Sunday, May 22, 2011


A good weekend for the Coolmore operation with Aidan O'Brien's son Jospeh claiming his first Classic winner aboard Roderic O'Connor in yesterday's Irish 2000 Guineas while earlier this afternoon Misty For Me took the Irish 1000 Guineas. This evening William Hill is best-priced about both horses for Epsom - Roderic O'Connor is quoted at 20/1 for the Derby and Misty For Me 10/1 for the Oaks.

There was plenty of media hype surrounding Hungarian sprinter Overdose, aka the Budapest Bullet, and his attempt on Haydock's Temple Stakes. In the event the Bullet proved to be a blank, trailling home a disappointing seventh. After the race pilot Andreas Suborics indicated the horse may appreciate more give underfoot following his recent training problems.

Plenty think Carlton House is something of a shoo-in for the Derby. Generally the market has proved a very good guide to the race (no winner priced bigger than 7/1 in the past decade) and the right vibes have been coming out of the stable. Nevertheless, three reasons to be wary...This year's Dante was a muddling affair with the time (2m 13.49) over three seconds slower than the Middleton Stakes (2m 10.05) run half an hour earlier; the colt isn't guaranteed to stay; the current price offers little in the way of value.

Many years ago an acquaintance of mine described our sport as 'a game of regrets', pointing out that even when you've lucky enough to have backed a winner, you're somehow troubled by the fact you hadn't increased your stake money. Last week my particular regret was not to have chanced Moorlands Jack on his first try over hurdles at Uttoxeter. In a Weekender Stable Tour article last September handler Tim Vaughan was particularly sweet on the (then) unraced  five-year-old, commenting the bay gelding would be 'speedy enough to win first time out'. Two below par efforts in bumpers didn't look encouraging going into the Uttoxeter race but the trainer's faith wasn't misplaced as 20/1 chance Moorlands Jack won despite being less than fluent at a couple of his hurdles. I'll monitor progress with interest. Others worth a second look if appearing in the foreseeable future include recent Perth winner Lewlaur Supreme, David Pipe's bumper winners Swing Bowler and Barney Cool and Paul Webber's Monkey Milan who took a Towcester bumper - jock Denis O'Regan was reported keen not to use the whip on this rather green five-year-old.

Finally, where's the value? £50 million for Chelsea footballer Fernando Torres or £53 million for Waterstone's 300 High Street bookstores?          

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