Category Archives: Australia

The Melbourne Cup (G1)

Recommendation: Johannes Vermeer 11/1 win

Johannes Vermeer with Minding following at Naas in May

Johannes Vermeer made his seasonal debut at Naas this year running fourth to the wonderful Minding. Injury forced her retirement after winning the G2 Mooresbridge Stakes. Alas we didn’t see her again but we have the prospect of Johannes Vermeer winning the Melbourne Cup, to a great deal of people the most coveted of all races in the world.

Johannes Vermeer was a G1 winner as a two-year old when he took the Criterium International at Saint Cloud in France in November 2015.  Injury meant his three-year old season was curtailed to just one run when at the end of the year in October he ran third in the Darley Stakes at Newmarket.

Aidan O’Brien kept him for a four-year old campaign and that decision has been rewarded with a trip down under for the Melbourne Cup. He’s changed ownership for this transferring to the Williams family as has US Army Ranger who is now under the tutelage of son Joseph O’Brien. Jospeh’s other runner Rekindling likewise transferred offers most to fear here. There’s a lot to like about him and his fourth in the St Leger behind Capri is outstanding form coming into this race.

Back to Johannes Vermeer, two G1 outings followed the Nass run. The Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May and Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. He never threatened but he wasn’t beaten that far going down less than 5 L’s on both occasions.

In early July he was then dropped in class for a confidence booster and duly obliged when beating a very good horse in Success Days in the G3 International Stakes on Irish Derby day.

In early August he was then beaten a 1/2 L by stable companion Spanish Steps in the G3 Ballyroan Stakes. The loss wasn’t unexpected judging by the betting that night and while Spanish Steps might have had his day in the sun you can quite conceivably see that a plan was hatched for Johannes Vermeer to go to Melbourne after that performance.

In mid October he made his Australian debut in the G1 Caulfield Stakes where he was an unconsidered outsider going off at 30/1. He ran a cracker to just be denied a head by Galio Chop.

A week later he went off favourite for the much bigger Caulfield Cup when in an interrupted run when boxed in on the rail he couldn’t get out in time.  He finished third. This was a case of full of horse with nowhere to go. He ate what was left of the ground but the post came too soon. Next time.

Next time comes now. He’s not the horse he led in the picture, none are, if she’d had a season we wouldn’t talk of Enable we ‘d have only talked of Minding.

It’s good to remember a day in May, now it’s November. A day for Johannes Vermeer to have a day in the southern hemisphere sun.

Minding enters the ring for the Mooresbridge Stakes on her comeback at Naas




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.

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Photo by Martyn Hayhow courtesy of Getty Images





2015 Points Won  


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.

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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.

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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

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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

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Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Chris Waller is the Pattern Racing World Champion.





2015 Points Won  


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

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Photo by Rob Carr courtesy of Getty Images

Ryan Moore is the Pattern Racing World Champion.





2015 Points Won  


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.

Pattern Racing World Champions 2015 (Jan 1 – June 30)

After 135 Group/Grade 1’s have been run across the world so far this calendar year we thought we’d update you on the Pattern Racing World Championships standings.

We have 6 categories now, Trainer, Jockey, Horse, 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.

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American Pharoah Triple Crown winner and current  leader in the Pattern Racing World Championships for Horses. Picture by Rob Carr courtesy of Getty Images

Rank Horse PointsWon
1  American Pharoah (USA) 40
2  Able Friend (AUS) 30
2  Gleneagles (IRE) 30
4  Criterion (NZ) 27
5  Dissident (AUS) 25
Rank Trainer Points Won
1 Chris Waller 153
2 Todd Pletcher 110
3 Bob Baffert 101
4 A P O’Brien 88
5 Gai Waterhouse 86
Rank Jockey Points Won
1 Blake Shinn 104
1 Victor Espinoza 104
3 Hugh Bowman 97
4 James McDonald 95
5 Ryan Moore 90
Rank Owner Points Won
1 Godolphin 132
2 M Tabor, D Smith & Mrs John Magnier 54
3 U Carrot Farm 50
3 Zayat Stables LLC 50
5 H H Aga Khan 42
Rank Sire Points Won
1 b c Galileo (IRE) 44
1 b f Fastnet Rock (AUS) 44
3 b c Pioneerof The Nile (USA) 40
4 b c King Kamehameha (JPN) 32
4 b f Deep Impact (JPN) 32
Rank Breeder Total
1 Darley 143
2 Northern Racing 80
3 Northern Farm 50
4 Widden Stud Australia Pty Ltd 40
4 Wertheimer Et Frere 40
4 Zayat Stables Llc 40