Category Archives: England

July Cup (G1)

Lightening quick at Newmarket today, Raffle Prize set a new course record of 1m 9.09s in the G2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes over the 6F July Course, bettering the 1m 09.11 Lethal Force clocked winning this in 2013.

It could fall again tomorrow. The race brings the meeting of the three-year-old’s and their older brethren.

The older brigade sees Limato back, winner in 2016, second in 2017, he showed his well being winning the G3 Criterion Stakes over 7F here two weeks ago. Likewise Brando, second last year, third the year before, he had a confidence booster with a Hamilton win over the trip a month ago. They’ll have to defy history as no seven-year-olds have won this.

If it is to go to an older horse, the five-year-old’s Dream Of Dreams, a typical Sir Micheal Stoute improver, just failed to catch Blue Point in the G1 Diamond Jubilee, and Cape Byron, the Wokingham winner must come into the reckoning.

Of of five three-year-olds, Advertise with Frankie Dettori in the plate heads the market at 3/1, he commands the highest respect, racing against his own age group he was a convincing winner of the G1 Commonwealth Cup, (Ten Sovereigns, 2½L behind in fourth), beaten only by Too Darn Hot and Calyx as a two-year-old, he was a G1 winner in Ireland in the Pheonix Stakes from So Perfect (re-opposes here).

The other three-year-old’s, Pretty Pollyanna and Fairyland, both fillies, were pacey sorts as juveniles, Pretty Pollyanna took the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes here last year following up in the G1 Prix Morny, Fairyland bagged the G1 Cheveley Park here in September. Both were tried at a mile, Fairyland ran fifth at Newmarket in the 1000 Guineas, sixth at the Curragh in the Irish 1000 Guineas, then dropped to 5F where she’d a good run behind Blue Point in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes. Pretty Pollyanna second at the Curragh, showed a nice turn of foot, ran seventh in the Coronation Stakes, the drop in trip will surely be to her benefit.

The three-year-olds have had the upper hand in the last five years, three wins, Muhaarar in 2015, Harry Angel in 2017 and US Navy Flag in 2018, all colt’s. The trend could continue, with a twist, one of the fillies, getting a 3 lb pull from their peers and more from the older one’s might outpace them, turning Newmarket into a Fairyland.

Recommendation: Fairyland 8/1 win

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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)

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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)

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Update On The Pattern Racing World Championships 2019

Another good week for Godolphin bringing their total points won this year to 227 ½ points cementing their number one position in the PWRC Owners Table.

Mike Dillon watches Castle Lady win the Pouliches at Longchamp on the big screen at Leopardstown after Broome’s victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.

There were six G1’s on offer across the world over the weekend and they took a pair of them to bring their total to twelve G1 wins so far in 2019. In France, both the Guineas went their way, Persian King, now running in their colours took the Poulains and Castle Lady captured the Pouliches and in Australia, Osbourne Bulls ran second for the fifth time this year at G1 level in the Doomben 10,000. Those five seconds amassed between February and May puts him on top of the PCRW Horse Table ahead of Beauty Generation and the now-retired Winx.

His trainer James Cummings stays top of PRWC Trainer Table ahead of fellow Australians Chris Waller and the family Hayes, father David, son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig who trained Qafila, a Shadwell owed filly racing in the famous blue and white silks of Sheik Hamdan who took the South Australian Derby at Morphettville.

Street Cry tops the PRWC Sire Table on 80 points helped largely by the sequence of seconds by his son Osbourne Bulls and also, of course, his daughter Winx.

Darley remains in pole on the PRWC Breeders Table, Osbourne Bulls boosting their tally to 129 points.

Hugh Bowman remains top of the PRWC Jockey Table not having a ride in either G1 down under.

In America, the combination of Bill Mott and Joel Rosario, last years champion jockey, proved too good in the Man o’War Stakes at Belmont repelling the Aidan O’Brien pair Magic Wand and Hunting Horn into third and fourth with Arklow getting up to be second.

In Japan Normore made the G1 breakthrough taking the Victoria Mile in Tokyo with Australian Damian Lane aboard pushing him to third in PRWC Jockeys Table.

We had 82 G1’s run so far this year. There is still plenty to come, the European and US G1 seasons are really getting going now while the Australian and Japanese season are winding down for their winter/summer break. That will mean big changes across all six categories of the PRWC 2019 will be upon us.

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