Category Archives: PRWC 2018

The Eclipse Stakes (Group 1)

Happily 27th July 2017 at Leopardstown

The news broke just after six last night that Masar was out of the Eclipse due to his off-fore becoming inflamed after a knock at exercise. It’s a blow to the race to lose the Derby winner so late in the day however there was another surprise this week, the news that Saxon Warrior would run despite having had an outing only last Saturday in the Irish Derby at the Curragh where he finished a weary third over the mile and half trip.

The horse who looked so good over a mile in the Guineas is sent on a retrieval mission, he must have some constitution.

He’s accompanied by Cliffs Of Moher who ran here last year but was well beaten. In eleven visits to the racecourse since his Epsom Derby second of 2017 he’s only managed one win. He looked to be gradually regaining his confidence when second to Lancaster Bomber in the Tattersalls Gold Cup but since he’s been beaten twice at Royal Ascot.

Happily, Aidan O’Brien’s other runner form has been slightly disappointing this year. She was outstanding as a juvenile beating Masar in France’s premier two-old race, the Jean-Luc Lagardere last year. She went off favourite for both English and Irish 1000 Guineas and was third in both over the mile. She stepped up to this trip for the Prix de Diane finishing a close fourth behind Laurens. Now she benefits from both the age and sex allowance here which could be crucial.

Roaring Loin’s best run to date was in the Dante at York over this trip however those he beat have all run poorly since. In the Derby he was outstayed by Dee Ex Bee for second who was subsequently disappointing at the Curragh.

Hawkbill won this in fine style in 2016 and had a very good spring this year winning twice at Meyden including beating Poets Word in the Sheema Classic. That form has not been replicated on his return to England, he finished tailed off in the Coronation Cup and was again well beaten by Poets Word in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Forest Ranger has been a revelation this year winning his two runs both times beating Ballydoyle inmates. He beat Deauville and War Decree but again the form has not been franked.

Raymond Tusk is asked to do the near impossible, step up on two previous racecourse appearances where he won his maiden and was second in a Novice Stakes. It will be the shock of the season should he do so.

This is the first meeting of the generations, the first time the classic generation are tested against their older brethren at Group 1 level. To date this classic generation have been disappointing. With the exception of Study Of Man, the French Derby winner, no horse has stamped authority over their peers. Are they a poor crop?

Today will tell us more.

Saxon Warrior could find the kick he had in the Guineas, he could once again be the one to ooze class. Over the longer trip he’s bred for, he looked ordinary. Roaring Loin’s is probably best at 10f but he beat nothing of note in the Dante. Forest Ranger could be the surprise act but he’s yet to prove himself at top level.

Of the older horses only Hawkbill can genuinely be considered proven however his form in Europe has been less than distinguished since he conquered here two years ago.

That leaves us with Happily. She’s benefitting from the weight of age and sex allowance and her run in France, only beaten a 1/2 L by Laurens was a good one given the winner was winning her second G1 of the season. Added to her excellent juvenile form she looks the one to beat.

Recommendation: Happily 5/1 win

 

 

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The Gold Cup (Group 1)

Lucius Tiberius on his way out to win his maiden at the Curragh recently.

Order Of St George will once again go off favourite for the Gold Cup.

He was an odds on favourite both last year and in 2016. He justified it in 2016 but last year he couldn’t reel in Big Orange going down a short head. He’s run six times since losing only the once in the Arc over for him, an inadequate trip where he still managed to finish fourth going down only 5 L to Enable.

He’s a fabulous stayer but this could well be his toughest test yet in the division. He meets Varizabad France’s star stayer for the first time and Stradivarius the young pretender to the crown and then there’s his old nemesis Torcedor to contend with as well.

There are only two G1’s in the Pattern Racing calender over this trip of two and a half mile’s each year, this and the Prix du Cadran held in France on Arc day. Alain De Royer-Dupre’s Varizabad was second in the French race in 2016 and won it last year. He comes here on the back of two G2 win’s this year, at Meyden and his prep for this at home at Longchamp.

Stradivarius is also in top form after a good win in the Yorkshire Cup in mid May where he beat Desert Skyline 3 L and Max Dynamite 6 L. He will vie for favouritism on the back that performance. The John Gosden Frankie Dettori combination will be looking for compensation for the defeat of Cracksman yesterday.

Torcedor also comes here in rude health and had 8 L to spare over Desert Skyline here at Ascot in the Sagaro Stakes a couple of weeks earlier at the beginning of May.

The four of them all look like they will bring their A game here today and it promises a momentous battle up the straight. Class will have to prevail to win.

It will be a ding-dong battle with Frankie likely to be the first to commit. Christophe Soumillon will chase him down with the Irish pair being played late. Colm Donoghue might catch the front pair but as the line appears Ryan Moore might just get the last ounce out of Order Of St George to get him home.

In the lucky last the King George V Stakes Ballydoyle’s Lucius Tiberius also represents good each way value and could even double up for Ryan Moore.

Recommendation: Order Of St George 2/1 win

                                        Lucius Tiberius 20/1 ew

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

 

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