Category Archives: England

Caulfield Cup and Champions Stakes

 

Cliffs Of Moher in the ring at The Curragh before The Tattersalls Gold Cup in May

An intriguing story is developing across the Pattern Racing World Championships 2018, Godolphin have surpassed Coolmore to top the championships for the first time since they last won in 2015.

The intervening two years 2016 and 2017 saw their great rival Coolmore pull clear to win the Owners Championship going away. The gap between the two was a hundred plus points in the last two years. This year that has been turned around into a 44 point lead for Godolphin.

Has it been the expansion of the trainer base that has inspired the comeback?

Saeed Bin Suroor, Charlie Appleby, Charlie Hills in England, James Cummings in Australia, Yoshitada Takahashi in Japan, Henri Pantall and Andre Fabre in France, Thomas Albertrani in America and Willie McCreery in Ireland have all scored  points for them. The big stables which represent the heart of the operation, Saeed Bin Suroor, Charlie Appleby in England and James Cummings down under have provided 22 of the 25 G1’s. Andre Fabre has won one and Yoshitada Takahashi another two.

Coolmore’s 12 G1 wins have all been trained by Aidan O’Brien.

Both Godolphin and Coolmore will have a runners in the Caulfield Cup in Australia on Saturday. The draw has been kind to neither, Thecliffsofmoher, as he’s been renamed, is drawn three while Best Solution is out in the carpark in box seventeen. It’s a short run to the first tight turn and position is everything coming into it. 

Thecliffsofmoher travelled to Australia after a decent break when he was third at Sandown in the Eclipse in July, beaten 2 3/4L by Roaring Loin. He had a run last week over 10 f at the venue in the Caulfield Stakes when he was a staying on forth, never troubling the Saeed Bin Suroor trained winner Benbatl. This step up to the mile and half will suit.  

This week Saeed relies on Best Solution who had a hat trick of wins, the G2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July followed by the G1 Grosser Preis von Berlin at Hoppergarten in August and the G1 Grosser Preis Von Baden at Baden-Baden in September where he beat Defoe a neck. Cliffs Of Moher had him a 1 1/2L behind in The Tattersalls Gold Cup.

A win for either will set up the day nicely for Champions Day at Ascot. In the four G1’s Coolmore will have the numerical advantage with Ballydoyle sending ten to contest while Gololphin will be represented by two, one trained by Andre Fabre and the other by Clive Cox. 

The ground has come up soft, heavy in places which might leave both empty-handed. One horse it will suit is Jim Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity who landed his G1 last year in the National Stakes at the Curragh on soft to heavy. It was hoped he’d be ready for the Guineas in the spring but a setback kept him off the track until late August where it was expected he’d need the run. He was given a tough assignment a couple of weeks later in the Irish Champion Stakes and although he’ll have to step up hugely on those runs he has the ground in his favour plus being a fit and fresh horse.  

Recommendation: Thecliffsofmoher 6/1 win & Verbal Dexterity 25/1 ew

You can follow the story of the G1 Pattern Race year by clicking on the links below. There you’ll find how the 268 G1’s already run this year have panned out in championship format.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder

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20 Group/Grade 1’s Around The World This Weekend

Saturday

Australia

Winx kicks off the action in the Turnbull Stakes in her last race at Flemington looking to take her sixth G1 of the season in her final prep race before her historic attempt to win her fourth Cox Plate in a few weeks time. We all routing for her, Chris Waller says she’s more forward in her coat and looking even better than she did this time last year. 

Also down under the feature at Randwick is the Spring Champion Stakes, a race restricted to three-year old’s over 10f. 

England 

Laurens entering the parade ring at Leopardstown

Laurens returns to Newmarket for the one mile Sun Chariot Stakes in pursuit of her for her fourth G1 of the year. Last time out she captured the Matron Stakes over the same trip having won her two previous G1’s over 10f. She outgunned Alpha Centauri, subsequently reported injured and retired, down the straight. There’s a quartet of Coolmore fillies in opposition with Ballydoyle sending three, Clemmie, Happily and I Can Fly with Andre Fabre sending Wind Chimes from France. The latter two can make Laurens work for it, I Can Fly was the best winner over Irish Champions Weekend and Wind Chimes was unlucky to just get caught here by Recoletos in the Moulin a couple of weeks ago.

Recommendation: Wind Chimes 3/1 win

France

The Arc weekend begins with the Prix Du Cadran, a stayer’s race over 20f taking centre stage. Holdthasigreen will go off favourite on the Pari Mutual. Wille Mullins Max Dynamite might hold the key here after a good second to stablemate Thomas Hobson in the Doncaster Cup last time. He’s an eight year old but he keeps on giving for Rich Ricci.

Recommendation: Max Dynamite win bet on the PMU

USA

In America Belmont hosts the Beldame on Dirt, a 3yo+ for Fillies and Mares over 1m and the Champagne Stakes for Two Year old’s over the same trip. Ben Cecil, Henry’s nephew, might make the G1 breakthrough with Listing who ships from his Santa Anita Californian base in the latter.

Keenland has the First Lady Stakes on Turf, the Breeders’ Futurity on Dirt and their highlight, the Shadwell Turf Mile.

Godolphin supply a European raider in the First Lady, Henri Pantall’s Crown Walk makes the journey on the back of her good second in the Prix Rothchild to With You at Deauville.

Recommendation: Crown Walk 5/1 win

It’s disappointing that no European’s have travelled for the $1m Shadwell Turf Mile won last year by David O’Meara’s Suedios however we’ll give a big shout for the outsider Great Wide Open trained by Conor Murphy who moved from Nicky Henderson’s yard after skinning the bookmakers a few years ago at Cheltenham. He was not far off Wesley Ward’s Bound For Nowhere last time who trades at 8/1 for this.

Recommendation: Great Wide Open 50/1 ew

Sunday

France

Europe’s premier middle distance race is the feature, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in which Enable is a short price favourite at even money to repeat her victory of last year. Her season has not gone to plan with injury delaying her return until Kempton, she looked a picture when easily accounting for Crystal Ocean appearing to retain her ability. Sea Of Class, the year younger filly will put it up to her and Ballydoyle’s brace of Leger winners Kew Gardens, this year and Capri last year, aren’t out of it with the three-year old having won a G1 over course and distance in July. Capri has been laid out for this.

Recommendation: Kew Gardens, Capri (coupled on PMU)

The card features another five G1’s with the two-year old’s contesting the Prix Marcel Boussac for Fillies and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere open to both colts and fillies, both over a mile.

Godolphin are double handed in the Boussac with Charlie Appleby sending Ceratonia and Saeed Bin Suroor responsible for Dubai Beauty. They’ll have it all to do to upset the favourite Rocques who beat the Appleby runner comfortably last time out.

Recommendation: Rocques 1/1 win

They might have a better chance in the Lagardere with Royal Marine however Freddy Head’s Anador likely to be popular on the PMU with the home fans.

The older fillies will contest Prix De L’Opera over 10f, again a quality contest with Godolphin’s Wild Illusion, Coolmore’s Magic Wand and George Strawbridge’s With You all in with a shout. Preference is for With You should Crown Walk frank the form of their Deauville run in the First Lady at Keenland.

Recommendation: With You 3/1 win

Next is the turn of the sprinters over the minimum trip in the Abbaye. Battaash will still be most people’s answer after his devastating performance when wining this last year. He’s not displayed the same level of form this year and he’s worth opposing with Aidan O’Brien’s Sioux Nation and Darren Bunyan’s Hit The Bid who were third and fourth in the Flying Five a couple of weeks ago, Son Of Rest gave that form a boost when winning the Ayr Gold Cup last week.

Recommendation: Sioux Nation and Hit The Bid – (both ew on the PMU)

The Floret over 7f for older horses then rounds off the weekend and Pollydream will be all the rage on the PMU after her win in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. Gustav Klimt will keep her honest, his overall form being good quality with the last run in the Haydock Sprint Cup being particular relevant.

Recommendation: Gustav Klimt 7/1 win

The Pattern Racing World Championships 2018

You can follow the story of the G1 Pattern Race year by clicking on the links below. There you’ll find how the 222 G1’s already run this year have panned out in championship format.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder

Group 1 Action This Weekend

There is Group 1 and Grade 1 action aplenty this weekend.

On Saturday Randwick in Sydney, Australia hosts three G1’s, the Flight Stakes, Metropolitan Stakes and the feature the Epsom Handicap with prize money of $1m for a race over a mile for older horses. Trainer Chris Waller is mob handed with eight of the eighteen runners and this can provide him an opportunity to close the gap on Aidan O’Brien in the PWRC 2018 Trainer standings.

On Sunday Caulfield runs the Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes with Goldophin’s Charlie Appleby running Blair House. He’ll hope he can repeat his G1 win of last weekend when Jungle Cat took top honours at G1 level at the same venue. Also on Sunday Japan resumes it’s G1 programme after a summer break with the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama where Joao Moreira will have his first top level ride since being granted a licence to ride in Japan. They’ll miss his magic in Hong Kong.

At Newmarket, England the two-year olds take centre stage with the Cheveley Park for fillies and Middle Park for colts both over 6f sharing the bill. In the former Lady Kaya caught the eye at the Curragh when second in the Moyglare and could run well stepping down in trip from 7f.

In the States the build up really begins for the Breeders Cup with Belmont in New York hosting the Vosburgh, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Jockey Club Gold Cup with the latter a Breeders Cup trial on dirt over 1m2f. Diversify will go off favourite after his win in the Whitney Invitational last time out.

European interest is piqued here with the worlds two biggest owners adding spice to the mix. Coolmore run Mendelssohn and Godolphin saddle the Dubai World Cup winner, Thunder Snow. Ryan Moore travels for the ride on Mendelssohn, he currently leads PRWC 2018 Jockey and a win can extend his slim margin over Mike Smith and Jose Ortiz. Jose will have three opportunities to bridge the gapIn the owners championship there are only 10 points between Coolmore and Godolphin (1 win) at the top of PRWC 2018 Owner.

On the west coast Santa Anita has four Grade 1’s on Saturday, the Rodeo Drive Stakes, Chandelier Stakes, American Pharoah Stakes and the feature the Awesome Again Stakes, another Breeders Cup Classic trial. Accelerate will go off a short odds on price on the back on his win in the TVG Pacific Classic and a win here could push him up to third in the PRWC 2018 Horse. On Sunday the Zenyatta Stakes is the feature race with Able Tazman likely to go off favourite.

A busy weekend of G1 action which could have a big impact on the standings of PWRC’s six category championships. It’s G1 status that binds it all together. It’s PRWC 2018 that makes the participants performances comparable.

By the time Ryan Moore flies back across the Atlantic he may well be in second place in the jockey’s championship should Jose Ortiz score well at Belmont or Mike Smith score well at Santa Anita.

Blair House’s run in Australia and Thunder Snow’s run in the USA could send Godolphin to the top of the Owners Championship or maybe Ten Sovereigns at Newmarket or Mendelssohn’s American campaign will keep Coolmore on top.

One thing for sure Aidan O’Brien will stay top of the Trainer Championship. 

Recommendation :

2.25 GMT Cheveley Park Stakes, Newmarket – Lady Kaya 8/1 win

The Yorkshire Oaks (Group 1)

Eziyra returns after winning the Ballyraon Stakes at Leopardstown two weeks ago

This Yorkshire Oaks is another cracker to look forward to.

The Three Year Olds

James Doyle rides the favourite Sea Of Class. Willie Haggas her trainer had skipped Epsom with her giving her that bit more time to develop and that decision was vindicated by her performance in beating the Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together at the Curragh in the Irish Oaks.

Her pilot gave her a very cool ride. He waited out the back producing her two furlongs out asking her to stretch. She won by a neck but it was never in doubt as she was always reeling them in. She’s a short price though at 11/8.

Aidan O’Brien’s Magic Wand renews rivalry as does Bye Bye Baby having finished fifth and forth at the Curragh. Magic Wand went off the odds on favourite but she didn’t fire as she did in her victory at Royal Ascot in the Ribblesdale. There she beat Godolphin’s Wild Illusion, since a winner of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood where she beat another Willie Haggas filly Urban Fox. That’s a high class form line also given Urdan Fox had beaten Forever Together in the The Pretty Polly Stakes. Magic Wand isn’t done with yet and let’s not forget Bye Bye Baby was third at Epsom. It’s likely Flattering will set the fractions for her stablemates. 

Laurens returns to England having taken two Group 1’s in France. The Prix Saint-Alary came first where she beat With You, since a winner of the Prix De Rothschild and she then took the Prix Diane, the French Oaks at Chantilly in June. Very good form indeed.

The Four Year Olds

Coronet was third in this last year having finished fifth before that in the Irish Oaks, both times behind Enable. She’s yet to score at Group 1 level but her first outing this year she took the G2 Middleton Stakes here in May beating Horseplay. She was then only denied a nose by Waldgeist in France in the Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud. She now pitches in against her own sex having finished third in the King George last time out.

Horseplay advanced her cause following up her Middleton second with a win in the Lancashire Oaks.

Eziyra is a most interesting runner. She put in a very eye catching performance in the Irish Oaks when third behind Enable (in front of Coronet). That was followed up with two G 3 wins before season’s end. Her trainer Dermot Weld reintroduced her two weeks ago in the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown. She was given a hands and heels ride by jockey Declan McDonagh and she won as she liked.

The form of the three-year old’s is very good and none of the older fillies have scored at G1 level yet, on top of that the older fillies have got to give weight to the three-year olds. This will be a tough task as the favourite has plenty of potential to improve while Magic Wand can bounce back too but as the season goes on the concern grows about the Ballydoyle team.

It’s Eziyra who stands out at the price. Her three win’s on the bounce were in preparation for this and her last run says she ready. Dermot Weld her trainer is a master at bringing them on and his patience will likely be rewarded here.

Recommendation: Eziyra 10/1 ew