Aidan O’Brien has sent US Navy Flag down under to take on the best of the Australians in the second running of the The Everest at Randwick, Sydney.
It’s not a pattern race but it is now the world’s richest turf race and is run over the sprint distance of six furlongs. The race, run similarly to the Pegasus World Cup in Florida is a restricted race with owners buying slot’s for $600,000 each hence the big pot.
From his debut in May last year US Navy Flag improved and improved throughout the season. He took his racing well and by November he’d run eleven times and by the end of it he’d captured two G1’s, the Middle Park over six furlongs and the Dewhurst over seven furlongs. In both he’d displayed a liking to boss, being up in the van and leading from the front.
This year he was campaigned to get a mile early season contesting the French and Irish Guineas where he was fifth and second respectively. In Paris he stumbled badly when out in front on an uneven Lonchamp surface which cost him his chance. He was tried again in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot before the decision was made to let him use his speed over the shorter trip of the July Cup.
At Newmarket he burst from the gate and adopted up his usual tactic of leading from the front. Unlike at the Curragh over the mile when his stamina ran out, Romanised got the better of him there, here he was able to use his speed over the shorter trip and he’d no difficulty in knocking out all comers.
Ryan Moore racks up the air miles to ride him and the trip may very well be rewarded. He’s a quality horse, a Middle Park winner, a Dewhurst winner and a July Cup winner, he’ll certainly bring a top level of form with him.
He did travel to America for the Breeders Cup last year and was well beaten which might be a cause for concern however that was on Dirt, on Turf different matter.
The home team no doubt will have something to say and of them the one that stands out the most is Santa Ana Lane, the winner of the Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben in June.
US Navy Flag is a bigger, stronger athlete than he was when we took those picture’s only fifteen months ago and now he’s a formidable force. His run style is deceptive, he looks as if he’s doing nothing which hides the fact he’s going so quick. They’ll break smart from the gate which if anything will suit him, he doesn’t need to be in front, what he needs is a strong pace to use his speed and this is nearly guaranteed.
It gives him every chance.
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 268 G1’s already run this year have panned out in championship format.
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.
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
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
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 Open50/1 ew
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.
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 gap. In 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.
2.25 GMT Cheveley Park Stakes, Newmarket – Lady Kaya 8/1 win
It could be an exceptional day for the Niarchos Family.
The owners of both Alpha Centauri and Study Of Man may end the day celebrating having the best three year old filly and best three year old colt in the world, on turf at least.
The Matron Stakes (G1)
Jessica Harrington’s filly began her sequence of mile win’s with the Irish 1000 Guineas in May followed by the Coronation Stakes in June and Falmouth Stakes in July. She improved with each run and last time out in the Jacques le Marois in August she was mighty impressive when she beat Recoletos who has since franked the form in no uncertain terms by winning the G1 Prix de Moulin at Lonchamp last week.
Happily, Clemmie, Magical and Lightening Quick are the other Irish contenders. It’s hard to see any of them upsetting the favourite as she’s beaten Happily and Clemmie at the Curragh with the latter also suffering defeat at Ascot and Newmarket as well. Happily has got the closest to her and a win or place for any of the Ballydoyle trio will cement Aidan O’Brien’s position at the top of PRWC 2018 Trainers Table.
Magical has yet to take her on and Ryan Moore has opted for her over the other two. He may expect she’ll improve the most as she’s only had the two runs this year winning the Kilboy Estates Stakes last time out. She can be expected to improve again for that.
Johnny Murtagh will hope Lightening Quick can repeat the feat of winning as she did this day last year when trained by Ger Lyons for the Ballylinch Stud Maiden, the opening race on the card. This granted is a bit thougher.
Laurens, a dual G1 winner over 10f in France steps back to a mile, a distance she last ran at when second behind Billesdon Brooke in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. It’s a bold step having tried a mile and a half in the Yorkshire Oaks where she didn’t stay the trip. Dan’s Dream accompanies her from England having already been a visitor when running second at listed level at Tipperary last time.
Jessica Harrington has done a fabulous job with Alpha Centauri, her pride and joy. She has got her confidence to grow and grow throughout the season and she’s treated us to better and more authoritative performances each time she’s run.
There’s a tiny doubt about her on slow ground, it’s been a showery day in Dublin today, and she was beaten here on her first run of the year on heavy ground. Whatever the ground her class will tell, at least enough to see her out with Happily the one to chase her home.
A win here will see her top PRWC 2018 Horse Table though she’ll probably be sharing top spot with Winx when she win’s the George Main Stakes at Ranwick in the morning.
Recommendation: Alpha Centauri, Happily (Exacta)
The Irish Champion Stakes (G1)
Study Of Man also looked a proper horse in the making in the spring when winning the Prix Greffulhe as a prep for the Prix du Jockey Club.
At Chantilly he didn’t disappoint winning it snugly.
He was given a summer break and brought back in August for a G2 at Deauville where on the face of it he did disappoint running fourth however in hindsight it looked a decent effort and his jockey Stephane Pasquier who’ll be having his first ride at Leopardstown reports him in top order expecting he’ll come on an awful lot for the run.
John Gosden saddles the favourite, trading slightly odds on, Roaring Loin was impressive at York in the Juddmonte where he easily had the measure of Poets Word. The second had a difficult passage but in truth the loin had roared and was long gone and there was no chance he would have been reeled in.
Ballydoyle send a quartet of G1 winners headed by Saxon Warrior. The Guineas winner has not hit the heights expected after Newmarket and could not get to Roaring Loin last time out at York in the International. There had only been a neck between them at Sandown in the Eclipse but at York Roaring Loin had extended that to 5L. Deauville, Athena, Rhododendron also run with the best of them possibly the latter.
Willie Haggas sends Addeybb over having already plundered G1 riches here this season with Sea Of Class and Urban Fox. This is tricker.
Verbal Dexterity makes up the line up, Jim Bolger’s horse is the forgotten one having won the National Stakes last year he missed the early season through injury but did make a pleasing comeback when fourth in G3 at the Curragh recently. If he can show that kind of form again he could well be a force to be reckoned with.
A cracking days racing to open Champions Weekend. Alpha Centauri will likely be crowned Queen of Ireland in the Matron while in a fascinating Champion Stakes Roaring Loin and Study Of Man will both lay claims to being the best middle distance colt of this generation. Preference is for Study Of Man who could yet become King Of France if he adds this on route to the Arc.
Recommendation: Study Of Man 10/1 win and Verbal Dexterity 20/1 ew
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Pattern Races form the top level of flat horseracing the world over providing the benchmark of quality for thoroughbreds.
The races are divided into three categories Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 with the top level being Group 1. In north America they are referred to as Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3.
Pattern races are conditions races meaning the weights carried by the runners are dictated by the conditions attached to the race.
Weights are set according three factors, sex of the runners with females receiving an allowance from males, age with younger horses getting an allowance from older ones to balance maturity and finally success at the level previously with horses who have won at the level giving an allowance to those who have not.
The Pattern system is overseen by The International Federation Of Horseracing who control and adjust the system in order to preserve the integrity of the races with the aim of producing the best horses to improve the quality of breeding.
Pattern racing scans the globe. The USA, Canada, Dubai, Ireland, England, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, Chile, Brazil, Hong Kong and Turkey are all included in the pattern racing calendar.
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