Tag Archives: Treasure Beach

The Dubai World Cup (Group 1)

Plenty to capture our attention on the worlds richest days racing.

The Dubai World Cup will round off proceedings with a cool $10 million up for grabs. A look at the ante post market tells you just how open this is with the shortest price being 9/2 and the the longest being 20/1 . There’s no stand out horse, pity Game On Dude isn’t back after his awesome performance in the Big Cap at Santa Anita on March 9th. Then we’d have a proper favourite.

The outsiders in the field are Red Cadeaux and Treasure Beach. The former looked to have lost his way in 2012 albeit in top races including the Coronation  Cup, Melbourne Cup and Japan Cup before coming good when winning the Hong Kong Vase in December.

Treasure Beach an Epsom Derby second and Irish Derby winner when in the hands of Aidan O’Brien also lost his way and has transferred  to Mike de Kock. He ran a steady pleasing run on his debut here for his new trainer wh

Dubai World Cup

Dubai World Cup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

en beaten 4 1/2 l by Hunters Light on Super Saturday in R3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge. Particularly pleasing was the way he ran on after the line suggesting his form is on the way back and he liked the Tapeta experience. He’s a very live outsider and could well place off an inside draw and a positive ride.

The European team is completed by Plantuer, Meandre and Side Glance. Planteur and Meandre both changed hands during the week for probably shed loads. Planteur won the Lingfield Winter Derby Trial as a prep beating nothing but in a record time winning from the front as he liked. His third here last year definitely gives him a chance after the Lingfiled confidence booster. Andre Farbe’s Meandre  could only manage fourth in his prep on the Chantilly polytrack leaving you relying on the genius of the trainer to see him win this. The Qatar financed Pearl Bloodstock run Side Glance and will have been encouraged by the flourish he showed when running fourth behind Sajjhaa in the Jebel Hatta however a first try on Tapeta is certainly a question mark.

The top of the market is Hunters Light the winner of both R2 and R3 of the Challenge. Both were won in similar circumstances with the Godolphin horse shaping handily running clear to the line without any fuss. He’s discovered maturity and confidence but has yet to do it in a top class test.

The local challenge is supported by the incumbent Monterosso, Capponi, African Story and Kassiano. Monterosso will have needed the run he got in R3 but he will need to come on a ton to win this again. We haven’t seen Capponi since coming second last year so it will be a stunning training feat to pull this off while Kassiano’s form operated at a level suggesting this step up will be too far. African Story is possibly the most interesting of the home challenge. He’s 4/5 on the Meyden Tapeta and would be 5/5 had luck  played it’s part. He overcame an absence of 307 days to win the Burj Nahaar here on Super Saturday having won the same race the year before. The big concern is the trip. He’s never been beyond a mile in fourteen starts over three years racing. Maybe with maturity he’ll see out the 1o f here but….

The three Americans bring some hard nosed form. There headed by the Bill Mott trained Royal Delta a Dirt horse through and through. She’s a top class mare on her home surface winning a Breeders Cup Ladies Classic this last twice. Her prep in the Sabin Stakes shows she’s as good as ever however the obvious concern is her run here last year on the Tapeta where she trailed in ninth to Monterosso albeit having been seriously hampered by a back peddling Transend.

Dullahan hasn’t won since August when he bagged the TVG Pacific Classic on the polytrack at Del mar from Game On Dude. He’s tried twice on turf since in the Jamaica Handicap at Belmont and in the Breeders Cup Turf at Santa Anita where he finished down the field a length in front of Treasure Beach.

Animal Kingdom is a class act. A winner of the Kentucky Derby and second in the Preakness in 2011 he displayed he retains his class when second in the Breeders Cup Mile to Wise Dan and second to Point Of Entry in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Good form on Turf both times. Can he handle the Tapeta?

When you look at it you can see why it’s priced tight by the bookmakers. No standout, nearly all in with a chance.  Do you rely on track form, those proven on the surface or look at the class of the others even if they’ve previously failed here before?

Planteur should ensure a descent pace leaving it to the speedsters to overhaul him. Hunters Light might be short of gears when push comes to shove and if you go local and proven on the track then African Story might write the final chapter.

If it’s hard nose your after then the stars and stripes brigade are where you look. All three could win it. Royal Delta sitting off Planteur might get away in the last 2 f and see it out. Dullahan in the hands of Gary Stephens could show the defeat of Game On Dude was no fluke and the plan since has always been about this. Animal Kingdom’s turn of foot could be the deciding factor. Boxed in he didn’t get out in time in the Breeders Cup Mile. When he eventually saw daylight he flew. Drawn wide here is usually bad news but it might just work out to come late.

In the end the desert may be the Animal Kingdom.

Recommendation : Animal Kingdom 11/2 win

Treasure Beach 20/1 e/w

Reverse F/C on the two

  Times and Races From Meyden Saturday 30th March 2013

GMT Time Status Pattern Race Distance Age Purse
1.10 G2 Godolphin Mile 1600 Meters (E) Three Year Olds & Up $ 1,000,000
1.45 G3 DRC Gold Cup 3200 Meters (E) Four Year Olds & Up $ 1,000,000
2.25 G2 UAE Derby 1900 Meters (E) Three Year Olds $ 2,000,000
3.05 G1 Al Quoz Sprint 1000 Meters (T) Three Year Olds & Up $ 1,000,000
3.45 G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen 1200 Meters (E) Three Year Olds & Up $ 2,000,000
4.40 G1 Dubai Duty Free 1800 Meters (T) Three Year Olds & Up $ 5,000,000
5.20 G1 Dubai Sheema Classic 2400 Meters (T) Three Year Olds & Up $ 5,000,000
6.05 G1 Dubai World Cup 2000 Meters (E) Three Year Olds & Up $ 10,000,000



Qatar Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe

It’s a day of top quality with the centre piece of seven Group 1 contests being Europe’s richest race. Everyone wants to it win it because its simply the best race of the season.

The weather in Paris is hot with ground to match. That’s a surprise that may well dictate the outcome. Fast ground is unusual in Paris at the best of times but in October its exceptional. You’ve got to think it will be the deciding factor. Only three of these, Silver Pond, Shareta and Testosterone have not won a Group 1, the remainder have all eaten at the top table.

The eastern challenge came very close last year and Nakayama Festa repeats the bid. He is joined by Hiruno D’Amour. The former was having his first run in the Prix Foy after an injury picked up in the Japan Cup last year led to a long lay off. His last place was gained off a strong pace, which he set, and it will have done a lot to bring him on. In front of him were St Nicholas Abbey, his compatriot Hiruno D’Amour and Sarafina. The mare won it snugly coming through a tight gap showing her sharp turn of foot. It wasn’t easy but it certainly was comfortable and Alain De Royer-Dupre will have been nothing but pleased.

He was also responsible for the Prix Neil winner Reilable Man who overturned Grande Prix De Paris running with Meandre. Neither colts were wound up and in the match between them Andre Farbe’s has the potential to come out on top. That might be enough to win.

Conditions have all fallen right for Snow Fairy for the first time this season. She will love the ground and her half lenght to make up on So You Think is well within her grasp. At Leopardstown in the Champion Stakes the 10 furlongs looked a touch sharp. The extra two will surely benefit her now.

It’s a big ask for Workforce and you have to go back to Alleged to find the last winning defender of the title. He found Nathaniel too good in the King George and before that So You Think in the Eclipse. Its hard to see him overcoming the weight concession to the three year old’s off his current level of form.

Galikova does not ooze the same class as Goldikova yet, but if big sis wins the Prix De La Floret, you can expect a fair wedge to come for her on the Pari Mutual. Danedream represents Germany and comes off the back of two very good runs where she had 6 and 5 L to spare. The quality of what she beat was not of this standard but she commands respect in the way she did it.

John Gosden had to withdraw his very exciting three year old Nathaniel as the ground turned to rock but he made a real statement of intent when supplementing Masked Marvel. A Ledger winner for the Arc? As I say the ground will decide.

So You Think’s only mistake came to the ill fated Rewilding and Aidan was quick to put his hands up. You can’t fault him and the Aussies will flock on mass to support the one they regard as their own. A win here will certainly seal the deal and leave no one in doubt whose the best middle distance horse in the world. It will be a tremendous achievement for Coolmore and a resounding vindication of the decision to bring him north but it will also be his first taste at 12 furlongs. It’s not an issue having travelled in the Melbourne Cup for much of the 16 furlongs but this is a different cake.

The forgotten one is surely his stable mate. Collared in the shadow of the post by Pour Mio at Epsom, who would have started favourite had injury not ended his career, he went on to smoothly take the Irish Derby. A midsummer trip for the Grande Prix De Paris probably came too soon after the Curragh but confidence was restored in the Secretariat at Arlington on Million day.

He will have to step up but with the three year old record in the last twenty years, the weight concession from the older horses and fast ground then the sizzling summer weather points to a Treasure Beech.

King Geroge VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Betfair) (Group 1)

One of the best races of the season is upon us. It has painted a rich trapestry of quality winners but also is capable of surprises. This year it’s attracted a small but select field.

Our understanding of this years, last years and the previous years generation will be defined by this event. The context of Rewilding’s victory over So You Think and the latter’s subsequent victory in the Eclipse. The brilliance of the St Nicholas Abbeys stunning two year old Racing Post Trophy victory and subsequent fall from grace. The class of Workforce’s Derby and Arc wins will all be measured here come 4.30 on Saturday. Throw in an Arlington Million winner in Debussy at an unconsidered 100/1 and we get some sense of how good a race this will be.

Nathaniel represents this years three-year old crop. On his first time on a racecourse he met Frankel, also making his debut, and only failed a 1/2 L. He was denied in the Chester Vase by subsequent Derby second and Irish Derby winner Treasure Beach by a head. He is already an Ascot winner over this distance having given a very good impression in the King Edward VII Stakes at The Royal meeting. The decision to pitch him in here rather than a campaign targeted towards the Ledger is brave and you can only conclude he must be showing a serious level of ability to his trainer John Gosden.

Debussy was in the care of the same man until last year and is a horse who has yet to demonstrate his class over a mile and a half. At 10 f he was a quality winner of the Million benefiting from 18 mm of rain on the track the night before. He came from off the pace demonstrating a great turn of foot to beat the American turf champion Gio Ponti. There was no fluke in that performance so don’t underestimate him. Last in the Prince Of Wales doesn’t read good but whacking the rail when in contention should be taken into account.

Rewilding is Godolphin’s main threat. A winner of the Shemma Classic, he put it up to So You Think in the Prince Of Wales coming out on top. Aidan O’Brien took the blame for the defeat and the form took the boosting it deserved in the Eclipse. It stands up.

So the big two. The market favoured St Nick at first but then swung dramatically towards Workforce. A piece of work last Sunday morning left watchers in awe and the market reacted. We already knew how good he was through last year performances but there is a niggle, he failed to fire in this race last year. It’s easy to forget that after Harbinger blew us all away but we must remember it’s the only time he has raced at Ascot.

And so to the king in waiting, St Nicholas Abbey. His three-year old career was a debacle which his trainer took full responsibility for. A fat horse in April did little to inspire confidence, come May and June we were beginning to believe again. At Chester he grabbed the ground relishing every step in a 9 L defeat of Allied Powers following up in Coronation Cup at Epsom over the this distance. The win over Midday was battling but a question mark exists over her subsequent defeat in the Pretty Polly.

So how will the race go?

The ground will be soft side of good with a possible further 4 mm of rain to come. We can rely on Debussy to set it. He will wind it up even and quickening. With the juice in the ground he’ll stay on the rail while those in search of a better surface will go under the trees on the far side. There will be a dismissal of the pacemaker by those on the far side and they will expect to easily pick him up rounding Swinley Bottom. As they regroup there will be plenty of horse in behind with all of them travelling. Every jockey will be confident knowing there mount will have the stamina to see it out. Debussy will either die or stretch with two furlongs to go. If he dies expect Ryan Moore will drive with Frankie in behind trying to get there. William Buick will be stretching and improving while the young pretender will have to demonstrate the ultimate coolness to hold his challenge till last. It could be young Joseph O’Brien might just be a chip off the old block when it comes to coolness and by playing late he could get there.

Then again, Debussy might not die. He’s a stone better on this ground and the others won’t like it like he does. Granted a stone may not be enough against these colts. The trip to the far side under the trees may well have been the play early doors but in the last furlong the concession of that ground could be crucial.

In the lung bursting last 100 yards….Debussy on juicy ground may just do, as in 1997, a Swain and produce another albeit much bigger surprise.

Juddmonte Grand Prix De Paris (Group 1)

It’s been a fascinating season so far for three year olds.

Dream Ahead looks like a sprinter from the top drawer after Saturday’s July Cup while Frankel looks capable of dominating the mile division. We await the Sussex Stakes and his meeting with Canford Cliffs before a definitive answer can be made here.

The view that these are a good crop is further illuminated when looking at the middle distance division. Pour Mio looked exceptional when going from last to first to win The Derby. That form has been considerably boosted through the Irish Derby and to a lesser extent the Royal Ascot win of Pisco Sour and Masked Marvel’s win at Newmarket on Friday.

Barring the St Ledger, Bastille Day brings with it the last time these horses contest within their own age group. This race was revamped, when the French restructured their Pattern Racing in 2005. An increase in distance to 1m4f and a new date on France’s biggest celebration day was to compliment the French Derby which was dropped to 1m2f in the new race program.

The Grand Prix De Paris is open to fillies but this renewal hasn’t any in the line up ,instead seven colts go to post. Three Irish and four French.

Aidan O’Brien sends Treasure Beach and Seville, the first and second from the Irish Derby while Reliable Man and Bubble Chic, the first and second from the French Derby’s take each other on. They are accompanied by a supporting cast of two Andre Fabre colts, Kreem and Meandre and another Aidan O’Brien colt in Marksmanship.

Jockey bookings are consistent in the case of the Irish colts with Colm O’Donoghue keeping the ride of Treasure Beach and Seamie Heffernan retaining the mount on Seville. That leaves Ryan Moore the steering job on Marksmanship. Put all together that’s some mix when you think that Monsieur Fabre has Pour Mio at home and its unlikely that Ryan Moore has been asked to go to Paris on pace making duty. Throw in that both the Fabre colts have won their last two starts and that Marksmanship has only run twice winning his maiden on his first start where he beat five subsequent winners and the race goes from being a Derby battle to something far more complex.

Bubble Chic provides the form clue. Beaten a 1 1/2 L by Pour Mio in the Prix Greffulhe he then went down a 3/4 L to Reliable Man at Chantilly. Treasure Beach was a head short off Pour Mio at the Epsom winning post and then 3/4 L too good for Seville at the Curragh. This places him ahead on form through the Pour Mio connection.

What about the other three? Kreem is a son of Huricane Run who won a Group 3 last time out while Meandre won in Listed company. Marksmanship contested the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot going off favourite. Inexperience cost him and a step up in trip and grade are interesting notes.

It should fall to Treasure Beach on known form but if there is an upset from the late developers Marksmanship may provide the right bullet.

In the Group 2 Prix Maurice De Nieuil on the undercard Mores Wells catches the eye. He was unlucky in the Canadian International last year when beaten a head by Joshua Tree and has since moved to Mikel Delzangles care.