey, Sire, Owner and Breeder.

Below are the top 5 in each category.

Remember – For a G1 placing You get 10 points for win, 7 for second and 5 for third.

1. Pattern Racing World Championship Category – Horse

 

Photo by Rob Carr courtesy of Getty Images

American Pharoah the Grand Slam winner is the Pattern Racing World Champion.

Place Horse Points Won
1  American Pharoah (USA) 67
2  Golden Horn 54
3  Solow 50
4  Criterion (NZ) 49
5  Flintshire 43

2015 was a vintage year with the first four home beating the winning score of 47 set in 2013 by Wise Dan and Beholder jointly and matched in 2014 by Kingman.

American Pharoah won 6 G1’s this year.

He added to his two Grade 1 juvenile wins by firstly taking the Arkansas Derby. He the won the American Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. He followed up in the Haskell Invitational.

He was a tired horse in the Travers when beaten by Keen Ice but he was imperious at Keenland in the Breeders Cup Classic. Any doubts about the victory where he had 6 1/2 L to spare over the 100/1 shot Effenix were well and truly put to bed when Effinex went on to win the Clark Handicap next time out. Tonalist beaten 12 L at Keenland further franked the form when winning the Cigar Mile. Their victory’s meant in the Classic, American Pharoah had annihilated a field full of G1 winners.

It stamped him exceptional.

Golden Horn was also a true star. He may have lost to two fillies in Found who beat him in the Breeders Cup Turf and Arabian Queen in the International but an Epsom Derby, Coral Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe proved him the best middle distance turf horse since Sea The Stars in 2009, a testament to his quality.

Solow was certainly the king miler. The five-year old who hadn’t won a G1 prior to 2015 started with the Dubai Turf and Prix d’Ispahan before stepping back in trip to add a trio of mile races in the Queen Anne, Sussex Stakes and QE11.

Criterion was the most versatile. He started the year running 3rd over 6.5f in the Canterbury Stakes and finished in the same place over 2 miles in the Melbourne Cup. In between he squeezed in 2 wins at home in Australia in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Caufield Stakes and also made trips to England for the Queen Anne and Hong Kong for the Cup.

Flintshire was also a world traveller winning the Sword Dancer at Saratoga running 2nd 4 times in the Sheema Classic, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, The Arc and Hong Kong Vase. He was also 3rd in the Coronation Cup.

Click here for the full list                                                 Click here for the full detail

2. Pattern Racing World Championship Category – Trainer

Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Chris Waller is the Pattern Racing World Champion.

 

Place

 

Trainer

2015 Points Won  

Place

2014 Points Won
1 Chris Waller 279 2 237
2 A P O’Brien 277 1 266
3 Todd Pletcher 254 3 190
4 Chad C Brown 196 5 134
5 Bob Baffert 176 4 171

Chris pipped Aidan O’Brien a nose. That’s a reversal of last years first and second where Aidan’s winning total was 266. Both surpassed last years winning figure. Chris had 16 G1 winners, Aidan had 17. It was the placed efforts that separated the two, 12 seconds and 7 third places for Chris were the decider over Aidan’s 11 and 6. Winx was Chris’s top performer with 3 win’s and a second (37 points) while Found was Aidan’s best provider with 1 win and 4 seconds (38 points).

In America Todd Plecther won 15 G1’s placing him in the same position as last year where curlina was his top performer (37 points). Chad Brown’s star pupil was Big Blue Kitten (39 points) beat Bob Baffert for 4th, a reversal on last year who had American Pharoah (67 points).

All the top five bettered their totals of last year.

Click here for the full list                                            Click here for the full detail

3. Pattern Racing World Championship Category – Jockey

 

Photo by Rob Carr courtesy of Getty Images

Ryan Moore is the Pattern Racing World Champion.

 

Place

 

Jockey

2015 Points Won  

Place

2014 Points Won
1 Ryan Moore 270 2 210
2 John R Velazquez 222 3 201
3 Javier Castellano 201 4 195
4 Joel Rosario 175 1 227
5 Frankie Dettori 171 14 100

The globe-trotting jockey won 15 G1 races across the world, England 5, Ireland 1, France 2, Hong Kong 2, Japan 1, USA 2, Canada 2. He was also was placed in Australia and Dubai. Found and Legatisimmo contributed 31 points each. His achievement is all the more incredible considering he was out of action for 11 weeks with a serious neck injury sustained on 9th July only making his comeback on the 24th September. He came back with a bang recording 11 of those wins on his return.

John Velazquez the 2013 champion improved on his third position of last year notching up 11 G1 victories. Javier Castellano improved a place to third with 15 winners while Joel Rosario, last years champion, fell to 4th. Frankie Dettori’s rejuvenation brought him into the top 5 with 7 G1 wins.

Click here for the full list                                                    Click here for the full detail

The remaining categories which we shall deal with in a later post.

Hong Kong International Races (Group 1)

A cracking card to finish off the season.

The internationals are favoured in the Vase with Flintshire back to defend his crown. He come’s here in the form of his life having run second to Treve in the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud in June, winning the Sword Dancer at Saratoga in August and running second to Golden Horn in the Arc in October.

Cannock Chase, Highland Reel, Daryian, Ming Dynasty and Cirrus Des Aigles also travel from Europe with Preferment making his way from Australia.

Michael Stoute’s Cannock Chase won the Canadian International last time out at Woodbine in the hands of Ryan Moore who this time is claimed by Aidan O’Brien to ride Highland Reel, winner of the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in the summer. Last time out the Irish horse ran third in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley where he had Preferment in behind in ninth. Previously Chris Waller’s charge was a winner of the Turnbull Stakes.

Daryian for Alain Du Royer-Dupre won the Prix Eugene Adam at Massion Lafitte and was second to New Bay in the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano at Deauville in August. The Qatar Racing owned three-year old Ming Dynasty’s will be having only his sixth run of his life (beaten only the once) and comes here on the back of  a win in the Prix Du Conseil at Chantilly on very soft ground in October while the veteran Cirrus Des Aigles will be having his sixty-seventh start and comes to Hong Kong for the sixth time.

Wouldn’t you love to see him win it. His magic day’s may be behind him but let’s not forget he won the Prix Ganay in May beating Al Kazeem and if you go back to June 14 you’ll find he had 2 L to spare over Flintshire in the Coronation Cup at Epsom. Age may have caught up with him but his class means he’s still capable of causing an upset and at the prices he’s the each way value.

In the sprint there’s a similar case to be made for Sole Power, now the elder lemon, who arguably had his best run ever when running second behind Lord Kanaloa here two years ago.

In the Mile Ryan Moore will renew his partnership with the Japanese colt Maurice on whom he won the Mile Championship at Koyto. They’ll have to overcome local favourite Able Friend beaten in his prep here a couple of weeks ago however Esoterique may provide Andre Fabre who turned seventy this week a belated birthday present.

In the Cup Free Eagle returning to 10F is the choice.

It may prove better value to take local prices so put PMU on your docket.

Recommendation:

The Vase : Cirrus Des Aigles e w (PMU)

The Sprint : Sole Power e w (PMU)

The Mile : Esoterique e w (PMU)

The Cup : Free Eagle win (PMU)