Category Archives: Pattern Racing

The Mathattan Stakes (Grade 2)

Alexios Komnenios

Alexios Komnenos and a happy Chris Hayes returning after winning The Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown last August

The Manhattan Stakes has attracted an Irish runner tonight in Alexios Komnenos from the Fossy Stack yard. He’ a lightly raced individual who could well put in a bold show in New York on the undercard for the Belmont Stakes.

He showed his class last year winning the Desmond Stakes as a three-year old having hinted at that as a juvenile when second to Churchill in The Tyros Stakes. He returned at G1 level this year running in The Lockinge Stakes. He found the early pace a bit quick at that level but his run suggests the step up in trip to 10f should be ideal as will be the ground.

He could surprise at a big price.

Recommendation: Alexios Komnenos 25/1 ew

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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

 

The Oaks (Group 1)

Embed from Getty Images

Flattering on her way down to post for the Lingfield Oaks Trial. Picture courtesy of Getty Images and John Walton.

A field of nine remain to contest this years Oaks, four from England and five from Ballydoyle. Godolphin’s leads the home challenge with Wild Illusion who is favourite.

She beat Willie Haggas’s Give And Take on debut last year in a Novice Stakes at Yarmouth in August. A trip to Paris in September followed where she was beaten at G2 level in the Prix d’Aumale but that was put right in a follow up visit on Arc day when she won the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac from Polydream and Mission Impassible. Magical, a late withdrawal here, was 1 3/4L back in fourth.

The form of the Prix Marcel Boussac isn’t looking great as Mission Impassible and Polydream both ran no sort of race when trailing in last and second last in the French Guineas a few weeks ago and prior to that in April Mission Impassable had also been beaten in the Prix de la Grotte.

This year Charlie Appleby sent Wild Illusion straight to the 1000 Guineas where she ran fourth 2 3/4L behind the winner Billesdon Brook. Laurens who was second at Newmarket has since put a shine on the form when going on to win the Prix Saint-Alary, a G1 over 10f at Longchamp. Happily third at Newmarket filled the same spot at the Curragh on Sunday in the Irish 1000 Guineas so the Godlphin filly’s form largely stands up.

Clive Cox’s Perfect Clarity is unbeaten in two run’s, one as a juvenile where she won a Novice Stakes at Nottingham and this year in her second run she won The Lingfield Oaks Trial under a hands and heels ride from Adam Kirby who had dropped his whip. Flattering was 3 1/2L behind in third.

Willie Haggas withdrew See Of Class from the race and now relies on Give And Take. She followed up her second to Wild Illusion last year with a Novice Stakes win at Lingfield and was then put away for the season. On return this year she ran second in another Novice Stakes at Sandown and then progressed from there to win The Musidora at York where she had David Simcock’s Ejtyah 2 1/2L back in third. Ejtyah won a Novice Stakes at Chelmsford Christmas week on her debut, her only previous racecourse appearance.

It might be the Dermot Weld filly Jaega (doesn’t run here) who holds the key to the Ballydoyle team. In April Jaega won a maiden at Leopardstown beating Samasthit 6 1/2L with Magic Wand a nose behind in third. In May Flattering beat Samasthit 10L in a Cork maiden and a few days later at the Curragh in the Blue Wind Stakes Bye Bye Baby beat Jaega 2L.

That would mean the pecking order of the Ballydoyle fillies gives Flattering an edge over Bye Bye Baby. Magic Wand is third in order though on jockey bookings she’s first being the choice of Ryan Moore. Ryan choose her on the back of her Cheshire Oaks win at Chester where she beat her stablemate Forever Together 3 1/2L who ranks fourth in order on the Jagea form line.

It’s hardly a secret that the Ballydoyle fillies can step up and win when their previous form doesn’t entitle them to do so. Aidan trains then from race to race relying on the engine within that comes from their breeding in the purple. Magic Wand’s win at Chester is testament to that.

I Can Fly makes up the quintet and she was tried in the Guineas where she was well beaten. No doubt Aidan had a view to this race in mind. Her race record would suggest she has it all to do yet she can’t be ruled out.

Wild Illusion has the best overall form but there is an if. Will she stay? The ground is the other worry. She should handle it as it was soft in France for the Boussac. Perfect Clarity has no concerns on the trip but will she handle the surface having encountered only good or fast conditions. Give And Take should handle an ease and get the trip as should Ejtyah but are either good enough. Of the Irish Bye Bye Baby ticks the boxes on the ground and trip as does Flattering but there are concerns for the other three over either ground or trip.

The Oaks is always a puzzle, until it’s run. It can produce greatness, Enable (2017), Minding (2016), Taghrooda (2014) but it’s also well capable of shocks. Was (2012) was a 20/1 winner and Qualify (2015) was returned at 50/1. Those  two shocks were provided by Ballydoyle.

Given the Ballydoyle pecking order courtesy of Jaega and the doubt about the favourite Wild Illusion staying then it may be worth trusting the Jaega form line and backing Padraig Beggy and his mount Flattering to win a second classic for him here at Epsom, one to add to his Derby win on Wings Of Eagles last year. Another shock at 40/1 trained by Aidan O’Brien.

Recommendation: Flattering 25/1 ew

 

 

Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (Group 1)

Happily 27th July 2017 at Leopardstown

We recommended Romanised to win the Irish 2000 Guineas yesterday. Today we access the fillies version.

Happily will start a short price 6/4F to give Aidan O’Brien a third G1 of the season.

She went off favourite for the Newmarket equivalent two weeks ago coming home in third. Her best work was coming towards the end of the race, she looked in trouble entering the dip but she came of it well but she couldn’t get there. Like many of Aidan’s she’ll improve for the run. Godolphin’s Solioquy was a length behind her.

Her juvenile form now looks very good, a winner twice at top-level she took The Moyglare Stud Stakes where she beat her more fancied stable companion Magical and she then went on to France on Arc day where she beat the colts in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. Olmedo who was second advertised the form very well when winning the French 2000 Guineas two weeks ago and Masar who was third filled the same spot in the English 2000 Guineas three weeks ago.

Clemmie will also make the trip up the road from Ballydoyle. She is another juvenile G1 winner having taken the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket last September. Her stablemate Could It Be Love ran in the Poule, The French 1000 Guineas a couple of weeks ago and put in a decent performance running eighth. Ryan Moore asked a lot of her by taking the lead early on and she only faded late in the straight. The other Ballydoyle filly Most Gifted was a hands and heels winner of a maiden at Cork last weekend where she beat Hence That form now has a certain shine to it considering Hence’s victory here yesterday.

Johnny Murtagh is the beneficiary of the split between Qatar Racing and Ger Lyons and now this daughter of Frankel is asked to step up on her Athasi Stakes win at Naas two weeks ago. She did it well as she did when winning on debut at Leopardstown last year. Her run in between in the Rockfel Stakes last September was disappointing.

Who’s Steph on her way out to win The Derrinstown Stud Guineas Trial at Leopardstown

Ger Lyons is represented by Who’s Steph who has been impressive in both the Guineas Trials she’s won at Leopardstown this year. She changed hands before her last run and now races in George Strawbridge’s famous white and green colours. In the first trial in April, The Leopardstown Guineas Trial she beat Dermot Weld’s Yulong Gold Fairy (then subsequently 5th to Lightening Quick at Naas) and in The Derrinstown 1000 Guineas Trail she had Kevin Prendergast’s Alghabrah back in third. Both oppose her again here.

Chiara Luna winning on debut at Leopardstown last August

Dermot Weld’s other runner Chiara Luna made a winning debut last August at Leopardstown. There was a lot of talk about her before the race that day and she easily justified the money that came for her. She has only had the one run since when fourth in the Derrinstown Guineas Trial. She ran green and didn’t get a clear run but when she got out she began to eat up the ground.

Of the other’s Jim Bolger’s filly Sciobh Nua is asked a big question on only her second start,  third in a maiden last Sunday at Naas while Alpha Centauri went off favourite for The Moyglare last year where she disappointed. Her run back in the Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial was equally disappointing. There was no suggestion of the filly we saw early last summer who won her first two before being just touched off at Royal Ascot in The Albany Stakes.

Happily can only improve for the run at Newmarket and is priced to so. An alternative to her is Dermot Weld’s filly Chiara Luna. She may turn out to be a very talented filly with a serious turn of foot.

Recommendation: Happily 6/4 win

                                       Chiara Luna 10/1 ew

                                      Happily and Chiara Luna Reverse Forecast