Tag Archives: Andre Fabre

Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe

Golden Horn after winning at Leopardstown

Golden Horn after winning at Leopardstown

Treve’s bid for history has in the last 48 hours gone from some certainty to some doubt judged by the drift in the market from odds on to odds against. Is the market right?

She looked imperious in the Prix Vermille 3 weeks ago when she absolutely smashed the field with the release of her tremendous turn of foot. Thierry Jarnet could hardly contain her. She wanted to cruise, she wanted to travel but those around her were incapable of coming near matching her stride. She made good fillies including Arabian Queen who beat Golden Horn at York look very ordinary. When she was finally given her head she flew and in a matter of strides it was all over. She sauntered up Longchamps home straight digging deep into the very soft turf with each step lifting her further and higher giving her the chance to extend her stride to the full. Magnificent to watch.

Her trainer Criquette Head has timed her season beautifully. Prior to the Vermille she had two spins around Saint Cloud in the Prix Corrida and Grand Prix De Saint Cloud giving her the perfect preparation for this third Arc tilt. Unlike last year everything has gone right and all credit to her trainer as she comes here in the form of her life.

So why has the market got the jitters?

It was after all the same weekend we saw the Champion Stakes and the Prix Vermille. Within 24 hours of Golden Horn’s success at Leopardstown the market decided that Treve’s Vermille performance put considerable distance between her and her all her market rivals. Maybe it was the controversial finish at Leopardstown that clouded the judgement. Golden Horn you felt always had the measure of Free Eagle even if he did put him out of the race.

It’s the ground is the great leveler.

Golden Horn’s owner has expressed the opinion his colt would easily beat Treve on fast ground. Considering last year’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes it’s a statement not without foundation. Treve couldn’t let herself down on the lighting quick ground at Royal Ascot that day and up against a top class filly who totally loved the surface The Fugue easily had her measure.

The issue here is the ground while very much coming the way of the Golden Horn camp it is still not what he really really wants, quick, lighting quick. That’s the surface that brought out the best in him in the Derby and Eclipse when he could hear his feet rattle. It was not so at York when Arabian Queen turned him over in what was akin to Japan’s Rugby World Cup performance against South Africa. John Gosden’s view has been they got the tactics wrong on the Knavesmire rather than the horse just couldn’t reproduce his speed on a surface less than quick.

So the ground, likely to be good, won’t be either’s first love, the questions are then who’ll like it more than the other and will that be enough to floor the rest of the field.

As ever the Arc produces the best middle distance horses of the last few years to compete against each other. This year is no different. It’s regrettable no Japanese challenger has emerged however New Bay who was given an impossible task in the French Guineas when trying to come from last to first (nearly making it) then showed his class by winning the French Derby. He’s since won on heavy at Deauville and put in a very smooth performance in his prep over course and distance in the Prix Neil.

Free Eagle surely can’t keep revving the engine in the last two furlongs. When he came upsides Golden Horn at Leopardstown he looked to be in top gear and it’s hard to imagine his stamina will stretch another two furlongs. Found will pose more of a threat. She was forgotten in the controversy but she ran a fine race to be second and will surely benefit from the step up in trip. She’ll also benefit from the weight for age and fillies allowances from the field. Mention must also be made of Tapestry the Yorkshire Oaks winner of last year (where she beat Taghrooda) who made a highly encouraging return to the track in the Blandford Stakes.

Found leaves the ring at Leopardstown

Found leaves the ring at Leopardstown

Of the others Flintshire returned to winning ways in America in the Sword Dancer having chased down Treve here last year. The three-year old Erupt did exactly that in his first four runs but hated the soft ground in the Prix Neil. Eagle Top was beaten a nose by Postponed in the King George who then ran a faster time than Treve in the Prix Foy. There all good horses.

As ever the Arc will produce a cracking race. Treve has to match Corrida (1936 & 1937 winner) as the only mare to win it as a five-year old. Golden Horn or New Bay on the other hand would join a long list of winning three-year old colts. Should either prevail they would be the 47th to do it. Found would be the 13th three-year old filly. History is not on Treve’s side.

The draw often is a feature in the Arc. Treve is drawn in the middle in stall 8 which means she might encounter traffic problems. Golden Horn and Found must overcome wide draws from 14 and 15.

With the pacemaker drawn in 2 New Bay breaking from stall 5 is given a considerable advantage. He can break and track the pacemaker and when she falls away take control of the race and steal a march on them. If Treve’s trapped in a pocket there’ll be serious questions asked of her turn of foot. She’ll no doubt answer and with Golden Horn, Tapestry and Found coming there too it promises to be mouth watering finish. New Bay can hold on.

Recommendations: New Bay 5/1 win 

                                        Found and Tapestry coupled on the pari mutual e/w

 

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The Breeders Cup (Grade 1) Day 2

The Fugue on Irish Champions Stakes Day

The Fugue on Irish Champions Stakes Day. Photo Pattern Racing.com

A bumper day of Grade 1 action with 9 top level races in Santa Anita on day 2 of the Breeders Cup 2013.

European horses struck gold in 3 out of the 5 on day 1 and come into the day 2 with some real big guns. Again there’s not a lot of depth to the challenge with only 7 European runners.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Dank will go off favourite in the Fillies and Mares Turf over 10f with with Romantica from the Andre Fabre team priced up second favourite. The Stoute filly has already won in America when last time out she took the Beverely D Stakes on Arlington Million day. The Fabre filly won the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in August before running 12 L behind Treve in the Arc. Opposing are the ex Irish trained Laughing and the ex French trained  AlteriteLaughing certainly benefited from the move to the States having won her last 4 including 2 G1’s The Diana Stakes and last time out the Flower Bowl Invitational where she beat Tannery who then franked that form taking the G1 EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.

In the Turf over 12 f The Fugue has very strong claims proving herself top drawer this summer taking the Yorkshire Oaks against her own sex and then following up in the Irish Champion Stakes beating the colts Al Kazeem and Trading Leather. She’s joined by the Irish Guineas winner Magician who rattled home on firm at the Curragh. Last years first and second are back Little Mike and Point Of Entry. The former looked to have lost his way a little but bounced back to form in the Joe Hirch Invitation while the latter has only run twice since. Both were winning Grade 1 performances. In February he beat Animal Kingdom in the Gulfstream Park Handicap and in June he won the Woodford Reserve at Belmont. This has been his target all year.

In the mile Aidan O’Brien runs Cristoforo Colombo who would look to be up against it and Richard Hannon runs Olympic Glory who must have an outstanding chance if he can handle the ground. He put in a great performance when just touched off by Moonlight Cloud in the Jacques Le Marois and capped that on champions day winning the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes on soft ground. Wise Dan is probably the most consistent turf horse in training at the moment. Since winning this last year he’s added 5 G1’s since but was surprisingly beaten by Silver Max in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keenland at the beginning of October.

The most consistent dirt horse is Game On Dude who will go off favourite in the Classic the finale event. He held the same status this time last year when beaten by Fort Larned but has run and won six times since with the highlight being the Big Cap here at Santa Anita when he simply looked awesome. Two European challengers come into the field with Ballydoyle sending Declaration Of War and Marco Botti sending PlanteurThe Coolmore bound Declaration Of War has not been seen since winning the International at York in August. This will be his last run and it was revealed he went to work on Southwell’s fibre sand to get some experience of the kickback he’ll have to cope with here. He worked with two G1 winners sitting in behind before readily pulling clear. The manner of the workout was enough to convince Aidan O’Brien that this was his best chance of capturing the classic since Giant’s Causeway who was so narrowly touched off by Tisnow in 2000. If he can handle the dirt he has the class to beat Game On Dude.

Recommendations :

Fillies and Mares Turf Laughing PMU Price win and place

Breeders Cup Turf : Point Of Entry 5/1 Win

Breeders Cup Mile : Wise Dan 1/1 Win

Breeders Cup Classic : Declaration OF War PMU Price win and place

The Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe (Group 1) Redrafted

Pic: Pattern Racing.com

AL Kazeem leaves the paddock before running 2nd to The Fugue in the Irish Champion Stakes

With Novellist ruled out with fever we’ve had to recalibrate our thoughts on Europe’s richest race, the centrepiece of a day of top class racing from Lonchamp with the entire seven race card holding Group 1 status.

It’s a day to saviour and enjoy.

After the draw 18 remain in but this may reduce the nearer we get to post time. Last night 8mm of rain fell on the track and with further rain forecast for Paris it’s possible the already soft ground may rule a few of these out.

This is a field as you’d expect deep in quality having between them already won 24 Group 1’s.

Novellist (4 G1’s) N\R 

He’s only lost twice in ten starts, second to Pastorius in last years German Derby and fourth to Danedream in the Grosser Preis Von Baden last September. Unbeaten since he’s won five including a breath-taking performance when breaking the track record under Johnny Murtagh in the this year’s King George. Last time out in this year’s Grosser Preis Von Baden he wasn’t as impressive just doing enough to win. Soft conditions pose no threat to him as two of those G1’s including the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud this year have come on easy conditions.

Al Kazeem  (3 G1’s)

Roger Charlton is making upbeat noises about his colt in the last few day’s. There wasn’t the same vibes from him in the lead up to the International or the Irish Champion Stakes which suggests he’s happier now about the issues he faced going into those two contests. He feels he has Al Kazeem back to the form which saw him take the Eclipse in July and the freshness is out of him. He’ll get his ideal ground for the first time this season but has to come from stall 18.

Joshua Tree  (1 G1)

His best moment came in the Canadian International last year when beating Dandino. He hasn’t built on that however there was something of a return to form last time out when second at Deauville in the Prix Kergorlay.

Meandre (4 G1’s)

Different story for Meandre, a top class three year old for Andre Fabre winning the Grand Prix De Paris he was sold and transferred to Arslangirej Savujev who seems to be getting him back to his best. Third to Novellist in the race at Baden Baden he then went on and won the Preis Von Europa. First past the post he was disqualified for interference only to be rightfully reinstated on appeal this week. Connections rolled the dice in supplementing him but drawn 2 and with a preference for these conditions he’s got a chance.

Orfevre (5 G1’s)

It’s easy to see why he’ll go off favourite, the Japanese triple crown winner of 2011 threw away last years Arc in the last 100 yards when looking a certain winner. It hasn’t stopped connections having a second bite of the cherry and he looked ultra impressive in the Prix Foy oozing class winning with the minimum of fuss in very easy fashion. Those stung last year will find it hard to forgive and we should all be conscious that his quirkiness was not an isolated incident. It happened at Hanshin in March last year when he bolted ,looked as though he would have to be pulled up, only to then amazingly run on to be second. He’ll handle soft but if it turns heavy that smooth action might turn laboured.

Flintshire (1 G1)

One of those typical late three year old developers that Andre Fabre springs on us. He bypassed the early season classics staying under radar until the Grand Prix de Paris in July where he then justified favouritism. He was put away to target the Arc but he had a blip in the Prix Neil when he couldn’t justify the favourite’s tag trailing in fourth. Was it the ground?

Leading Light (1 G1)

His season has built nicely winning the Queen Vase at Royal Ascot then going straight to Doncaster where he was hammered in the ring prior to winning the Leger from Talent where as well as stamina he displayed real pace. Leger winners though face an uphill task trying to follow up 3 weeks later in Paris primarily due to the drop in distance. Camelot second at Doncaster went off favourite here last year and the exertions and drop in trip were to prove too much. The lads have supplemented him so you’d have to view him with some confidence. Will like cut and with Joseph ruled out (not allowed to do under 9 stone) Aidan has employed a very capable local in the shape of Gerald Mosse.

Kizuna (1 G1).

This years Japanese Derby winner beat Ruler Of The World  a short head in the Prix Neil. He managed to cope well with the ground having never encountered anything worse than good previously. He’ll try to do what is father Deep Impact couldn’t in 2006.

Ruler Of The World (1 G1)

At Epsom he came out of the pack and picked them off with a sustained withering run. At the Curragh he was a shadow of the horse at Epsom. It could have been the ground, while he handled it good at Epsom at the Curragh it was good to firm with the latter word being more descriptive. The perception is he’ll like to get his toe in here.

Intello (1 G1)

Intello was very unlucky not have won the French 2000 Guineas in May but put it right in the French Derby the following month. In the Jacques Le Marois he ran third to Moonlight Cloud and Olympic Glory over a mile and won a G3 over 10 f as a prep for this. His jockey  Olivier Peslier is strong on his chances hoping to equal the jockey’s record with a fifth win. Unlikely to like the ground.

Treve (2 G1’s)

Ultra impressive in winning the Prix Diane by 4 L from Chiquita (who franked the form in winning the Irish Oaks) she was put away for the Prix Vermeille. Two furlongs out she was sent about her business where she picked up to win readily. She’s looks a class and special filly in the mould of a Zarkava who travelled a similar path on route to winning the Arc in 2006.

Ocovango (0 G1’s)

Not out the mix, not only because he’s trained by Andre Fabre but because he was a serious talking horse at the start of the season and was his trainer’s choice for the Epsom Derby. It didn’t happen for him at Epsom or when behind Flintshire in July but he was only 3/4 L off Kizuna in the Prix Neil which says says he’s capable of causing an upset at a big price.

Conclusion

As ever it’s a cracker but this year there is a particular depth. Five individual classic winner’s.

A repeat performance of last year from Orfevre without the quirkiness wins it, a Prix Diane Treve wins it. A back to his best and improving Ruler Of The World wins it, Leading Light and Intello aren’t out of it either. If they go too quick early in deep ground an Eclipse Al Kazeem could steal it coming from that wide draw.

Our original choice was Novellist but unfortunately fever has ruled him out but with 17 still left in then luck in running will play it’s part. Drawn in 15 is the unbeaten Treve, even wider out is Al Kazeem. Neither may be get the luck they need. Drawn 5 and 6 is the Ballydoyle pair with Flintshire in 7 and Orfevre in 8. Considering the ground and the draw the best course of action is to back the Ballydole pair on the PMU (French Tote) where they’ll be coupled.

Remember to mark your docket PMU.

Recommendation : Ruler Of The World and Leading Light (PMU win)

                                          Ocovango 33/1 e w

Watch the Prix Neil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9sz03LOcUY

Image

The Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe (Group 1)

Pic: Pattern Racing.com

AL Kazeem leaves the paddock before running 2nd to The Fugue in the Irish Champion Stakes

Europe’s richest race is upon us, the centrepiece of a day of top class racing from Lonchamp with the entire seven race card holding Group 1 status.

It’s a day to saviour and enjoy.

After the draw 18 remain in but this may reduce the nearer we get to post time. Last night 8mm of rain fell on the track and with further rain forecast for Paris it’s possible the already soft ground may rule a few of these out.

This is a field as you’d expect deep in quality having between them already won 24 Group 1’s.

Novellist (4 G1’s)

He’s only lost twice in ten starts, second to Pastorius in last years German Derby and fourth to Danedream in the Grosser Preis Von Baden last September. Unbeaten since he’s won five including a breath-taking performance when breaking the track record under Johnny Murtagh in the this year’s King George. Last time out in this year’s Grosser Preis Von Baden he wasn’t as impressive just doing enough to win. Soft conditions pose no threat to him as two of those G1’s including the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud this year have come on easy conditions.

Al Kazeem  (3 G1’s)

Roger Charlton is making upbeat noises about his colt in the last few day’s. There wasn’t the same vibes from him in the lead up to the International or the Irish Champion Stakes which suggests he’s happier now about the issues he faced going into those two contests. He feels he has Al Kazeem back to the form which saw him take the Eclipse in July and the freshness is out of him. He’ll get his ideal ground for the first time this season but has to come from stall 18.

Joshua Tree  (1 G1)

His best moment came in the Canadian International last year when beating Dandino. He hasn’t built on that however there was something of a return to form last time out when second at Deauville in the Prix Kergorlay.

Meandre (4 G1’s)

Different story for Meandre, a top class three year old for Andre Fabre winning the Grand Prix De Paris he was sold and transferred to Arslangirej Savujev who seems to be getting him back to his best. Third to Novellist in the race at Baden Baden he then went on and won the Preis Von Europa. First past the post he was disqualified for interference only to be rightfully reinstated on appeal this week. Connections rolled the dice in supplementing him but drawn 2 and with a preference for these conditions he’s got a chance.

Orfevre (5 G1’s)

It’s easy to see why he’ll go off favourite, the Japanese triple crown winner of 2011 threw away last years Arc in the last 100 yards when looking a certain winner. It hasn’t stopped connections having a second bite of the cherry and he looked ultra impressive in the Prix Foy oozing class winning with the minimum of fuss in very easy fashion. Those stung last year will find it hard to forgive and we should all be conscious that his quirkiness was not an isolated incident. It happened at Hanshin in March last year when he bolted ,looked as though he would have to be pulled up, only to then amazingly run on to be second. He’ll handle soft but if it turns heavy that smooth action might turn laboured.

Flintshire (1 G1)

One of those typical late three year old developers that Andre Fabre springs on us. He bypassed the early season classics staying under radar until the Grand Prix de Paris in July where he then justified favouritism. He was put away to target the Arc but he had a blip in the Prix Neil when he couldn’t justify the favourite’s tag trailing in fourth. Was it the ground?

Leading Light (1 G1)

His season has built nicely winning the Queen Vase at Royal Ascot then going straight to Doncaster where he was hammered in the ring prior to winning the Leger from Talent where as well as stamina he displayed real pace. Leger winners though face an uphill task trying to follow up 3 weeks later in Paris primarily due to the drop in distance. Camelot second at Doncaster went off favourite here last year and the exertions and drop in trip were to prove too much. The lads have supplemented him so you’d have to view him with some confidence. Will like cut and with Joseph ruled out (not allowed to do under 9 stone) Aidan has employed a very capable local in the shape of Gerald Mosse.

Kizuna (1 G1).

This years Japanese Derby winner beat Ruler Of The World  a short head in the Prix Neil. He managed to cope well with the ground having never encountered anything worse than good previously. He’ll try to do what is father Deep Impact couldn’t in 2006.

Ruler Of The World (1 G1)

At Epsom he came out of the pack and picked them off with a sustained withering run. At the Curragh he was a shadow of the horse at Epsom. It could have been the ground, while he handled it good at Epsom at the Curragh it was good to firm with the latter word being more descriptive. The perception is he’ll like to get his toe in here.

Intello (1 G1)

Intello was very unlucky not have won the French 2000 Guineas in May but put it right in the French Derby the following month. In the Jacques Le Marois he ran third to Moonlight Cloud and Olympic Glory over a mile and won a G3 over 10 f as a prep for this. His jockey  Olivier Peslier is strong on his chances hoping to equal the jockey’s record with a fifth win. Unlikely to like the ground.

Treve (2 G1’s)

Ultra impressive in winning the Prix Diane by 4 L from Chiquita (who franked the form in winning the Irish Oaks) she was put away for the Prix Vermeille. Two furlongs out she was sent about her business where she picked up to win readily. She’s looks a class and special filly in the mould of a Zarkava who travelled a similar path on route to winning the Arc in 2006.

Ocovango (0 G1’s)

Not out the mix, not only because he’s trained by Andre Fabre but because he was a serious talking horse at the start of the season and was his trainer’s choice for the Epsom Derby. It didn’t happen for him at Epsom or when behind Flintshire in July but he was only 3/4 L off Kizuna in the Prix Neil which says says he’s capable of causing an upset at a big price.

Conclusion

As ever it’s a cracker but this year there is a particular depth. Five individual classic winner’s.

A repeat performance of last year from Orfevre without the quirkiness wins it, a King George Novellist wins it, a Prix Diane Treve wins it. A back to his best and improving Ruler Of The World wins it, Leading Light and Intello aren’t out of it either. If they go too quick early in deep ground an Eclipse Al Kazeem could steal it coming from that wide draw.

If all 18 start then luck in running will play it’s part. A clear run will be vital so the pilot matters on Sunday. While none will lack confidence one trainer is particular brimming after the season he’s had in the saddle. That bit extra might make this a book with a thrilling ending.

Recommendation : Novellist 5/1 win 

                                          Ocovango 33/1 e w

Watch the King George VI and Queen Elizebeth Stakes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg89Xyfrvus