Tag Archives: Camelot

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

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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

Royal Ascot (Day 2) Prince Of Wales Stakes (Group 1)

Photo by Pattern Racing

Camelot gives Pattern Racing the eye.

Yesterday went the way of the Irish and today’s in the Prince Of Wales Camelot  will try to keep the green ball rolling.

He was soundly beaten last time out at the Curragh by Al Kazeem in the Tattersalls Gold Cup over 11 f. Aidan O’Brein post race referred to the colic operation he overcame last Autumn and the team come here more in hope than confidence. Whether he can ever reproduce the brilliance he showed as a two year old in The Racing Post Trophy and last year as a three year old in the Derby remains to be seen. Is he a horse on the way back or has that operation stolen the edge that set him apart?

Roger Charlton’s colt is very much on the way up. The team was not surprised by their victory at the Curragh as they had travelled in confidence. He’s lightly raced for a five year old with a strike rate of 50% from 10 runs. Last year his only visit to the racecourse was for The Jockey Club Stakes in May where he got the better of Quest For Peace by a comfortable 4 1/2 L.

The French raider from the Jonathan Pearce yard must be respected. Maxios has already had a good campaign in 2013. He bagged the Prix Harcourt (G2) and Prix D’Ispahan (G1) in the spring at Lonchamp beating Planteur in the latter a 1/2 L. Again he’s a colt on the up.

The Fugue makes her seasonal debut for John Gosden. Today will be the first time she takes on the colts having raced in all the good races for her own sex last year. Her highlight came in the  Nassau Stakes where she beat Timepiece 1 L.

Of the outsiders Asfare looks overpriced. He ran a cracking race last year in the Arlington Million when second to Little Mike who then went on to take The Breeders Cup Turf from Point Of Entry and St Nicholas Abbey. He will love the conditions today and the yard is in fine form. You’d be concerned by the lack of a recent run but then Luca Cumani loves nothing better than to go to war with an older middle distance horse and he will know best how to have this fella primed for today.

Duntle lon her way out of the paddock to record a victory Amethest Stakes last time out at Leopardstown

Duntle on her way out of the paddock to record a victory in her prep race for today, the Amethest Stakes last time out at Leopardstown

In the Duke Of Cambridge, the race before the Prince of Wales Duntle is a solid  and over priced favourite.

Recommendation : Prince Of Wales –  Asfare 33/1 ew 

Duke Of Cambridge – Duntle 7/2 win

The Recalibration Stakes (Pattern Race)

The International Federation have taken the plunge and have revised the level of the ratings in the international classifications and world thoroughbreds ranking from when they started in 1977 to now.

Why you may ask?

Was it to simply put Frankel on top of the perch?

Or was it finally to address the over exuberance of figures in the early years of the first classifications. Lets be fair and say it was the latter rather than the former though the revision did have the effect of fulfilling the first agenda.

The loser in all this is Dancing Brave reduced 3 lbs to a mark of 138, now considered 2 lbs inferior to Frankel’s 140.

In the overall context the revision has been a benefit. The purpose of any rating system is to remove the wheat from the chaff. In the early years of the classification too many horses were rated too highly (due primarily to handicapper’s working to a norm of 100 and then handicapping up from there) thus systemically rating horses up to the norm rather than down.

The revisionism tightens the bands essentially reducing the mark attained in 1977 by 7 lbs and then on a sliding scale by a 1 lb in 1991. No changes occur then until 2004 where a 1 lb increase reflects the now considered harshness of the handicapper’s view that particular year.

The effect is, under the old regime 22 horses were rated 135 or above, under the new system this is reduced to 13. That’s a good thing wheat and chaff separated. Is there individual casualties?

1986 lost 3 lbs in the revisionist world thus knocking Dancing Brave off the perch in favour of Frankel. Both colts were owned by Khalid Abdullah and the abilities they brought to the track differed greatly.

Dancing Brave ran 10 times winning 8, the losses were the Derby and Breeders Cup Turf. The wins at Group 1 level were the Guineas, Eclipse, King George and Arc. Spectacular, in 1986 beyond that. The loss in the Derby will be forever remembered, beaten by Shahrastani he came from the clouds with the line coming too soon clocking reputedly 10.8 sec in the penultimate furlong.

Frankel won 14 races , 10 of them group 1’s. He was champion at two, three and four. He pulverized his opposition in all those encounters whether breaking from the gate in that unforgettable Guineas or when held up and unleashed in the Juddmonte International in the last 2 f.

But he never did what Dancing Brave did. He never went beyond 10 f. Could he have produced that turn of foot over a mile and a half? He certainly could over a mile clocking 10.58 sec in the Queen Anne in the sixth furlong and in the Juddmonte over 10 f he clocked 11.05 in the eighth furlong but could you see him do it over 12 f? Connections couldn’t, they never tried. Why? Because they couldn’t see it.

Ratings serve the purpose of drawings the generations together. There not an exact science but while the revisionism is welcomed and not overdue we must recognise the casualties of war.

Reducing Dancing Brave to inferiority in comparison to Frankel is the unjust casuality. By definition putting a figure beside an animal says one would beat the other.

Who would your back in the Eclipse Frankel or Dancing Brave? In the battle to the line you would see it a nose to Frankel but in the Arc two furlongs out we all know it would be Dancing Brave.

In the mind of the owner is it Frankel or Dancing Brave?

The problem with this recalibration is the benchmark for equine excellence is set by a horse who never raced beyond 10 f.

That presents a difficulty.

The Guineas and Derby winner Camelot is accessed at 124 lbs and thus seen as a failure for not having won the triple crown. If a pacemaker had been run at Doncaster would we have seen an emphatic victory for the Ballydoyle inmate. If so would his rating have skied into the 130’s?

Lets say Camelot’s potential is unlocked this year by Aidan O’Brien. Let’s say he wins the Dubai World Cup, the Coronation Cup, the King George, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Arc and Breeders Cup Classic. Six Group 1’s three over 12 f and three over 10 f including Tapeta,Turf and Dirt. (No pressure then Aidan)Will that not surpass the achievements of Frankel by 1, 2 or even 3 lbs?

Will we run the Recalibration Stakes again next year?

And the result is ………….