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2016 European Racing News

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    Posted: 16 Apr 2016 at 1:56am
Shalaa-360

Shalaa: only defeat came on debut at Newbury

 PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)

Pelvic injury rules Shalaa out of first half of season

 BY DAVID MILNES1:07PM 15 APR 2016 

LAST year's top-rated British juvenile Shalaa has suffered a pelvic injury that will definitely rule him out of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot for which he was generally 3-1 favourite.

The John Gosden-trained speedster racked up four Group successes in a sequence of five straight wins last summer including two at the highest level in the Prix Morny and the Middle Park Stakes.

Owned by Al Shaqab, Shalaa had swerved a 2,000 Guineas prep to stick to the sprinting ranks but now is out until the second half of the season.

Harry Herbert, racing manager to Al Shaqab, revealed the news to the Racing Post on Friday.

He said: "Shalaa sustained a pelvic injury during a routine canter and won't make Royal Ascot but we hope to have him back in the second part of the season.

"As you can imagine, it's immensely disappointing for everyone particularly at this stage of the season. We've had these sort of injuries before but for it to happen to our top-rated horse is very annoying."



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Brian Meehan

Brian Meehan: swerved Chelmsford with Blue Bayou

 PICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)

Blue Bayou to reappear in the 1,000 Guineas

 BY JAMES BURN8:50AM 16 APR 2016 

BLUE BAYOU, who is held in the highest regard by trainer Brian Meehan, will head straight to Newmarket for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas on Saturday, May 1 after Newbury's Fred Darling was washed out.

Meehan had the option of running the daughter of Bahamian Bounty in the rearranged Classic trial at Chelmsford on Saturday, but decided against it.

Really good filly

A 50-1 chance with Coral and Ladbrokes for the 1,000 Guineas, Blue Bayou won the Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket last year and was last seen finishing fifth in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September.

"I think she'll go straight to the Guineas now," said Meehan.

"She's in good shape and has done very well over the winter. She's just come to hand now, which is good timing.

"She's a good filly, a really good filly."

Agent Murphy plans

Meehan also outlined plans for his other intended Newbury runners who also bypassed Chelmsford.

He added: "Agent Murphy is in the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket and Spark Plug will go for the next meeting at Newbury and the race he won last year."



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2016 at 12:18pm

Midterm’s Epsom Derby participation in doubt

Three-year-old has a sore hamstring and faces a race against the clock to be fit


Michael stoute’s midterm is a doubt for the epsom derby. photograph: getty

Michael Stoute’s Midterm is a doubt for the Epsom Derby. Photograph: Getty


Midterm’s participation in the Derby is in the balance after the colt was found to have suffered a setback following his run in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York.

The son of Galileo disappointed connections when fifth behind Wings Of Desire after being sent off favourite on the Knavesmire, but checks revealed the three-year-old, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, had a sore hamstring.

With the premier Classic at Epsom less then three weeks away, Midterm, who won the bet365 Classic Trial on his seasonal debut at Sandown last month, will have to make a speedy recovery to make the line-up.

“He’s got a sore hamstring. Obviously, we’re looking at that,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.

“We haven’t ruled out the Derby, but it’s an issue so we’ll see how it is and keep it monitored.

“No decision will be made until much later on.

“You want everything to go right before a big race, so it would have to go very smoothly from now on. Otherwise the horse is fine.

“It is not insurmountable or else we would have pulled the plug already.

“At least it gives us some explanation of why he was so disappointing. We have to wait quite a few days and like everything we have got to be sure, so it will be a last-minute decision.

“Firstly, he has to be sound and secondly he has got to please — which is slightly difficult as he is not a great worker so it is hard to gauge on how he is going.

“If he is lucky, he will become sound and do enough work to please Michael it is worthwhile going to Epsom. We don’t want to throw the Derby out because it is such an important race.

“Equally so, if Midterm does not come right in time, we would go the King Edward VII Stakes route.

“It was a bit mystifying at York because we were very hopeful of a big run. It could have been a lot worse than a hamstring in the whole scale of things. We have to wait and see.”












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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2016 at 11:05pm

Ed Dunlop to make late call over whether to add Red Verdon to Derby field


By Andy Stephens

To pay or not to pay, that is the question. A record number of connections look like choosing the former when it comes to finding £75,000 to supplement their charges for next week’s Investec Derby.

Wings Of Desire, Cloth Of Stars and Humphrey Bogart will be added to the summer showpiece provided they do not suffer any setbacks between now and 10am on Monday morning.

The Ed Dunlop-trained Red Verdon may join them at Epspm, but the owners of Linguistic and Virens Army have cooled on the idea.

Dunlop told racinguk.com on Saturday that a final decision over whether Red Verdon is supplemented will be made after the colt,  winner of handicaps at Chester and Haydock on his past two starts, has worked in Newmarket on Sunday.

The Newmarket trainer has hit the jackpot when rolling the dice in the past. Snow Fairy was a £20,000 addition to the Oaks in 2010 and the filly, who had won the Height Of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood on her previous start, duly bagged the £208,000 after being sent off at 9-1. She ended up winning almost £4 million in prize money, having initially been bought for £1,500.

Last year Dunlop repeated trick in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot - adding Trip To Paris to the field for £35,000 after he had shown himself to be a stayer on the up. He started at 12-1 and landed the £230,000 first prize.

“We’ve been quite successful when we’ve done it, but it’s quite embarrassing to have to keep supplementing them,” Dunlop said at Sandown on Thursday.

Ronnie Arculli, the owner of Red Verdon, has had eight winners with Dunlop this season at a strike-rate of 44 per cent.

He has enjoyed many other great days with the trainer, notably with the globetrotting Red Cadeaux, who finished runner-up in the Melbourne Cup on three occasions and won almost £5 million in prize money.

“Ronnie’s had quite a bit of luck with us this season, but not had many Derby runners,” Dunlop said. “The final decision will rest with him. It would be a big step up for Red Verdon, but he’s improving at a rate of knots.

“He was bought as a breeze-up horse, so he wasn’t in the Derby as yearling. It was £10,000 [to supplement him] when he was rated 76, after he’d won a maiden at Wolverhampton.

“I gave him one smart entry on Wednesday - the Irish Champion Stakes.”

Snow Fairy and Trip To Paris both had official ratings of 107 before being supplemented for their respective races, whereas Red Verdon’s mark is 102.

Wings Of Desire, the Dante winner, is rated 114. His trainer, John Gosden, has also benefitted from the introduction of supplementary entries, including with Golden Horn at Epsom last year.

Gosden initially entered Wings Of Desire for the Derby, then scratched him. Sir Michael Stoute did the same with Kris Kin, a notoriously lazy worker at home, before he won the premier Classic in 2003, when it cost £90,000 to supplement.

“We are giving the York prize money back to the Epsom Derby,” Gosden said. “The horse earned it – if I was asking an owner to put their hand into their pocket, I wouldn’t be interested.

“When the horse has earnt it and the money is sitting in the Weatherbys’ account, it is a lot less painful. I approve of the [entry] system. You can get in the Derby as yearling for £500 which is a fantastic deal and they don’t want any money until the end of the first week in March. I was trying to save Lord and Lady Bamford £1,000 and made an error.

“The supplementary money goes into the race unlike in many jurisdictions. Here it comes into the race and you are back running for your money again which is a good system.”

With this year being so open and not a single Group One winner being in contention, it is little surprise those not on the initial party list want to gain entry. Finish in the first four and, at the very least, you get your cash back.

It can end in tears, of course, including in 2008 when Paul Cole’s River Proud was added for £75,000 after finishing third in the French 2,000 Guineas. He was found to be lame the day before the race and did not run.

For analysis and plenty of video clues for this year’s big race, remember to have a look at our our Derby formguide.

RECORD OF HORSES SUPPLEMENTED FOR THE DERBY

2015 GOLDEN HORN - 1st at 13-8 fav

2015 Success Day - 12th at 12-1

2014 Romsdal - 3rd at 20-1

2013 Chopin - 7th at 12-1

2010 Rewilding - 3rd at 9-2

2010 Buzzword - 8th at 40-1

2008 Casual Conquest - 3rd at 7-2 fav

2008 Doctor Fremantle - 4th at 9-2

2008 River Proud - non-runner

2006 Papal Bull - 10th at 11-1

2004 Hazyview - 8th at 40-1

2004 Gatwick - 10th at 16-1

2003 KRIS KIN - 1st at 6-1

2003 Norse Dancer - 4th at 16-1

2003 Dutch Gold - 6th at 20-1

2002 Fight Your Corner - 5th at 8-1

2002 Bandari - 8th at 9-2

1999 Lucido - 15th at 13-2

1998 Cape Verdi - 9th at 11-4 fav



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2016 at 11:12pm
UK Handicappers assessment of Derby weekend.


FIRST PAST THE POSTPONED

Phil Smith kicks us off with his views from the Derby meeting.

I had three Group 1 races at Epsom over the weekend all over 12 furlongs; and in their own different ways each was tricky to assess. I cannot be confident that I have the ratings as accurate as I would like and in both the Derby and the Oaks there is quite a discrepancy among the International Handicappers.

At first sight Postponed’s victory in the Coronation Cup was scintillating and my initial thought was that it had to be his best ever performance, surpassing his run in the Dubai Sheema Classic. However the relatively close proximity of the pacemaker Roseburg concerned me in what was a very slowly run race. The time was nearly two seconds slower than the handicap over the same distance later on the card.

Although visually Postponed was stunning, the fact that Roseburg comes out with a higher performance than Found made me cautious. I searched for reasons why Roseburg might have improved by 7lb. Perhaps being off the track for nine months might have been a factor; perhaps the change of trainer; perhaps Roseburg has matured; perhaps because he had been looked after so well by his previous trainer or perhaps from being gelded. I convinced myself that if I treated the winning distance as if by six lengths (allowing for ease of victory) then Roseburg could be 113. Found ran below her best on 112 compared with 120 pre-race. Then Postponed would have replicated his rating from Dubai. So far all of the International Handicappers agree with my assessment (thankfully).

Luckily I do not have to publish figures for Minding and Harzand and there is little International agreement on our system so far. The Investec Oaks was a very messy race as Minding got herself into all sorts of trouble aided by some very clever race riding tactics by William Buick on Skiffle. My colleague’s figures for Minding vary worldwide from 117 to 120. The Handicappers have to agree a figure by Thursday when the next edition of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings are published. I am in the 120 camp but accept that it means Architecture has improved massively from her pre-race 97!

The figures on our system for Harzand in the Derby vary from 121 to 124. I am in the middle on 122 for him using the very consistent Humphrey Bogart on 105 as a guide. He was nearly eleven lengths behind the winner but I do have concerns that this might get Idaho too high on 117.

TULLIUS ON TOP

As the BHA Handicapper lucky enough to be responsible for the top end mile and ten furlong races, the Epsom Derby meeting is always a busy time for me writes Dominic Gardiner-Hill. Despite having three good quality handicaps over the two days, the best finish and the most satisfying result came in the Group 3 Investec Diomed Stakes on Friday.

It was unfortunate that likely favourite and standard setter Arod was a late withdrawal but it took nothing away from the excitement of the contest. Tullius got up right on the line to deny Decorated Knight and the pacemaking Custom Cut by a short head and a head. It was not just the spectacle of the finish that was so satisfying but, from a handicapping perspective, the fact that all three ran right up to their current BHA ratings of 110, 109 and 114 respectively. Each finished exactly where the ratings suggested they would – it isn’t often that things work out so neatly!

Much was made in the press of the first time visor bringing out the required improvement in Tullius. I am not so sure about that as I have his four performances prior to Epsom in 2016 pegged at 108-109-110-108 and think he did no more than reproduce his third place in the Earl of Sefton at Newmarket in April to score. This view is given further credence by the fact that Custom Cut was a head behind in 4th that day giving Andrew Balding’s gelding 5lb – all sounds very familiar doesn’t it!!
There were no prizes for guessing the most difficult race to re-handicap last week and the one that I took longest over my final decision – the mile handicap won by the errant Defrocked at Doncaster on Saturday. Jamie Osborne’s gelding obviously has a ton of ability but also some mighty quirks as well. Having hit the front on the far side of the field he then swerved violently right hampering to varying degrees nine of his thirteen opponents. He finished on the stands rail and scampering away to an impressive success. I watched the replay countless times to try and judge by how much each horse has been disadvantaged by his actions and, indeed, if he had disadvantaged himself with his wayward path. In the end I raised him 10lb from 85 to 95 and put up the second, Next Stage, by 6lb from 82 to 88. Next Stage appeared one of the worst sufferers but, having switched back around Defrocked, he had every chance to run him down through the final furlong. By the line the winner was actually going away again. Both look Britannia Handicap types at the Royal meeting although Defrocked will need to keep straight and Next Stage may be on the borderline for getting into the race off 88.

HOW ARE THE JUVENILES LOOKING?

Graeme Smith on what has happened so far and looks ahead to Royal Ascot.

It tends not to be until Royal Ascot that we get a real taste for which are the leading two-year-olds but there have been a few clashes already that have whet the appetite.

The strongest race so far in Britain has probably been the National Stakes. That marked the second clash between Global Applause and Mehmas and the former levelled the score in decisive fashion. For some reason, Global Applause had not been on song when beaten into second on the pair’s first meeting at Newbury. But by the same token Mehmas did not get the rub of the green at Sandown.

It seems the pair are unlikely to meet again at Royal Ascot with the Norfolk nominated as Global Applause’s target rather than the Coventry. But both are likely to feature near the top of the market for their respective races.

The second listed race of the year open to colts was staged on Oaks day at Epsom in the form of the Investec Woodcote. It was a close-run thing in the end between Legendary Lunch and Danielsflyer. The pair might well be on different paths in terms of their stamina in the medium to long term, but it was hard not to be impressed by the turn of foot the former showed when first sent on.

There are a host of others who’ve looked exciting without dipping their toe into listed company quite yet. The twice-raced Yalta, from Mark Johnston’s stable, and the Godolphin maiden winners Silver Line and Thunder Snow are all worth looking out for.

On the fillies front, the only listed race of the British season so far fell to Vona who belied her 33/1 odds in the Langley’s Solicitors EBF Marygate Stakes at York. A line through second-placed Boater suggests the Hilary Needler at Beverley, which went to Richard Hannon’s Grizzel, could be at least as strong.

Saying that, there are plenty of potentially smart fillies who have yet to get the opportunity to prove the point including Richard Fahey’s Queen Kindly. She is by Frankel out of the Lowther winner Lady of The Desert (herself a daughter of the brilliant Queen’s Logic). While it was a small race that she won at Catterick she did it in scintillating fashion.

Godolphin’s Nasimi also created a very strong impression when winning at Haydock. The daughter of the operation’s Cherry Hinton and UAE 1000 Guineas winner Gamilati left herself with a mountain to climb through early greenness; but she ran away to score by three lengths once finally getting the message without William Buick having to get serious.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brudder_A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2016 at 4:58am
Lady Aurelia (US) who made a huge impression at Ascot by winning the G2 Queen Mary Stakes hung on tuff to win the GI Prix Morny at Deauville today. I reckon 6f is about as far as this filly will go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_AjY6aoHs0

The other impressionable result was from The Curragh where Churchill (IRE) won the G2 Futurity Stakes as the 1/4on favourite.

No video yet.

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