2012 Epsom Derby Series
The final part of my 2012 Derby series is here and this week I consider the merits of the current ante-post favourite, Camelot. The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt was widely acclaimed after his success in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October, but is his position as favourite justified?
To date, Camelot has only been seen twice on a racecourse, the first of these appearances was in an 8f maiden at Leopardstown in July. He was dropped last of the five runners by Joseph O’Brien before he shook the reins and asked Camelot to quicken with two furlongs to go. He made easy headway and won by 2 lengths but was not asked to do a great deal by his jockey. After a lay-off of three months, he reappeared in the Racing Post Trophy with plenty of questions being asked about him stepping straight into Group 1 Company from what looked a very ordinary maiden. He started the 10/11f despite having a Listed winner in Fencing and a Group 3 winner in Talwar in the field alongside him, as well as the Jim Bolger trained Zip Top. Just like his maiden victory, he was dropped into last place whilst his stable mate Learn made the running. Once the sprint for home started with 2 furlongs to go, Camelot was travelling the best and was held before being delivered to win comfortably by 2 ¼ lengths. This win propelled him to the head of market for both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby, with the colt earning quotes of 6/1 and 3/1 respectively. He appeared in both of his juvenile performances to show great ability and there is no reason to suggest he would not stay further than a mile.
Camelot’s pedigree would certainly support the idea of him being a contender at Epsom in June. His sire, Montjeu was a 6-time Group 1 winner and won the Arc at Longchamp in 1999 – as a sire he has produced many quality staying types and Group 1 winners. Amongst his many top class progeny are the Irish Derby and Arc winner Hurricane Run and Derby winner Motivator (both 2005) as well the 2007 Derby winner, Authorized. Both Authorized and Motivator won the Racing Post Trophy during their two year-old campaigns before going ontoDerbysuccess. Other notable progeny of Montjeu include the 2009 Irish Derby and 2010 Coronation Cup winner Fame and Glory and the 2011 Derby winner Pour Moi.
Camelot’s dam is the Kingmambo mare Tarfah who was twice a winner at Listed level and a Group 3 winner over 9f. She had a half sister to Camelot, Ideal who was a winner of a maiden over 10f and is in training with David Wachman. The damsire Kingmambo was a 3-time Group 1 winner over a mile but has produced horses with more stamina than he showed on the racecourse. Kingmambo has also produced a number of top horses; El Condor Pasa won the Japan Cup (Group 1) in 1998 and the 1999 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud (Group 1) both over 12f before finishing second to Montjeu in the Arc in 1999. Alkaased was also victorious in the Japan Cup in 2005 before following up in the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud in the same year. He also sired King Kamehameha, who won the 2004 Japan Derby over 12f and Lemon Drop Kid who won the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes over 12f in 1999.
Camelot’s pedigree suggests that the step up to 12f in theDerbywill not be an issue and judged on his two year-old campaign he has certainly inherited plenty of class as well. However, we should be wary of expecting too much of him as only four winners of the Racing Post Trophy have gone on to win the Derby the following year (Reference Point, High Chaparral, Motivator and Authorized). The most recent example to consider is that of another son of Montjeu, St Nicholas Abbey who won the Racing Post Trophy by 3 ¾ lengths in 2009 and started Evens favourite for the 2000Guineasthe following year. He finished sixth and was not seen again on a racecourse as a 3 year-old, this would be something worth thinking about when considering the chances of Camelot as an ante-post proposition.
On what we have seen so far, Camelot is an extremely talented individual and should he develop over the winter would be an exciting prospect for next year. I would also think that he has the pace to run in the 2000Guineasbut Ballydoyle have a strong hand with the likes of Power and so he is not guaranteed to run atNewmarket. I was lucky enough to be there to see him when he won the Racing Post Trophy and I am looking forward to seeing him next year and I think he is a worthy favourite for theDerby. I would also like to mention in passing another Ballydoyle contender in Imperial Monarch, who by the time the Derby comes round in June could be a real force to be reckoned with.
Photo Credit: bbc.co.uk
Andrew Fletcher returns to the Horse Racing Tavern this week with his fourth installment of his 2012 Epsom Derby Series. So far in the series he has focused on Parish Hall, Imperial Monarch and Mandaean. This week Andrew takes a deeper look into the pedigree and chances of the well related Born To Sea.
The penultimate part of my previews for the 2012 Derby takes a look at the chances of the John Oxx trained Born to Sea. The three-parts brother to 2009 Horse of the Year Sea the Stars has attracted great attention due to his sibling and the fact that he is the last produce of his dam, Urban Sea.
He has been seen on the racecourse twice already in his 2 year-old campaign. In September he won a Listed event over 6f on debut at the Curragh in impressive fashion. He settled towards the back under Johnny Murtagh before being shaken up and drawing away from the field despite showing signs of greenness. He returned to the racecourse at Leopardstown six weeks later, stepped up to Group 3 level and had a further furlong to negotiate. He finished second to Aidan O’Brien’s Nephrite, after taking the lead briefly at the furlong marker before being overtaken. Born to Sea was however reported to be lame after his defeat to Nephrite which would suggest that there is not much between the two of them.
Stamina is central to any horse’s chances in the Derby and on the dam’s side there is plenty for supporters of Born to Sea to be excited about. His dam Urban Sea won the Arc herself in 1993 showing her racing ability over further than a mile, stamina which she has passed on to her progeny with great regularity. Her son Galileo won the Derby in 2001 and as mentioned in previous weeks, he has passed on his quality and stamina to his offspring. Galileo’s full brother Black Sam Bellamy won the Gran Premio del Jockey Club in 2002 over 12f and their full sister All Too Beautiful was second in the Oaks behind Ouija Board.
On the sire’s side of the pedigree there is a great deal of ability but mostly over distances up to a mile. Invincible Spirit was a useful sprinter winning the Sprint Cup at Haydock and at stud has produced mostly two year-olds and sprinters similar to himself. The exception is perhaps Lawman who won the Prix de Jockey Club over 11f but that was his sole effort at that distance and is therefore difficult to factor in. His produce have only recorded 17 wins from 135 attempts over 12f reflecting the assertion that he is a producer of sprinters and milers. His sire Green Desert has produced similar types such as the 1998 Irish 2000 Guineas and QEII winner Desert Prince and Oasis Dream who won the Nunthorpe and July Cup in 2003. Invincible Spirit’s dam, Rafha won the Prix Diane over 10f and has produced horses with stamina but that is usually when put to a sire with stamina.
Born to Sea is a three-parts brother to Sea the Stars who of course won the 2000 Guineas, Derby and the Arc in 2009. Sea the Stars was sired by another son of Green Desert, Cape Cross who has proved a good sire of staying types with Ouija Board, the dual Oaks winner of 2004. Crystal Capella is another daughter of Cape Cross to have won over 12f in the Princess of Wales’ Stakes in July of this year. However, Invincible Spirit has not been able to create stamina filled horses like his fellow son of Green Desert, Cape Cross and there would have to be doubts about Born to Sea.
He appears to have been a backward two year-old given that we did not see him until September and his pedigree on the dam’s side suggests he may have the stamina for the Derby. He would be open to some improvement over the winter but I must say I have serious concerns about his ability to stay given his sire. Ultimately he looks like he could be a good miler and that is why John Oxx will aim him at the 2000 Guineas, whether he is tried over further we will have to wait and see, but I do have doubts about his ability to stay the 12f at Epsom in June.
Fancy Born to Sea in the 2000 Guineas? Back him at 14/1 with Ladbrokes!
Born to Sea – blogs.bettor.com
Andrew Fletcher returns to the Horse Racing Tavern with his third installment of the 2012 Epsom Derby Series. Miss the first two installments? Check Part I & Part II here! This week Andrew looks at the Godolphin-trained Mandaean and analyses his pedigree for a likely shot at the English Derby.
In the third part of this five part series I consider the chances of one of Godolphin’s best hopes of a Classic winner in 2012. Mandaean won the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud over 10f in November to put himself in the reckoning for next year’s Derby. Previous winners of the race include Fame and Glory and Passage of Time, last years winner Recital went onto win the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown before finishing sixth in the Derby at Epsom. Mandaean was trained by Andre Fabre for his 2 year old campaign but has been moved to the stable of Mahmood al Zarooni for the rest of his career and will run in the royal blue silks of Godolphin. Their racing manager Simon Crisford has suggested he will be aimed at the big middle distance events next year and no doubt the Derby will be one of them.
His pedigree indicates that the colt has both stamina and class in his blood. His sire Manduro was a three time Group 1 winner winning the Prix d’Ispahan (9f), the Prince of Wales’ Stakes (10f) and Prix Jacques le Marois (8f) in 2007. He was also a winner over 12f in Prix Foy in the same year. Mandaean was amongst his first crop of 2 year olds which also included the Andrew Balding trained Bonfire, placed in the Criterium International over a mile. This means that it is difficult to determine whether stamina is passed on to Manduro’s progeny, a deeper look into his family is therefore required.
Manduro’s sire was Monsun whose top earners have run from between 10f and 14f. His progeny include Shirocco, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2005 and the Coronation Cup in 2006, as well as Getaway and 5-time Group 1 winner Schiaparelli. Monsun is exceptional at passing on his stamina to his produce and as a result has become a top sire of middle distance horses inEurope.
Mandaean’s dam is a Darshaan mare, Summertime Legacy, who won a Group 3 over a mile in 2001 in slow ground. Mandaean has a half-sister by Refuse to Bend called Wavering, who was a winner of the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary over 10f at Longchamp. The damsire Darshaan has produced several top class horses in his stud career over a variety of distances; he has though had some notable offspring over longer distances. Dalakhani had 4 winners in Group 1 Company including the Prix du Jockey Club and Arc de Triomphe in 2003 over 12f and Kotashaan took three Group 1s including the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same year.
Considering both Mandaean’s performance in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud and his pedigree, I see no reason why he would not get the mile and a half at Epsom in the Derby. He won going away over 10f in heavy ground so 12f or even further should not be a problem for the colt. A concern may be that both his parents seemed to relish cut in the ground and his Group 1 victory came in similar conditions in November. This would not be something that would necessarily be guaranteed at Epsom in June and of course he won his maiden on good ground, but we will not know for sure until we see him in better company on quicker ground. With this in mind, it would be best waiting until we have either seen the colt on quick ground or what conditions are like in June before making any investments in his chances.
Want an Ante-post punt on Mandaean? Back him with William Hill at 25/1!
Andrew Fletcher continues his five part series looking at possible contenders for the 2012 Epsom Derby with a specific pedigree focus. He began last week with Parish Hall (see part I here), and this week he takes a look at a Ballydoyle contender.
I continue my analysis of the contenders for the 2012 Derby; this week looking at Aidan O’Brien’s Imperial Monarch. This colt turned up in a mile maiden at the Curragh in September at odds of 6/1 with the powerful stable also having the 11/4 favourite in the race. This suggests that Imperial Monarch’s homework was somewhat backward compared to his stablemate and that improvement would come in the future. He showed little evidence of that drawing away from his rivals to win comfortably, but will no doubt improve for his sole start. This was his only appearance of 2011 but the stable put him in a competitive maiden over a mile and a top racecourse so therefore thought something of him.
As I mentioned last week, as well as having ability it is important that horses have the stamina to last the Derby trip of 1m 4f. His pedigree is that of a middle distance horse with plenty of stamina on both sides of the family.
His sire is the 2001 Derby winner Galileo who we know has made great waves as a sire, being crowned champion sire in 2011. He himself had stamina and has passed this trait on to his progeny with great success. In fact, 8 of Galileo’s top 10 earners have won over 12f; these include 2008 Epsom Derby winner New Approach as well as great success in the Irish equivalent. He has sired 3 of the last 5 Irish Derby winners in Soldier of Fortune (2007) and the two most recent Cape Blanco (2010) and Treasure Beach (2011).
There is also plenty of staying ability on the dam’s side, Imperial Monarch is out of Ionian Sea who herself was a winner over 12f in France. Her produce include Imperial Monarch’s 3-parts brother, The Great Gatsby who was second in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial before finishing second in the Epsom showpiece in 2003. Mount Athos is also a half-brother to the promising colt, having won twice over a mile and a half in Handicap Company and earning an official rating of 103.
The damsire is Slip Anchor, who was also a winner over 12f in the 1985 Epsom Derby for Sir Henry Cecil. His produce includes User Friendly who in 1992 won the Oaks at Epsom before winning the Irish Oaks and completing a treble in the Yorkshire Oaks at York. She completed a brilliant 3 year old campaign with victory in the St Leger at Doncaster. Another of Slip Anchor’s progeny is Morshdi; this colt won the Italian Derby in 2001 and claimed another Group 1 title when winning the Grosser Preis von Baden also over 12f.
To sum up, Imperial Monarch is perhaps the one that Aidan O’Brien keeps quiet until just before the Derby. He had one outing at two to get him used to the races and will develop physically and mentally over the winter. He will probably appear early in the season before taking in something like the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial. Ballydoyle have a very strong team this year with David Livingston and Daddy Long Legs in the Derby betting as well as the market leader Camelot. Nevertheless, his pedigree and physical ability suggest that he will thrive at further than a mile and will make up into a nice horse next year. He is a big price at the minute but should he have a couple of further victories that may well contract very quickly. He is definitely one to look for in the early part of next year considering the way in which Aidan O’Brien has campaigned horses in previous years.
Fancy an ante-post punt on Imperial Monarch? Back him at 25/1 with Bet365!
Photo Credit: www.coolmore.com & www.racingpost.com
Andrew Fletcher begins his new five part series where he will be looking at possible contenders for the 2012 Epsom Derby with a specific pedigree focus. He begins this week with this years Dewhurst Stakes winner.
Over the next five weeks, I will be taking a look at some of the names that I expect to be discussed when the Epsom showpiece takes place in early June. Some of those mentioned will be high profile and others may have slipped under the radar to date. One of the most important factors if not the most important is stamina when calculating the chances of success in the Epsom Derby.
The first name that I will discuss is Parish Hall, the winner of the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October. Until this victory, the Teofilo colt had had a largely ordinary campaign having been well beaten in both the Phoenix(Gr.1) and the Futurity Stakes (Gr. 2). However, it is his victory in the Dewhurst which has given us all a glimpse into the talent that this 2 year old may possess. There is little we can take from the juvenile campaign but perhaps there are clues to next year within the colt’s pedigree.
His sire Teofilo was a dual Group 1 winner having won the National Stakes and the Dewhurst. He was retired at the end of that campaign following an injury and his first crop of 2 year-olds were seen in 2011. In his debut season, he finished 3rd in the first season sires list in terms of total prize money. Parish Hall’s dam is Halla Siamsa and he is her first named produce. As a racehorse, she won a maiden at Fairyhouse over 10f but did little else after that. Both Teofilo and Halla Siamsa are new to the breeding world and therefore a deeper look into the pedigrees will provide details with regards to stamina.
Teofilo is a son of the super-sire Galileo out of the Danehill mare, Speirbhean. Galileo won the Derby himself in 2001 and has since transmitted stamina through to his progeny. Soldier of Fortune won the Irish Derby in 2007 and the Coronation Cup in 2008 and New Approach won the Derbyat Epsom in 2008. This year has seen the emergence of Nathaniel, another son of Galileo who won the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot before winning the King George back at Ascot over a mile and a half. Teofilo’s damsire, Danehill has also produced stamina in his progeny with the likes of the 2006 Irish Derby winner Dylan Thomas, he also won the 2007 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe over the same distance. Danehill was also responsible for producing the 2004 Epsom Derby winner, North Light trained by Sir Michael Stoute. We never saw Teofilo run as a three year old but looking at his pedigree, there is plenty of reason to believe that further than seven furlongs would not have been a problem.
Parish Hall’s dam Halla Siamsa was a daughter of Montjeu out of a mare by the 1990 Epsom Derby winner, Quest for Fame. Montjeu himself had plenty of stamina winning the Irish Derby and the Arc in 1999 before winning the King George at Ascot the following year beating Godolphin’s Fantastic Light. As a stallion he has sired 3 of the last 7 winners of the Derby including Motivator (2005), Authorized (2007) and Pour Moi (2011). He also sired this year’s Coronation Cup winner St Nicholas Abbey as well as the 2005 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, Hurricane Run.
As I discussed earlier, Parish Hall’s 2 year old campaign was not great but considering his connections, should not be dismissed as a fluke straight away. His trainer, Jim Bolger has won 4 of the last 6 renewals of the Dewhurst stakes. He also trained the last horse to win the Dewhurst and the Derby, which was New Approach in 2008. I believe that the stamina present in his pedigree suggests that he will have improved over the winter and will come on for a step up in trip. We may see him first in the 2000 Guineas but I think he will ultimately be campaigned over further than a mile. He would certainly have to stay on the shortlist for the time being and wait to see whether my analysis can identify a better option.
Fancy an ante-post bet on Parish Hall for the Derby? Back him at 20/1 with Ladbrokes!
Photo Credit: www.sportinglife.com