Category Archives: Classic

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

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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

The Prix de Diane (Group 1)

Happily before the Irish 1000 Guineas

Aidan O’Brien sends Happily to France for the Prix de Diane, the French Oaks.

She’s yet to match her juvenile from of last year when she captured two Group 1’s, here in France she took the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and before that at home she won the Moyglare Stud Stakes. There were both very good performances especially in France when she beat the colts Olmedo and Masar subsequent winners of the French 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby, not bad looking form now.

Her runs this year in both the English 1000 Guineas and Irish 1000 Guineas suggested she was crying out for an extension in trip. She went off favourite for both, the market having recognised that juvenile form however she was caught for toe on both occasions finishing a staying on third both times.

Karl Burke’s Laurens is the other visitor in the field. She beat September in the Fillies Mile at Ascot last year and ran second in the English 1000 Guineas on seasonal debut a length in front of Happily. She stepped up to this trip in the Prix Saint-Alary to bag her second Group 1 where she had a short head to spare over With You who reopposes here. She’s a quality filly.

The home defence is led by Alain De Royer Dupre’s Shahnaza who will vie for favouritism with Happily with the bookmakers. She runs in the famous Aga Khan’s green silks colours and will be ridden by Christophe Soumillion. This daughter of Azamour is trice raced winning her last two in easy fashion having run second first time out.

Freddy Head’s Luminate won her first three races and is on a bit of a recovery mission having lost her unbeaten run last time out. She will have the assistance of Frankie Dettori in the plate. Godolphin’s Musis Amica is in a similar position having lost her unbeaten record on her last appearance having won her first two. She’s trained by the wily Andre Fabre.

The advantage is to the visitors in terms of form.

Both Laurens on what she’s done this year and Happily on what she’s done last year set the standard. The home team have it all to do. The issue is the ground, it will come up soft which generally tends to suit the French fillies. Whilst not ideal for the visitors Happily did cope admirably with it when she won the Moyglare Stakes last year beating her better fancied stablemates Magical and September and Laurens did win on good to soft on her last trip to France. In a tight one Happily can prevail.

The French tote price is likely to prove bigger than the bookmakers price so put PMU on your docket.

Recommendation: Happily PMU

 

The Derby (Group 1)

The Pentagon on his way out to win the Tyros Stakes last July

A field of twelve go to post for this years Derby headed by Saxon Warrior a drifter in the market due to his inside draw in stall one and the soft ground after heavy thunderstorms have taken their toll through the week.

There are no holes in Saxon Warrior.

His four runs have yielded four wins, all authoritative performances. Last August he came from the rear in his maiden to win in a matter of strides annihilating the opposition on yielding ground. In September he stepped up in class and easily won the Beresford Stakes from Delano Rossevelt on soft ground. In October he had his toughest test in the Racing Post Trophy where he won a neck from a battling Roaring Loin on good to soft ground. It was a proper test Roaring Loin headed him in the last furlong but Saxon Warrior just put the head down drawing away at the line. Game over.

On return at Newmarket after a winter where he strengthened up he was a very easy winner of the 2000 Guineas on good ground with Masar back in third and Roaring Loin back in fifth. Donnacha O’Brien got the ride with Ryan Moore in America and although he got a little excited lighting the touch-paper a tad too soon he was sitting on a beast that soon took off and again in a matter of strides it was all over. The fact that he could win so easily over a mile was telling. He’s bred for middle distances.

Aidan won’t rely solely on him and he’s accompanied by Kew Gardens, Delano Rossevelt, The Pentagon and Zabriskie.

Zabriskie put in a much improved performance behind Roaring Lion in The Dante albeit to run well for third. There was no coping with the winner who put in a very classy display. He certainly advertised the form of the Guineas very well.

Masar put in an exciting performance in the Craven in April winning it by 9L which led him to go off favourite for the 2000 Guineas. He ran a good race to be third behind Saxon Warrior beaten a head for second by Tip To Win. His form has received a significant boost at the Curragh on Saturday when Romanised won the Irish 2ooo Guineas as he had that colt 2L behind at Sandown in the Solario Stakes last September. He then went to France where he was beaten by Happily and Olmedo in the Jean-Luc Lagardere. That form also stands up with Happily running third in the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday and Olmedo winning the French 2000 Guineas a couple of weeks earlier.

Young Rascal was a comfortable winner of a maiden at Newbury in April and then went on to take the Chester Vase by a 1/2L from Dee Ex Bee with Aidan O’Brien’s favourite Hunting Horn back in third. The latter didn’t get a seat on the bus to Epsom.

Harry Dunlop’s Knight To Behold has a similar profile having won a maiden last October he came back this year to win the Lingfield Derby Trial where he beat the favourite, Aidan O’Brien’s Kew Gardens, who did get a seat on the bus.

Sevenna Star from the John Gosden yard won a Winsor Novice Stakes by 14L on heavy ground in April and then took the Sandown Classic Trial beating Ispolini and Hunting Horn yet Frankie Dettori has abandoned him in favour of Dermot Weld’s Hazapour.

Hazapour going out of the ring at Leopardstown to win the Derrinstown Derby Trial

He has largely come out of the pack after his win in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial where he beat Delano Rossevelt and The Pentagon in a bunch finish. The Pentagon went off favourite and was slightly disappointing. He couldn’t quicken from a good position whereas Delano Rossevelt found the pace a bit hot early on but he did quicken and stretch however Hazapour had got first run and got there. Over an extra two furlongs you could see the result reversed.

Delano Rossevelt leaving the ring at Leopardtown for The Derrinstown Derby Trial

The Guineas is the best trial for the Derby. Saxon Warrior was a really good winner of it. He’s bred for this though, by Deep Impact out of a Galileo mare, Maybe, who was trained at Ballydoyle, he reminds you of Sea The Stars who did the double in 2009. He was a real middle distance horse yet capable of winning over a mile at the highest level. Sea The Stars went on to do even greater things after Epsom and you can see Saxon Warrior doing the same.

Delano Rossevelt could follow him home with Masar best of the rest.

Recommendation: 1. Saxon Warrior 1/1 win  

                                        2. Delano Rossevelt 16/1 ew

                                       3. Masar 20/1 ew