Tag Archives: Classic

The Irish Oaks (Group 1)

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Together Forever battles it out with Star Of Seville in the Musidora Stakes at York. Picture courtesy of Getty Images and Alan Crowhurst.

The beauty of the Irish weather is it’s unpredictably they say.

Yesterday morning the Curragh reported the ground good to firm. This morning after 10.7 mm of rain it was reported good to yielding.  If the local very heavy showers in the greater Dublin area through Friday hit the Curragh we will have soft ground. Aidan O’Brien reported this evening Qualify a most unlikely runner on account of her need to hear her feet rattle to show her best. The forecast today is dry and windy so it might dry out come the late post time but it still odds on that the winner will like to get her toe in.

Curvy the favourite has been a revelation this year going from strength to strength. She was beaten three times as a juvenile but this year she’s unbeaten in four including last time out in the Ribblesdale. That was on good to firm. She did handle a yielding surface first time out in a Navan handicap.

Words is the leading Ballydoyle fancy. She has only had the two runs. She won at the Curragh last June and didn’t see a racecourse again until this June when she won the Munster Oaks at Cork beating the year older Carla Bianca who franked the form very nicely by winning a G3 at Leopardstown on Thursday. Words really caught the eye at Cork and looked a very talented filly who will try to emulate her mother Moonstone who won this race in 2008. Both her runs have been on good to firm so we won’t know how she will handle this softer surface.

Seamie Heffernan gets the leg up on Together Forever the most experienced filly in the field. She’s having her ninth run. She’s a G1 winner at two having taken the Fillies’ Mile last year. She was only beaten a head by Star Of Seville (since a winner of the Prix Diane) in the Musidora and lost all chance when cannoning into a rival at Epsom in the Oaks.

Michael Hussey rides Kissed By Angels who showed she’s talented when beating Devonshire in the Irish Guineas Trail. Devonshire ran 3rd in Irish Guineas where she herself finished tailed off beaten 17 L. She is only filly in the line up to have chalked success on heavy ground when she won the trial.

Jack Naylor first two runs were on soft and she was beaten both times. She then won three in a row beating Legatissimo in the sequence but this year she’s fallen short at G1 level getting beaten in the Irish 1000 Guineas and she laboured at Epsom tiring in the last furlong.

From England Hugo Palmer sends Covert Love. She showed nothing in her one run last year well beaten on the all-weather at Lingfield but this year she’s notched up three on the bounce stepping up in class from an all-weather Chelmsford maiden to a listed win last time out at Newcastle. Her two turf wins have been on good ground.

Also travelling is James Fanshawe’s Speedy Boarding another inexperienced filly who was also a winner at listed level last time out and Gretchen sent by the all-conquering John Gosden who will come under starters orders for only the third time. She won her maiden at Newmarket and was 6 L behind Curvy in the Ribblesdale.

Jim Bolgers Stellar Glow makes up the numbers only Jim Bolger never makes up the numbers especially with a daughter of Sea the Stars who was a winner last time out.

Words looked a filly that oozes class and its no wonder Aidan has been patient with her but if it turns soft we don’t know if her class will be enough to carry her through. On the other hand her stable companion Together Forever has acted on a yeilding surface when winning at listed level last October and showed her class in winning a G1 last year and going down a head to a French Oaks winner. You’ll have to forgive her not handling the camber in the Oaks however at 12/1 she’s worth forgiving and is certainly the each way option.

Recommendation: Together Forever 12/1 ew 






The Oaks (Group1)

Talent – Richard Hughes riding the 20/1 shot to win last years Oaks. Can he turn up the Volume to do it again? Phew. Good ground for the Oaks. Not looking so good for the Derby though. The Oaks tends to throw … Continue reading

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 Oaks (Group 1)

Favourite’s have a poor record in the Oaks.

Only three have won in the last ten years, Eswaarah, Alexandrova and Sariska. All won at odds around the 5/2 mark. In the last five years, Was and Dancing Rain have gone in at 20/1, Snow Fairy at 9/1 and Look Here at 33/1.

Fillies competing in the Oaks tend to be inexperienced and thus unexposed, truth is we don’t know how good they are until after the winning post.

This years favourite is Secret Gesture an impressive winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial where she easily picked off the opposition to win by 10 L from Miss You Two, who takes her on again. The latter’s connections will likely change tactics having failed to hold up last time she will most likely be allowed bowl along.

Secret Gesture will race in the Qatar Racing colours who this week acquired a half share in the Ralph Beckett trained filly. They’ll be hoping for a classic double following their success at the Curragh last Sunday with Just The Judge.

The latter’s form via the English Guineas is put to the test here with Moth and Roz coming from the Newmarket race to contest here. Moth ran third 2 L behind Sky Lantern and 1 1/2 L behind Just The Judge and on breeding is set to be more suited to the 12 f . Prior to that she was an easy winner of a Curragh maiden in April having failed to win at the same level in two attempts as a juvenile. Roz never got in a blow at Newmarket finishing tenth though she has proved herself a good filly already with a second in last year’s Fillies Mile and she will also appreciate the step up in trip.

The other won tight in the market is the Sir Michael Stoute trained Liber Nauticus. She won the Musidora at York on only her second run in unconvincing style. It was a muddling race and her price is short enough considering what she’s achieved and what she’ll have to cope with at Epsom.

The first two in the Cheshire Oaks renew rivalry. Banoffee had a 1 1/4 L to spare over Gertrude Verse at Chester. Hughie Morrison trainer of the winner said at the time he’d left plenty to work on.

The Newmarket Pretty Polly winner Talent  is the second string from the Ralph Beckett yard. She won on good to firm which is a plus beating Madame Defarge in the process while the Ballydoyle second string Say won a Cork maiden by 9 L on soft. What she beat was not a lot but it was still a wide margin victory.

On balance the reliability of Moth’s Guineas run puts her slightly ahead of Secret Gesture’s Lingfield run however neither are value and a chance is taken with Roz as an each way prospect.

She’s one of the more experienced fillies in the race who twice before has surprised at big prices winning at 40/1 and 28/1, the latter on G/F. She only found Certify too good at Ascot last year in the Fillies Mile and is therefore the only one proven at Group 1 level as a juvenile.

Recommendation : Roz 50/1 e w