Category Archives: France

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

 

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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.

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

                                         

 

 

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1)

Recommendation: Dschingis Secret 16/1, Idaho 33/1 (Both EW & RFC)

Embed from Getty Images

Idaho runs second to Harzand in last years Irish Derby. Picture courtesy of Alan Crowhurst and Getty Images.

Dschingis Secret and Idaho offer the best alternatives to Enable in the Arc today.

The German horse took the eye in a smooth performance in the Prix Foy last time out when he was an easy winner from Cloth Of Stars and Santono Diamond. He was similarly impressive in beating Hawksbill in the Grosser Preis von Berlin the time before.

Idaho is appealing with soft ground the order of the day. He was a staying on third to Enable at Ascot in the King George in July. As a three-year old he was a 1 1/4 L behind Harzand in the Ballysax on heavy ground in the spring before running third at Epsom in the Derby and second at the Curragh in the Irish Derby to the same horse.

It will require an upset, Enable to be either off her game or unlucky. Shocks can happen in the Arc especially on soft ground and drawn two means Frankie may either have to dictate it or if he takes a pull rely on luck to get out off the rail.

Thats why it worth taking her on.