Irish trained horses dominated the Classics at Epsom on Friday and Saturday with Minding overcoming traffic problems to become the first filly since Kazzia in 2002 to win the 1000 Guineas and Oaks. Hampered turning for home, Aidan O’Brien’s charge showed tremendous acceleration to catch Architecture inside the final couple of furlongs to win going away. One can’t helping she would have gone mighty close if taking on the colts in the Derby twenty four hours later. She is a top-class filly who is clearly equally effective over a mile and twelve furlongs.
Harzand got the better of the Ballydoyle battalions in the Derby itself. Dermot Weld’s colt had looked good earlier in the season winning his maiden by a wide margin before following up in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown. However, his connections seemed to think he was more of a St Leger type at the time, especially given his preference for ease in the ground. The rain arrived in time for the son of Sea The Stars though and he provided his trainer and Pat Smullen with their first win in Flat racing’s Blue Riband. The relatively inexperienced US Army Ranger ran a blinder in second having come from a long way back. Still raw, he is a very good colt who will be winning at the highest level sooner rather than later. Indeed, it would be no surprise if he gained his revenge at the Curragh in the Irish equivalent, especially if the ground is lively. Wings of Desire has achieved a lot in a short space of time and produced another career best in fourth. The easy ground wasn’t reportedly in his favour but he basically lacked the gears to trouble the principals. John Gosden has a terrific record in the final Classic of the season, in recent times, and I would be tempted to be training him for Doncaster in September from now onwards.
Chantilly staged the Prix du Jockey Club this afternoon and the Jean-Claude Rouget trained Almanzor claimed the prize. It proved to be a frustrating result for followers of the Top 40 Prospects with Zarak finishing second. His wide draw ultimately proved his undoing with Christophe Soumillon electing to drop his mount in and race along the far rail. Once pulled out, the impeccably bred colt ran on strongly but the winner had already built up an unassailable advantage. Zarak remains a fine prospect, who may prove at his best over twelve furlongs. The Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp next month appeals as an obvious target en route to a crack at the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe in October.
Talking of the Top 40, Shabeeb made it two out of two this season with a ready success in the ten furlongs classified event at Doncaster on Saturday. Roger Varian’s charge had won a Sandown maiden on his return to action and followed up on Town Moor in comprehensive fashion. A six lengths scorer, he looks a Pattern performer in the making and, like Zarak, threatens to be even better over another couple of furlongs.
Huge Future, who is included in the Unraced Three Year Olds section of AOTF was a cosy winner of the ten furlongs maiden at Newcastle. The Saeed Bin Suroor trained colt had shaped with plenty of promise on his debut at Newmarket and confirmed it at Gosforth Park with a two lengths win under Kevin Stott. Expect him to head down the handicap route next and, depending on his rating, he ought to be very competitive. He is a decent prospect.
Thank you to those clients who emailed following Queen Kindly’s easy win on her debut at Catterick on Friday. Available at 7/4 when first priced up by one firm, the daughter of Frankel produced a sparking display to win by a hard held five lengths under Jamie Spencer. The Richard Fahey trained filly was sent off 2/5 by the time the stalls opened and her backers never had an anxious moment. It will be interesting to see if she is fast tracked to Royal Ascot the Queen Mary Stakes. She is evidently very talented.
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