Category Archives: Classic

The Pattern Racing World Championships 2017

The 2018 pattern racing season is about to go into full flow.

Before we get too immersed in it we are taking this opportunity to look back on last year and announce the winners of the Pattern Racing World Championships 2017, now in their fifth year.

How the Pattern Racing World Championships Work

These championships are created by allocating points for a placing in a Group 1 or Grade 1 race. It’s simple, in a Group or Grade 1, a win earns 10 points, second 7 points and third 5 points. Points for participants are accumulated over all G1 races in the calender year.

In 2017 306 races were included from the pattern race programme. Each race offers 22 points so there’s a total pot of 6,732 points available to win in the year. The races included all the G 1’s from Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, UAE, France, Italy, England, Germany, Ireland, USA and Canada.

Tables are created for each category based on accumulated points won  establishing a championship position.

Pattern Racing World Championship Categories

There are six categories 1. Horse, 2. Trainer, 3. Jockey, 4. Sire, 5. Owner 6. Breeder. Each category compete for the same number of points.

Pattern Racing World Championship Tables

This year we have a dynamic tables for each category that you allow you to drill down into

1. each participants achievements during the year.

2. see which races they were placed in, the date of the race and the points won, all with dynamic headers.

3. you can then drill into the individual race.

4. and view more details of the participants championship position, details on the race and how it panned out for the participant.

Why Have The Pattern Racing World Championships?

Racing is an extremely competitive sport. The championships categorise racing’s participants comparing their performances globally with their peers. G1 status provides the benchmark. Achievement is recognised, consistency rewarded, standing is established.

As ever the cream rises to the top.

A Summary of the Pattern Racing World Championships 2017

Overall 2017 was a year where the Coolmore powerhouse asserted it’s dominance winning four of the six categories, prehaps a taster of what is to come over the next decade. Owner, Trainer, Jockey and Sire all went the way of the Coolmore operation. The Breeders category and Horse category went to others.

Below is the top three for each category.

Click on the header or below on the right of the  to reveal the full table and find out more.

PRWC 2017 – Horse

Championship Finishing Position Horse  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Winx 60 6
2 Abel Tasman 51 6
3 Enable 50 5

  Click here for the Horse Championships of 2017

Winx came out on top in 2017. Her six runs at G1 level yielded six wins, a feat she also achieved in 2016. Her finest moment saw her capture a third consecutive Cox Plate. Unfortunately we won’t get to see Winx in Europe this year instead her trainer Chris Waller will target a fourth Cox Plate as her ultimate aim.

Abel Tasman the Kentucky Oaks winner filled second spot winning three G1’s and running second in another three.

Enable filled third spot. The Epsom Oaks winner had five G1’s wins capping off a fine season culminating in her Arc win, something she’ll try to emulate this year.

PRWC 2017 – Trainer

Championship Finishing Position Trainer  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 A P O’Brien 553 73
2 Chad C Brown 299 40
3 Bob Baffert 287 36

 Click here for the Trainer Championships of 2017

It was a stunning performance from Aidan O’Brien who retains the title won in 2016  (477 points, 2016). A world record twenty-eight G1’s was accompanied by twenty-four runner-up spots and twenty-one third place finishes.

Chad Brown retains second place (301, 2016). He had fifteen G1 winners and filled the runners-up spot on twelve occasions and registered thirteen third place finishes.

Bob Baffert improved a place from fourth in 2016 (194 points, 2016) to third. He also had fifteen G1 winners and filled the runner-up spot sixteen times and registered five third place finishes.

PRWC 2017 – Jockey

Championship Finishing Position Jockey  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Ryan Moore 359 45
2 Mike E Smith 250 31
3 Jose L Ortiz 247 32

 Click here for the Jockey Championships of 2017

Ryan Moore also takes the jockey’s title, for the third year in succession. He once again improved his total (347, 2016) (270. 2015) in a year which brought twenty-two G1’s wins, twelve seconds and thirteen third place finishes. Of those wins all but one was for Aidan O’Brien. Winter, Highland Reel and Roly Poly were the triple givers.  The other G1, out east, was for Osamu Hirata when he rode Gold Dream to win the Champions Cup, formerly the Japan Cup (Dirt).

Mike Smith improved from fifth last year (171, 2016) to second this year with fifteen G1’s wins. He was runner-up on ten occasions and third six times. His association with Bob Baffert yielded nine of those wins, three on Abel Tasman and two on Arrogate.

Jose Ortiz, the younger of the Ortiz brothers was the big mover going from twentieth last year (97, 2016) to third in 2017. He rode thirteen G1 winners, ran second eleven times and filled the third spot eight times. Chad Brown provided five of his G1 wins.

PRWC 2017 – Sire

Championship Finishing Position Sire  Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Galileo (IRE) 451 59
2 Dubawi (IRE) 200 28
3 Medaglia d’Oro (USA) 151 19

 Click here for the Sire Championships of 2017

Galileo was just short of last years total (454, 2016) but he remains the engine for the Coolmore operation. In 2013 his score was 160, in 2014 it was 261 and in 2015 it was 257. The last two years have been stunning. He matched the twenty-four G1 win’s he had in 2016 again in 2017 with eighteen seconds and seventeen third place finishes to remain a distance clear of the field.

Dubawi moves back up the podium to second having got the bronze the previous year (146, 2016), a position he last held in 2015 when he scored 220 points.

Medaglia d’Oro is the new kid on the block, eighth the previous year (103, 2016) when he had seven G1 wins. He added another three to make it ten in 2017.

PRWC 2017 – Owner

Championship Finishing Position Owner Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Name
1 Coolmore Syndicate 564 74
2 Godolphin 451 63
3 Khalid Abdullah 138 16

Click here for the Owner Championships of 2017

Coolmore is unquestionably the most powerful operation on the planet. The upward curve continues (494, 2016).  Coolmore owned horses won thirty G1’s on the track last year (23, 2016), sixteen in England, seven in Ireland, three in France, three in the States and Highland Reel bowed out with the final one in Hong Kong.

Godolphin had a year of change with the departure of John Ferguson. His replacement Joe Osborne saw an improved position on 2016 (379, 2016) with the year producing eighteen G1 wins, six more than 2016. No doubt he’ll try to build on that in 2018.

Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte operation moved from eighth last year (66, 2016) to third in 2017. Arrogate set the world alight at the beginning of the year those with wins in the Pegasus World Cup and then that incredible performance in the Dubai World Cup, then came Enable. What a season for the Prince.

PRWC 2017 – Breeder

Championship Finishing Position Breeder Championship Points Won No of Pattern Race Placings
1 Darley 261 36
2 Northern Racing 160 20
3 Juddmonte 120 16

 Click here for the Breeder Championships of 2017

Darley retained their number one position for the third year in a row (268, 2016). This year they had eleven G1 individual winners (eight for Godolphin) with thirteen runner-up placings and twelve third place finishes.

Northern Racing are second as they were last year (156,2016) with ten G1 wins from eight individuals.

Juddmonte filled third spot up with six G1 wins, five coming from Enable.

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Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (Group 1) (3yo Colts) (Turf) (3yo)

US Navy Flag on Debut at Naas last year

US Navy Flag missed Newmarket. Aidan O’Brien decided to keep him for this assignment instead. We have undated our blog of last week on the Qipco 2000 Guineas where we concentrated on US Navy Flag whom we hoped would win there.

He was beaten 15L by Gustav Klimt on his seasonal debut in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial four weeks ago on heavy ground but his form of last year would suggest he has a strong chance in this race.

He’s obviously a hardy soul having raced eleven times last year improving throughout the season. He was on the go from early May when he made his debut at Naas through to November at Del Mar where he contested the Juvenile Dirt at the Breeders Cup. He didn’t handle the surface and was well beaten there hence the change in the Ballydoyle plans where Mendelssohn became the choice for the Kentucky Derby.

Go back one run and you’ll find he was a good winner of the Dewhurst over 7f where he got the better of Mendelssohn and prior to that he’d shown a serious turn of foot to win the Middle Park over six furlongs, the first G1 he captured.

The question is, is he a sprinter or a miler?

His debut at Naas was over 5f which proved too sharp however up to the Middle Park his runs were all then at 6f.

He’s by War Front out of Misty For Me. She got a mile and then some so you’d say he’s likely to find the mile within his compass and when asked he’d no problem in stepping up to 7f in the Dewhurst. He bossed both the Middle Park and Dewhurst grabbing the ground and powering out of the dip on both occasions. He could do the same here.

The Ballydoyle horses always come on a lot from their first run and if that applies to US Navy Flag then he’s got a great chance here. If we thought him good enough to win at Newmarket then we think he’s good enough to take the French equivalent.

Recommendations: US Navy Flag 8/1 e/w

                                         

 

 

Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (G1) & Kentucky Derby (G1)

US Navy Flag on Debut at Naas last year

It’s Wednesday before the first classic of the season on Saturday, the 2000 Guineas. It might be three days away but already the forgotten horse in this field is surely US Navy Flag.

On official ratings he’s 9 lbs clear of his stablemate and current 5/2 race favourite Gustav Klimt and 2 lbs clear of his other stable companion and 5/1 second favourite Saxon Warrior yet the market puts him in as a 20/1 shot.

Granted he was beaten 15L by Gustav Klimt on his seasonal debut in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial three weeks ago but that was on heavy ground and his form of last year would suggest he has a strong chance of bridging that gap on ground that could ride good come Saturday afternoon.

He’s obviously a hardy soul having raced eleven times last year improving throughout the season. He was on the go from early May when he made his debut at Naas through to November at Del Mar where he contested the Juvenile Dirt at the Breeders Cup. He didn’t handle the surface and was well beaten there hence the change in the Ballydoyle plans where Mendelssohn became the choice for the Kentucky Derby.

Go back one run and you’ll find he was a good winner of the Dewhurst over 7f where he got the better of Mendelssohn, now joint favourite for the Kentucky Derby and prior to that he’d shown a serious turn of foot to win the Middle Park over six furlongs, the first G1 he captured.

The question is, is he a sprinter or a miler?

His debut at Naas was over 5f which proved too sharp however up to the Middle Park his runs were all then at 6f.

He’s by War Front out of Misty For Me. She got a mile and then some so you’d say he’s likely to find this mile within his compass and when asked he’d no problem in stepping up to 7f in the Dewhurst.

He has something else going for him, besides being a double G1 winner. His stable companions, who lead the betting here, have not yet encountered Newmarket’s famous dip before. It can unbalance a horse who lacks experience. Gustav Klimt did win the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket but that was over the July course and Saxon Warrior will encounter the course for the first time.

US Navy Flag on the other hand bossed both the Middle Park and Dewhurst grabbing the ground and powering out of the dip on both occasions. With the ground drying out and that crucial course experience it’s likely the 20/1 won’t last, come post time he could be a lot shorter.

A few hours later Mendelssohn will take his chance in the Run For The Roses in Kentucky. His prep run in Dubai on dirt was nothing short of stunning winning by a going away 18L and Aidan O”Brien reports him in rude health now. If he reproduces what he did in Dubai and what what he did in chasing home US Navy Flag last year in the Dewhurst he’ll be very hard to stop.

Recommendations: US Navy Flag 20/1 e/w

                                         Mendelssohn 9/2 e/w

                                           US Navy Flag, Mendelssohn  e/w double

 

 

The Derby (Group 1)

Embed from Getty Images

Epsom today. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.

On a grey day today victory in the Oaks went to Frankie Dettori. It will surely ignite the Derby tomorrow and push Cracksman into outright favouritism over Cliffs Of Moher who are joint 4/1 favourites presently.

Cracksman is trained by John Gosden who gave Frankie the leg up on the Oaks winner Enable this afternoon. He is owed by Anthony Oppenhiemer thereby reuniting the same team that was responsible for Golden Horn two years ago. There will be a rage of confidence come post time but will it be justified?

He established his Derby credentials by winning the Investec Derby Trial here a short head from Permian at the end of April. He only had the one run before that when taking a maiden last October at Newmarket. The plan was to run in the Dante but the ground came up soft and John bypassed the race instead giving him a blow out again here at the course at Breakfast For The Stars.

Permian trained by Mark Johnston is available at 10/1. He won the Dante franking the form for Cracksman beating Godolphin’s Benbati. He was building on the success he had at Listed level two weeks earlier at Newmarket, the week after his clash with Cracksman at Epsom. He’s a very different type than Cracksman. He’s improved no end and is typical of a Mark Johnston trained horse. Hard as nails he can take plenty of visits to the track and this will be his eleventh start.

Eminent was fancied for the Guineas on the back of his Craven win. He’d been put away after his two year old winning debut. At Newmarket he ran sixth, he didn’t have the gears to go with the pace over a mile and its questionable being by Frankel if he’ll have the stamina to see out the mile and half here.

There’s not a lot between the Godolphin pair Dubai Thunder and Best Solution in the betting. Both are trading around 12/1 and both are trained by Saeed Bin Suroor. Dubai Thunder is the least experienced runner in the race having only had the one previous outing. He took a Newbury maiden fifteen days ago by 10L blitzing the field. The manner of his victory was highly impressive but what he beat is questionable in terms of this challenge. Lammtarra did win the Derby in 1995 for Godolphin after having just the one run. Incidentally that was at Newbury also. He then went on to run in two more races winning both the King George and Arc. Is Dubai Thunder another Lammtarra?

Best Solution is certainly not but he did come good in the Lingfield Derby Trial where he beat Glencadam Glory by 3 1/2L That was suggestive that his second at Group 1 level last year behind Waidgest in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud was no fluke. If the thunderstorms persist and the rain gets into the ground he’ll no doubt shorten up.

Seven Irish come over.

As well as Cliffs Of Moher Aidan O’Brien sends five more and his son Joseph sends one, Rekindling. He was a surprise winner of the Ballysax Stakes which Harzand won on route to glory last year before running third in the Dante. In the Ballysax he beat his father’s Douglas Macarthur who then went on to win the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown, also won by Harzand before Epsom last year. Capri was a head and a short head back in third. Seamie Heffernan who rides him tomorrow holds the grey in high esteem and the money came for him this week backed in from big prices to 12/1 just like it did for Winter before she won the Guineas.

Venice Beech was in the end a comfortable winner from his stable companion Wings Of Eagles in the Chester Vase with The Anvil staying on to be third . Venice Beech had the run of the race unlike Wings Of Eagles (making his seasonal debut) who had a lot more to do and in the end it was the second horse who looked the more interesting Derby prospect.

Cliffs Of Moher has been favourite since his Dee Stakes win at Chester. He was the talking horse before the race as a hot Derby prospect. He won but in workmanlike fashion. You could see there was an engine there but it wasn’t fully tuned. Tomorrow it will be but will it be good enough to win this Derby?

It’s open, wide open. Cracksman and Cliffs Of Moher haven’t shown a deadly turn of foot yet. The unexposed Dubai Thunder could be anything. Wings Of Eagles has shown a glimpse of potential as did Best Solution. The Guineas is the best trial of all but Churchill isn’t here and Eminent was a fair bit back in sixth. In all the trials have been inconclusive and haven’t produced an outstanding candidate. The Ballsax and the Derrinstown races proved the most reliable last year and they could again be the yardstick.

If so added with the weight of money that came this week the dial points towards another grey day in the shape of Capri.

Recommendation: Capri  14/1 ew