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English Derby 2016 - Harzand

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    Posted: 05 Jun 2016 at 12:14pm
This guy wouldn't have been allowed to run here with our pre race restrictions of ice use Smile

Aga Khan Studs 8 hours ago

Today's Epsom Derby winner Harzand by #SeaTheStars (right) pictured as a yearling in Ireland #ClassicWinner




Derby winner Harzand - what the connections said
05 Jun 2016 | Epsom Downs Racecourse 
Reaction after from jockey Pat Smullen, trainer Dermont Weld and owner and breeder His Highness the Aga Khan after Harzand, a son of the 2009 Investec Derby winner Sea The Stars, won the Group 1 Investec Derby (2400m) at Epsom Downs on Saturday.

Pat Smullen - jockey

"It was one of those races where everything went according to plan. It doesn't happen too often but I couldn't have been happier with the way things went. It was my initial plan to get the position we wanted early and he did that very well. He settled mid division with a little bit of cover from Idaho (who finished third) who was drawn across from me. I was always planning on following him throughout the race and that's what I got to do. When Ryan (Moore - jockey of second placed US Army Ranger) went to challenge me, I knew my horse would get to the line really well. He's getting there and has a lot of ability but his stamina is a big plus. When I got challenged, I could feel him pick up again and he got to the line really well.

"He came down the hill reasonably well though he got on the wrong lead leg with me once or twice. The track did hold a little bit of a fear for me but the ease in the ground was definitely a huge help to us. It just gave him a bit more comfort down the hill and round Tattenham Corner. He handled the track well and, although he was exceedingly good today, he's a good moving galloping horse and a more level track will suit him even better. He always held him in very high regard. We ran him in a good maiden as a two-year-old at Gowran Park but he was very green that day. He missed the kick but we got a good education into him that day. The boss being the boss (Dermot Weld - trainer), he was very patient and just put him away and never ran him again.

"It wouldn't have been the strongest maiden he won at Cork earlier on this year but any horse who wins a maiden by 19 lengths has to be held in some high regard so we always thought he was very good. He won a very good Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown last time out and, again, patience paid off as the boss gave him plenty of time. You need a little bit of luck and the rain gods came. When we got the rain, we knew we were in business."

Dermot Weld - trainer

"It's very special to win this race. I think I've had 23 Classic winners in Europe. Blue Wind was my first when she won the Oaks many years ago (in 1981). I've won a couple of Irish Derbys (Zagreb in 1996 and Grey Swallow in 2004) but I've always obviously wanted to win this race. I've possibly never had a horse good enough to do it but today was the day. I thought he put in a very good performance when he won his Group race at Leopardstown (Ballysax Stakes). He beat a good field that day. He's a lovely balanced colt and he's progressive. I just thought when he worked the other day at the Curragh that he was progressing and he just showed a bit more pace. I then thought he would represent us very well.

"He was pretty unlikely to run today after what happened. This morning, when he came over, he just stood on himself. Racing plates are very light and unfortunately he pulled one off. By doing this, he just drew blood as well so his foot was very sore.

"I've got excellent staff and immediately old-fashioned treatment came in. We poulticed him and then, when he got to Epsom this morning, he was very sore. So we treated him again and I was happy then that we'd drawn anything we had wanted to out of the foot. We then put him in ice for four hours. He hadn't damaged the plate - it was clean and hadn't buckled at all. Jim Reilly, Jim Bolger's farrier, was able to tack that back on. Jim is a very gifted man and we were lucky to have him here. He tacked the plate back on so delicately and then we put the foot in ice again. The track veterinary was there watching him all the time and we both agreed that he had to pass three tests.

"We took him out then as His Highness (the Aga Khan - the owner) was due to leave at 2.20pm to come to Epsom. The shoe was tacked on at 1.55pm and I was happy when he jogged with the track vet and he was perfectly sound. I called His Highness and away he came. We put his foot back in a bucket of ice for the next couple of hours and I stayed with him. We came down and saddled him later, which was the next test, and he jogged out perfectly sound. The track vet was also happy. We did it again to be sure and he was fine. The final test was Pat's call. I told him that if he wasn't happy with him at the start then he should just pull him out. I watched him go down on the big screen with Pat and he trotted down sound. So here we are - such is life!

"He has improved since Leopardstown because of his breeding. He's a late maturing horse. As often happens, these staying three-year-olds start to come into themselves at this time of year. Once they start improving, they keep improving. He's a typical late maturing colt and, when we worked him at the Curragh ten or so days ago, this is when we saw this horse coming into his own. He started to show the extra sparkle that we needed to see.

"I suppose not winning the Derby has been nagging away at me for a bit. It's been a race I've always wanted to win. I've been very fortunate in Group Ones and Grade Ones all around the world and in my own country. It was the one race I needed to win though. Quite often though, you don't have a good enough horse to run in the race, let alone win it. You have to make every opportunity count when you do though. We'll see how he is when he gets home and I'll speak to His Highness but I imagine he'll go to the Irish Derby now."

His Highness the Aga Khan (owner)

"Winning the Derby is the goal of every owner and it's been the goal of every owner for centuries. It's a great race with a great history and outstanding winners. From my point of view, it's the ultimate thing you can do as an owner and, at this stage, I would like to thank my team for what they do in Ireland and in France which is a big achievement and which has been going on for a long time now. I'm very honoured to have them all working with me to produce these horses. We are not in the marketplace for buying horses - we breed them.

"It's difficult to compare Harzand to my other Derby winners (Shergar in 1981, Shahrastani in 1986, Kahyasi in 1988 and Sinndar in 2000). I think one of the bst memories I have is of Shergar coming round Tattenham Corner and, in my eyes, he was cantering. It was something I couldn't believe. I'm 80 now and I've owned horses since I was 20 so 60 years of ownership. I've had some wonderful horses. My fifth Derby winner was quite important to me. In this case, the breeding operation and the operation of the farms - all that goes into this - is important. All the effort goes into it before the horses are even bred because you are looking at the matings. Then you breed, you raise, you run and then you take them to stud if they are good enough.

"In this case, with this horse, it is an operation which goes back five generations. I have to check but I think I'm actually ahead of my grandfather's record now (His Highness Aga Khan III has actually also had five Investec Derby winners). I'm not a gambler so I can't tell you the odds unfortunately!"
 



Edited by Gay3 - 05 Jun 2016 at 12:20pm
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExceedAndExcel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2016 at 2:05pm
A rare racing winner for me. A nice end to a very profitable evening.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red Hare Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2016 at 3:54pm
Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

This guy wouldn't have been allowed to run here with our pre race restrictions of ice use
Not to mention the poultice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LR80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2016 at 5:00pm
US Army Ranger got beaten by the barrier there.  Gave Harzand about 4L at the turn and was held up behind backsides before being released and had too much to do in the end, peaking on his run with 100m to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote djebel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2016 at 6:03pm
By Geoffrey Riddle at Epsom 

In the long and varied training career of Dermot Weld the Investec Derby stood out as the one major race that he had yet to win.

The 67-year-old handler has saddled big winners on four different continents. He became the first European trainer to prize away from the Australians the Melbourne Cup with Vintage Crop in 1993. He produced Go And Go to become the first horse trained outside North America to win a Triple Crown race when he took the 1990 Belmont Stakes.

Yet none of his 44 years as a trainer could have prepared him for the problems that Harzand encountered before the Sea The Stars colt held off the late thrust of US Army Ranger in Britain’s most valuable race on Saturday.

Harzand stood on his foot on the way over from Weld’s Curragh base on Saturday morning and, having drawn blood, Weld had to go to the well of his experience both as a trainer and a qualified veterinary surgeon to get Harzand to the races.

He had to call on Jim Bolger’s vet, Jim Reilly, to help out once Harzand had arrived at Epsom. He had to encase his colt’s foot in ice for over four hours. There was the poulticing and water treatments, and then all the while he had to make sure that Harzand’s owner, the Aga Khan, was updated enough with the colt’s progress in order so he could make a decision whether to leave from his home to come to Epsom at 2.20pm.

This is the minutiae that Weld had to go through, but without the blue riband to adorn his already bulging trophy cabinet it was all worth it.

“I suppose not winning the Derby has been nagging away at me for a bit,” Weld said. “It’s been a race I’ve always wanted to win. I’ve been very fortunate in Group One races and Grade Ones all around the world and in my own country but it was one race I needed to win. Quite often you don’t have a horse good enough to run in the race, let alone win it, so you have to make every opportunity count when you do.”

Harzand was only Weld’s seventh runner in the Derby, and only his fourth this century, which in comparison to Godolphin, who now have saddled 30 runners without success after Cloth Of Stars was eighth and Moonlight Magic was last, shows how seriously the County Kildare trainer takes running a horse around Epsom’s horseshoe course. He saddled Blue Wind to win his first Classic in 1981 here when she was his first runner in the Oaks, and now Harzand is almost certain to try to add to Weld’s two previous wins in the Irish Derby at his home racecourse on June 25.

Harzand is a lightly-raced and raw specimen, who was so backward as a juvenile that he finished just fifth in his maiden and had to be put away for the winter. He returned in March to run in a heavy ground maiden at Cork by 16 lengths before he showed a hint of his late-developing class when he beat subsequent Derby third Idaho in the Ballysax Stakes, which was also staged in heavy ground.

Epsom had received significant amounts of rain in midweek to render the going on the soft side of good on Saturday, and as Harzand came down the hill approaching Tattenham Corner, switching leads as he went due to inexperience, it was the cushion of the rain-softened turf below that helped him swing round on his way to glory.

“He came down the hill reasonably well and the track did hold a little bit of fear for me but the ease in the ground was a huge help to us,” Smullen, who was also winning his first Derby, said.

“He’s a good moving galloping horse and a more level track will suit him even better. You need a little bit of luck and the rain gods came. When we got rain we knew we were in business.”

Paddy Power made Harzand 11-8 favourite for the Curragh test, with US Army Ranger 13-8, Wings Of Desire, who was fourth, at 6-1 and Idaho at 7-1.  The standout price, however, could well be Ladbrokes’ 12-1 for the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October, where he will almost certainly get his ground. Postponed is half those odds after his Coronation Cup win.

Harzand was the Aga Khan’s fifth Derby winner after Shergar, Shahrastani, Kahyasi and Sinndar, who is one of three winners for the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims of France’s greatest race this century.

When asked how Harzand’s fledgling career might compare with the best that have run in his famous green and red colours he said: “It is difficult to compare – I think one of my best memories is of Shergar coming around Tattenham Corner and, in my eyes, he was cantering. It was something I couldn’t believe.”

So there is room for improvement then, and with a trouble-free lead-up Harzand may well prove to be every bit as good as that quartet.

Harzand timeline:

Saturday morning in transit to Epsom: Stood on himself, pulled off a shoe and drew blood.

Dermot Weld’s staff poultice Harzand.

On arrival at Epsom: Harzand foot still sore. Harzand’s foot treated again and foot placed in ice for four hours.

Jim Bolger’s farrier, Jim Reilly, called in to put on the original plate, that had not buckled, back on and Harzan’s foot was once again encased in ice.

1.55pm: Harzand led out and jogged in front of the track vet after which his foot was again placed in ice.

2.20pm: Owner Aga Khan leaves his home for Epsom.

3.55pm: Pat Smullen offered the final decision and told to pull Harzand if he was not happy with him going down to the start.

4.38pm: Harzand wins Derby



STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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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 2017 at 2:50am


STRIKE WHILST THE IRON IS HOT

reductio ad absurdum

The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.

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