US Navy Flag missed Newmarket. Aidan O’Brien decided to keep him for this assignment instead. We have undated our blog of last week on the Qipco 2000 Guineas where we concentrated on US Navy Flag whom we hoped would win there.
He was beaten 15L by Gustav Klimt on his seasonal debut in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial four weeks ago on heavy ground but his form of last year would suggest he has a strong chance in this race.
He’s obviously a hardy soul having raced eleven times last year improving throughout the season. He was on the go from early May when he made his debut at Naas through to November at Del Mar where he contested the Juvenile Dirt at the Breeders Cup. He didn’t handle the surface and was well beaten there hence the change in the Ballydoyle plans where Mendelssohn became the choice for the Kentucky Derby.
Go back one run and you’ll find he was a good winner of the Dewhurst over 7f where he got the better of Mendelssohn and prior to that he’d shown a serious turn of foot to win the Middle Park over six furlongs, the first G1 he captured.
The question is, is he a sprinter or a miler?
His debut at Naas was over 5f which proved too sharp however up to the Middle Park his runs were all then at 6f.
He’s by War Front out of Misty For Me. She got a mile and then some so you’d say he’s likely to find the mile within his compass and when asked he’d no problem in stepping up to 7f in the Dewhurst. He bossed both the Middle Park and Dewhurst grabbing the ground and powering out of the dip on both occasions. He could do the same here.
The Ballydoyle horses always come on a lot from their first run and if that applies to US Navy Flag then he’s got a great chance here. If we thought him good enough to win at Newmarket then we think he’s good enough to take the French equivalent.
Recommendations: US Navy Flag 8/1 e/w