Just 45 hours until the three day Dante meeting kicks off at York and I’m quite enthused! Four handicaps on Day 1 plus the Musidora, the Duke of York Clipper and a kiddies race!
Another lovely day @yorkracecourse Going remains Good to Firm. No watering tonight due to 4cast rain Tues night/Wed. Will review tomorrow. Anthea L Morshead @AntheaLMorshead Clerk of the Course 4pm Monday
#startrackingSuperStoute 3yo Alert
Sorry it’s a bit late but Sir Michael saddles two at Windsor tonight.
Windsor 5.50 SIR GEORGE SOMERS Ran over C&D a fortnight ago “Perfectly satisfactory start to career. Bit tardy at stalls but travelled in midfield, every chance 2F out, faded final furlong in what could be a hot maiden.” US bred, this son of Capo Blanco is owned by Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing Limited. Weak in the market I don’t think there is a Choreographer in the field tonight but Varian does provide the jolly in 4yo Central Square. Watching Brief.
Windsor 6.50 IMPEDIMENT Was made 4/1Fav to win, in a grade higher, at Doncaster over this trip. Pushed to lead, travelled well until he fell in a hole 2F out!! Ted Durcan retains the ride and is assisted by first time blinkers but this horse has shown very limited ability so far, as indeed have most of Mr Ng’s horses! Watching Brief.
“Lockinge Saturday Godolphin purchase two of the entries. A further two possible runners are also set to carry the famous blue silks of Godolphin after the organisation confirmed the purchases of both Dutch Connection and Home Of The Brave. John Ferguson, Godolphin’s racing manager and chief executive, said: “Both Dutch Connection and Home Of The Brave are excellent horses, who will give us more depth in the ranks in our attempt to win the top one-mile and seven-furlong races in the calendar this year. They present us with plenty of interesting options. More importantly, though, they give us the chance to be competitive in the top international races later in the year, not only in Europe, but America, Asia and Australia, as well. Like Dutch Connection, Home Of The Brave will remain with his current trainer following his purchase and Hugo Palmer will be hopeful of continuing his excellent start to the season with the Listed toteScoop6 King Richard III Stakes winner Home Of The Brave.” Racing Post Monday 9th MayGodolphin purchase two of the entries
Aidan O’Brien reveals plans for many of his stars at Ballydoyle press day By Irish Field Contributor on 09 May 2016 Aidan O’Brien is planning a total rethink with Air Force Blue as he tries to get back on the winning track in the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday week. The War Front colt racked up three successive Group 1 wins last term to be crowned champion juvenile and was sent off an odds-on favourite to pick up where he left off in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. However, Air Force Blue was never in the race, eventually finishing some 15 lengths behind winner Galileo Gold. O’Brien is likely to leave off the headgear that was applied in the hope of eking out his stamina. He said: “I don’t think the tongue tie will be left on. Anything I did for the English Guineas, I won’t do again as it was a dramatic failure, really. It was put on because his work was very good, but his second-last piece of work I was shocked how quick he was. Sometimes when you put a tongue tie on a horse and a cross noseband, it can make them slow down a little bit and he did that straight away in his canters. You are making calls all the time and sometimes you can make very bad calls. If you think something will make a horse better, I would always rather do it and not be afraid to say it was the call afterwards. Everything we do is in good faith at the time. I would imagine the noseband and the tongue tie will be off. It will be interesting. I still won’t believe that he is going to get a mile until I see it, but I would imagine looking at his work recently he is going to travel very strong early. That is his natural way of doing it. He wants good ground and he wouldn’t run if the ground was soft. The Curragh comes at a good time and it sorts out your plans for Ascot. It will be his last chance in a classic against three-year-olds over a mile. He could make progress to the Curragh and to Ascot.”
Order Of St George appears one of O’Brien’s leading older horses this term and is pencilled in for a racecourse gallop and a possible competitive start before switching his attention to the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. O’Brien said: “Order Of St George is on the way back and he will hopefully go to Navan for a racecourse gallop, then we will see after that. If that went well, he might go to the Saval Beg and if that went well, he might go to Royal Ascot. He has done very well but is carrying a little bit of weight. As he had a little setback, I don’t want to risk injuring him. Obviously there is always a stamina concern but he looks like he got a mile and three-quarters very easily on soft ground at the Curragh (when winning the Irish St Leger). You are never sure until you go past that two miles.”
Minding appears increasingly likely to race amongst her own sex at Epsom in the Investec Oaks. Some bookmakers have installed the brilliant 1000 Guineas winner as favourite for the Derby, and trainer Aidan O’Brien is not ruling out taking on the colts at some stage. Connections are undecided as to whether she will firstly take in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 22nd before heading to Epsom. O’Brien said: “You can’t say for sure that Minding would get a mile and a half. It is not guaranteed by any means. There has to be a question mark about stamina with her. I would imagine, thinking the way the lads think, they would prefer to go gently and find out about that and go against the fillies first, then go on if she proves it. Nothing is written in stone, but I would think there is a possibility she might go to the Curragh (Irish 1,000 Guineas) then the Oaks, or not go to the Curragh and straight to the Oaks. I would say there is a definite eye on the Oaks. If she goes to the Oaks she will be the number one.”
Aidan O’Brien feels top-class older filly Found is developing into “something very special”. Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf heroine suffered defeat on her seasonal reappearance in the Alleged Stakes, but bounced back to win the Mooresbridge and will return to the highest level in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on Sunday week. O’Brien said: “You would have to be delighted with Found. The plan was to give her two runs before the Tattersalls Gold Cup. The first day she just did plenty in soft ground. She let go towards the end of the race. The next day we knew she had progressed and the thing was to let her relax again and she did.” The Ballydoyle handler went on: “We are seeing what she is starting to turn into now. She is starting to turn into something very special. After the Tattersalls Gold Cup, we have either the option of the Coronation Cup or the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. After that she will have a break and be trained for the autumn with the Arc in mind. She will have a run or two before it – probably only one I’d say.”
Pencilled in to make his debut for Ballydoyle on the same Curragh card is exciting Australian import Vancouver. The Golden Slipper winner could make his Irish introduction in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes. “We are very excited about him, but we’ve not got a lot of time as we know he is going back to Australia after the July Cup,” said the trainer. “What we have pencilled in with him is the Greenlands. We are probably going to go there on a fact-finding mission, but he is very exciting at home. He is a powerhouse of a horse when you see the size of him. When you look at what he did as a two-year-old in Australia, you would be surprised that he did it when you see him. It is probably going to take a little bit of time to adjust. He hasn’t been away from home. It’s going to be his first day away but if he is going to go to Ascot, we feel he needs to get competitive fairly quickly. He is only going to be ready for a racecourse gallop, but he has got to have a race if he is going to be ready for Royal Ascot, where he will probably go for the Diamond Jubilee.”
Aidan O’Brien shares his thoughts on some of his stable stars:
BALLYDOYLE “If Minding went to the Oaks, Ballydoyle wouldn’t go there. I suppose you would like to split them at this stage. She could go to the Curragh, but we’ve not had a runner in the French Oaks for a while. I thought she would maybe a mile to a 10-furlong filly.
ALICE SPRINGS “She will go to France (for Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas). If that went well, she would have the option of coming back to the Coronation Stakes.”
SOMEHOW “I thought Somehow struggled at Chester and usually if they struggle at Chester, they might find Epsom tough. Something like the Ribblesdale could be for her.”
SEVENTH HEAVEN “Talking to Ryan (Moore) he said that Seventh Heaven didn’t handle the ground or the undulations. If she struggled there, she might struggle at Epsom. That is the pure fact of it.”
WATERLOO BRIDGE “We worried about the ground at Newmarket (when second in a sales race last month). Ryan wanted to follow a path but he got caught in no man’s land. He never got into a rhythm and there is a good chance you can put a line through that last run. I am thinking and hoping he will improve for that run. Hopefully we will go to the Commonwealth Cup.”
COUGAR MOUNTAIN “I left off the headgear at Leopardstown, which I probably shouldn’t have done as he just got caught out. He was only beaten a short distance by Solow last year. He is a good horse but just not very straightforward to get ready on the day. I imagine he could go for the Queen Anne (at Royal Ascot).”
KINGFISHER “He had a bit of a setback and he probably won’t make the Gold Cup. I’d say he would be back in the second half of the season.”
HIGHLAND REEL “We are looking at the Coronation Cup with him. It was a bit of mess the last day (in the QEII Cup at Sha Tin) as it didn’t work out for him. He probably likes a mile and a quarter plus.”
AIR VICE MARSHAL “He does all his work with Air Force Blue and I would imagine that the Irish 2,000 Guineas is where we will go with him. He ran a very good race at Newmarket. You imagine he should progress from it. I think he is very much a miler. His best run was at Newmarket last year. He has physically done well.”
JOHANNES VERMEER “He won’t make any of the Classics so he is off. He will be out in the second half of the year.”
HIT IT A BOMB “I am pushing Hit It A Bomb a little bit for Ascot as if he was to turn out, that is where I hope he would turn out.”
Timeform — published 6th May 2016
“Flat trainer: Ed Dunlop
Ed Dunlop has made an excellent start to the new Flat season, with his 22 winners so far in 2016 only five and seven behind the totals he achieved in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Dunlop’s return to peak form has been typified by the four-year-old Dark Red who completed a handicap hat-trick this year in a competitive race at Chester on Thursday. Dark Red has been ridden to two of his wins by Ryan Moore and Silvestre de Sousa, and a link-up with such top jockeys is likely to ensure Dunlop continues to trainer winners throughout this season, while the trainer looks a to have a Royal Ascot two-year-old on his hands in the shape of Global Applause who made a winning debut at Newmarket under Moore. Dunlop has plenty of horses due to run in the coming days, and it may be worth paying particular attention to Alqubbah, who took a step forward when runner-up in a big-field handicap on her return and may find the required further improvement to make a splash in the fillies’ listed race (3.50pm) at Nottingham on Saturday, and Michael’s Mount, who made a winning handicap debut at Windsor last month and will be of definite interest if declared for a similar race over the same C&D on Monday.
Under the Radar: David Brown
The David Brown yard has been quietly saddling stacks of winners in recent months—11 from 36 runners over the last three months, actually (at the time of writing)—and its good run shows no obvious signs of stopping. Brown enjoyed his best year so far in 2015 when saddling 24 winners, and he’s already halfway there to matching that total this time around, with Dutch Garden, Palpitation and Ticking Away all adding two wins each to the tally. Brown’s skill was highlighted once again by Exchequer’s return win at Lingfield early last month, the five-year-old making his first start for the trainer having left Richard Hannon, while backing all of the stable’s runner so far this year would have yielded a near 28-point profit to a level stake. Swirral Edge could do without Ordinal being declared against her in the six-furlong handicap on Monday but he could be of interest there, given she ran well when third on her reappearance and may yet do better, while Simply Clever has finished placed on her last three starts and should go well again if running in the mile fillies’ handicap on the same card. Looking further ahead, Brown has a number of two-year-olds with entries in either the Super Sprint or Premier Yearling Stakes, including One Too Many who is a half-sister to the 100-rated performers Third Time Lucky and Baba O’Riley.”