Tag Archives: Grade 1

The Pattern Racing World Championships – 2014

Foreword

Before our 2015 journey begins in earnest let’s take a moment to reflect on 2014.

Last year was our second year to hold the Pattern Racing World Championships, the purpose of which is to recognise the consistency of horses, jockeys, trainers and stallions at pattern racing’s top-level, Grade 1/Group 1 over a year calendar year.

Here at Pattern Racing we compiled the results of 309 Grade 1/Group 1 in 2014 up from 238 in 2013.

The Championships

There are 4 categories, Champion Racehorse, Champion Trainer, Champion Jockey and Champion Stallion.

Included are G1’s from 12 countries. Point’s are awarded for finishing in the top three in Grade 1/Group 1 contests in the year.

Country No Of G1’s
USA 111
Australia 72
England 33
France 27
Japan 22
Ireland 12
Germany 7
UAE 7
Hong Kong 6
Italy 6
Canada 4
Singapore 2
Total 309

Points                1st 10 pts,                    2nd 7 pts,                 3rd 5 pts.

The Champion Racehorse of 2014 is Kingman.

Rank Horse Points Won
1 Kingman (GB) 47
2 California Chrome (USA) 45
3 Australia (GB) 42
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Find the full list hereFind the detail here.

1. Kingman trained by John Gosden pipped American horse of The Year California Chrome to this years title.

His points were earned courtesy of a second in the Two Thousand Guineas followed by four flawless performances in the mile division. The Irish Guineas and St James Palace Stakes marked him out as the champion miler of his generation.

He further stamped his authority on the division when taking on the older horses in the Sussex Stakes and Jacques Le Marois. A throat infection led to missing the planned end of season engagement in the QE11 on Champions Day and unfortunately early retirement.

2. California Chrome lit up the season in America this year. The Dumb Ass Syndicate owed colt showed there is still a place at the top table for the smaller man.

He launched himself to favouritism for the Kentucky Derby with an authoritative performance in the Santa Anita Derby. He duly obliged at Churchill Downs then set the country’s pulses racing when he took the second leg of the triple crown the Preakness. In the last leg, the Belmont Stakes, the combination of the short timeframe between the three races and a foot injury sustained in the race alas meant at least another year’s wait for a triple crown winner.

He was rested and aimed at the Breeders Cup Classic where in a head bopper he was beaten a nose and a neck into third. In his last 2014 run he threw down a turf marker when winning the Hollywood Derby. Will we see him in the Arc this year?

3. Australia was beaten first time out in the Guineas and last time out in the Irish Champion Stakes. In between the one Aidan O’Brien described as the best he’s ever had won The Derby, Irish Derby and the International at York.

Like Kingman retirement came earlier than wanted and like Kingman he never made it to Champions Day where the QE 11 over the mile was the target.

We can only imagine but if Kingman and Australia had stayed in training at four, with California Chrome a more than possible for Royal Ascot then we’d of had one hell of Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

In 2014 244 horses won G1’s, 656 made the podium.

The Champion Trainer of 2014 is Aidan O’Brien.

Rank Trainer Points Won
1 Aidan O’Brien (IRE) 266
2 Chris Waller (AUS) 237
3 Todd Pletcher (USA) 190

Find the full list here. Find the detail here.

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1. Aidan O’Brien second in 2013 (218) went one better in 2014. His winning total surpassed last years winning mark by 3 points.

13 G1’s winners, 13 seconds and 9 third place finishes marked Aidan’s season. His wins came from 10 individuals with Australia topping the bill with the 3 G1 wins referred to earlier. In the Irish Derby he again had the 1,2,3.

Adelaide was twice a winner at top-level in the Secretariat in America and the Cox Plate In Australia. The four-year old Leading Light took the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot while three-year olds Bracelet, Marvellous and Tapestry took the Irish Oaks, Irish 1000 Guineas and Yorkshire Oaks.

His two-year olds winners were the exciting Found in the Prix Marcel Boussac, Together Forever in the Fillies Mile, Dick Whittington in the Phoenix Stakes and Gleneagles in the National Stakes.

2. Chris Waller is a new entrant on the inclusion of Australia in these championships. He won 10 G1’s with 9 individuals and ran second 11 times and was place third in 12, all in his native land. His star attraction was Sacred Falls winner of the Doncaster Mile (where he had a 1,2,3) and George Main Stakes.

Boban took the Chipping Norton, Foreteller the Underwood, Junoob the Metropolitan, Amicus The Thousand Guineas, Brazen Beau the Coolmore Stud Stakes, He’s Your Man the Epsom Handicap , Moriarty the Kingston Town Classic and Preferment the Victoria Derby.

3. Todd Pletcher winner in 2013 amassing 263 points couldn’t quite match last years feat. He sent 9 individual G1 winners to the races with Stopchargingmaria doubling up in the American Oaks and Alabama Stakes.

Constitution won the Florida Derby, Danza the American Derby, Palace Malice the Arkansas Derby, Competitive Edge the Hopeful Stakes, Angela Renee the Chandelier Stakes, Daredevil the Champagne and Carpe Diem the Claiborne Breeders Futurity.

In 2014 150 trainers won G1’s, 292 made the podium.

The Champion Jockey of 2014 is Joel Rosario.

Rank Jockey Points Won
1 J. Rosario (USA) 227
2 R. Moore (ENG) 210
3 J. Velazquez (USA) 201

Find the full list here. Find the detail here.

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1. Joel Rosario third in 2013 (186 points) topped the 2014 poll with 10 wins, 11 seconds and 10 thirds. 

He notched up a hat trick on Close Hatches in the Ogden Phipps, Personal Ensign and Apple Blossom. Tonalist won the Belmont Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes.

He also won on Minorette in the Belmont Oaks, Imagining in the Man o’War, Lea in the Donn Handicap, Bobby’s Kitten in the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint and La Tia in the Matriarch Stakes.

2. Ryan Moore, fifth last year, was the worlds hardest working jockey travelling the world in his bid to become champion.

On his travels he won 15 G1’s.

In Dubai he won the Sheema Classic partnering Gentildonna. In Australia he won the Cox Plate on Adelaide and The Melbourne Cup on Protectionist. In North America he took the Secretariat again on Adelaide, The Beverley D on Euro Charline, The Canadian International On Hillstar.

In Europe at home in England he picked up the Falmouth and Sun Chariot on Integral, the Coronation Stakes on Rizeena and the Yorkshire Oaks on Tapestry. In France he bagged the Prix Du Jockey Club on The Grey Gatsby, The Marcel Boussac on Found and The Prix Du Cadran on High Jinx and in Ireland he took the Irish 1000 Guineas on Marvellous and the Irish Champion Stakes on The Grey Gatsby. His 7 seconds and 5 thirds were the difference between top spot and runner up.

3. John Velazquez was the 2013 winner on 234 points.

He returned from injury this year after the loss of his spleen in the 2013 Breeders Cup. He had 12 G1 wins, the highlights being Wise Dan’s victories in the Shadwell Turf Mile and Woodford Reserve and Main Sequence’s victory in the Breeders Cup Turf. His other winners were Carpe Diem the Claiborne Breeders Futurity, Competitive Edge in the Hopeful, Crown Queen in the QE11 Challenge Cup, Dayatthespa in the First Lady Stakes, Judy The Beauty in The Madison Stakes, Palace Malice in the Metropolitan Stakes Stephanie’s Kitten in the Flower Bowl, Stopchargingmaria in the Alabama Stakes and Untapable in the Mother Goose Stakes. , His wins were accompanied by 8 seconds and 5 thirds.

In 2014 125 jockeys won G1’s, 211 made the podium.

The Champion Stallion of 2014 is Galileo.

Rank Stallion Points Won
1 Galileo (IRE) 261
2 Deep Impact (JPN) 131
3 High Chaparral (IRE) 102
3 Dansili (GB) 102

Find the full list hereFind the detail here.

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1. Galileo‘s domination of the breeding barn continued again 2014.

Also the winner in 2013 (160 points), did he up his game this year? Did he what?

He beat last years total by a whopping 101 points beating his nearest rival Deep Impact by 130 points, equivalent to winning 13 more G1’s.

He produced 9 individuals to win 14 G1’s. His prodigies were second 13 times and third on 6 occasions.

Australia and Noble Mission were was his leading lights with 3 wins each, the latter taking The Tattersalls Gold Cup, The Grand Prix De Saint Cloud and The Champion Stakes. Adelaide added the Cox Plate and Secretariat while Leading Light took the Gold Cup, Tapestry The Yorkshire Oaks, Together Forever the Fillies Mile, Marvellous the Irish 1000 Guineas with top two-year olds Gleneagles the National Stakes winner and Found The Prix Marcel Boussac winner giving us something to look forward to this year.

2. Deep Impact, also second in 2013, held his grip again in the east albeit falling 16 points short of his last years total.

He produced 9 individuals to win 10 G1’s. His prodigies were second 3 times and third on 2 occasions.

Gentildonna did the double in the Sheema Classic and Arima Kinen. Danon Shark took the Mile Championship, Harp Star the Oka Sho-Japanese 1000 Guineas, Lachesis the Queen Elizabeth 11 Commemorative Cup, Mikki Isle the NHK Mile , Shonan Adela the Hanshin Juvenile Fillies, Shonan Pandora the Shuka Sho, Spielberg The Tenno Sho (Autumn) and Verxina the Victoria Mile.

3. Dansili third in 2013 on 135 points dead heated with High Chaparral on 102 points in 2014.

Dansili produced 5 G1 winners. His prodigies were second 6 times and third on 2 occasions.

Foreteller won the Underwood Stakes, Miss France the One Thousand Guineas, Flintshire the Hong Kong Vase, The Fugue the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and We Are the Prix de l’Opera.

The big step up came from High Chaparral who was ranked 64th in 2013.

He produced 4 individual G1 winners. His prodigies were second 6 times and third on 4 occasions.

Lucky Lion won the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis-Bayerisches Zuchtrennen,  It’s A Dundee the Queen Elizabeth Stakes,  Toronado the Queen Anne and High Jinx the Prix du Cadran.

In 2014 189 stallions sired G1 winners, 400 made the podium.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these championships. When you consider the numbers who made the podium in each classification and then consider the number who tried you then realise how very difficult it is to succeed at G1 level. Those who do are special, those who top these tables, equine or human, are very special indeed.

Congratulations to them all.

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Santa Anita Handicap (G1)

Once the most prestigious race on the West coast memories of old will be somewhat revived at Santa Anita with todays running of the Big Cap. It’s attracted three of America’s big guns for a mouth-watering clash. It’s goes off at 11.59 GMT but it’s got a high noon feel.

A nose separated Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge here in the Breeders Cup Classic in November. The favourite that day Game On Dude, the defending champion and twice a winner of this, never got into the mix that day but in the Clark Handicap at the end of November he did when he went down a head to Will Take Charge at Churchill Downs.

Now they all meet again.

Kathy Ritvo gave Mucho Macho Man a tune up in January when at Gulfstream Park he won by 14 L. There was never a question of him fluffing his lines and that run will have tightened him up nicely for this.

D Wayne Lucas gave Will Take Charge a run at Gulfstream Park also but surprisingly he didn’t win when going down a 1 1/2 L to Lea. It wasn’t a bad run but he was always being held. Maybe the excretions of the Breeders Cup and the Clark runs just caught up.

Bob Baffert gave Game On Dude his traditional prep for this in the San Antonio Stakes. Already a winner twice of it he went off a long odds on favourite. He broke well but ended up in an early battle with Blueskiesnrainbows in the first half of the race and by the time he reached the turn the energy sap left him a spent force and he trailed in 6 L behind. The beneficary was Blingo who came with a sweet turn of foot to pick off the tiring horses coming back to him and get the better of Imperative by 1/2 L with American Blend 4 1/4 L back in third.

The current form would give Mucho Macho Man the edge not having blotted his copybook as the other two have but the San Antonio was run in a quick time and it would be foolish to ignore the claims of the winner. Blingo recorded his first pattern win at Grade 2 level and he might just step up on that here.

Recommendation : Blingo 16/1 ew

The Japan Cup (Group 1)

The Japan Cup is the top class premier middle distance race for older horses in Japan.  It’s the east’s version of the King George or the Arc but wrapped into one. The early years of the race were dominated by international raiders whose superior breeding gave them a strong edge.

Not so now as Japan’s home breds are up there with the very best in the world. The king in the breeding barn is undoubtably Deep Impact the 2006 winner of the race. He’s represented by three offspring Verxina, Demon and Ruby and the likely favourite and defending champion Gentildonna who’ll be partnered by Ryan Moore.

Gentildonna beat Orfevre a nose in winning last year and has run three times since getting beat in all. In March she went down 2 1/4 L to St Nicholas Abbey in the Sheema Classic at Meydan. In June back on home turf at Hanshin she ran third off a wide draw going down to 3 1/2 L to Gold Ship in the Takarazuka Kinen and in October in prep for this over 10 f in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) she found Just A Way 4 L too good.

Her conquerer at Hanshin Gold Ship will rival her closley in the market. This colt last year as a three year old won the Japanese version of the the Guineas, the Satsuki Sho and also the St Leger, the Kikuka Sho.

Of the other home team Eishin Flash third in this year’s Tenno Sho (having previously beaten the winner) and the 2012 Tenno Sho winner Tosen Jordan need to be considered.

Three Europeans travel. Marco Botti sends Joshua Tree on the back of defending his Canadian International over this trip at Woodbine in October. With Ryan committed to Gentildonna this year’s Mr Confidence Johnny Murtagh comes in for the ride.

Dunaden and Simenon take the scenic route home from the Melbourne Cup.

Dunaden Melbourne Cup winner of 2011 looks to have had his best days behind him. His early season form was very promising, third at Epsom in the Coronation Cup behind St Nicholas Abbey. He followed that up with a second in the Grand Prix De Saint Cloud to the King George winner Novellist however his Prix Foy run and Melbourne Cup leave him wanting to find top level form again.

Simenson who again will have Richard Hughes in the plate has been a revelation this year running second in the Ascot Gold Cup and although the drop in trip here would suggest this would be too sharp he did run a cracker before the Melbourne Cup when running third to Sea Moon at Caufield over 12 f.

There’s negatives to all here. The top Japanese haven’t come with top recent form. That doesn’t mean that Gentildonna hasn’t been primed for this and next month’s equally important Arima Kinen. Gold Ship equally has been hit and miss this year. Two of the Europeans had as their primary season target their last race, the Melbourne Cup and while it would be unfair to say this is an after thought it is definitely a bonus.

The one coming here with the positive is Joshua Tree, a winner of his last race he has the benefit of Johnny Murtagh whose been riding big races like the best pound for pound boxer in the world.

One of those top flight successes was Chiquita in the Irish Oaks who went through the ring at Goff’s yesterday for a European record of €6 million. The seller Paul Makin should recall in gratitude how she violently veered to the left in the final furlong. That was no bother to the pilot who still saw her home in his ice cool manner. Don’t be surprised if he does it again on Joshua Tree whom incidentally he rode to win his first ever race back in the day when both were Ballydoyle inmates.

Recommendation: Joshua Tree 16/1 ew

The Breeders Cup (Grade 1) Day 1

Day 1 of the much anticipated Breeders Cup meeting has 5 races with 1 Grade 2 and four Grade 1’s.

European runners are thin on the ground only featuring in the two turf contests, the Juvenile Turf for Colts and Geldings and the The Juvenile Fillies Turf. No runners in the Marathon, Dirt Mile or the feature event the Distaff for Fillies and Mares. It’s not surprising as their all on Dirt a surface the Europeans have no experience of and generally are not bred for.

The Turf will be quick with a prediction of Firm in the going description and even though the summer and ground were good in Europe its unlikely they’ll have experienced anything quite as fast as this surface will be. In the Colts race Aidan O’Brien runs two, Giovanni Boldini (Ryan Moore) and Wilshire Boulevard (William Buick) while Charlie Appleby relies on Outstrip (Mike Smith) for Godolphin and Richard Hannon runs Shamshon for the Al Thani operation. Of the O’Brien pair bookings suggest Ryan Moore (who would have had first call) opted for Giovanni Boldini therefore giving him preference but the more experienced of the pair is Wilshire Boulevard and his form has a slight edge on his stable companion through his beating of Oklahoma City on a good to firm surface at the Curragh in the Anglesey Stakes.  Outstrip didn’t build on the Champagne victory when running one paced in the Dewhurst to be third while Shamshon is certainly stepping up on a mere fifth in the Mill Reef.

Of the home team Bobby´s Kitten stands out as a 6 1/2 L winner of the Pilgrim Stakes but at bigger prices Wayne Catalano’s  Poker Player who beat Bashart from the Todd Pletcher stable a length in the Bourbon Stakes at Keenland provides a decent each way opportunity.

In the Fillies race the French trained Vorda will be all the rage after taking the G1 Cheveley Park last time out but the G1 Fillies Mile winner Chriselliam and Al Thakhira the Rockfel winner will also vie for favouritism on European bookmakers lists. My Conquestadory leads the home team and shouldn’t be underestimated having won the G1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keenland.

In the Dirt mile Verrazano and Goldencents should battle it out with preference for the former.

The Distaff is a cracking contest with a small but select field. Royal Delta will try to defend her crown with against the three year olds Princess Of SylmarBeholder and Close Hatches. The Princess may lift the crown.

Recommendations : Juvenile Turf Poker Player  12/1 EW

Dirt Mile Verrazano 3/1 WIN 

Juvenile Fillies Turf Vorda 4/1 WIN

Distaff Princess Of Sylmar 3/1 WIN