King Aiden the Seventh
What a performance. Seven successes in the greatest flat race in the world. An unbelievable effort. But that is enough about me.
To be fair Mr O’Brien’s seven winners have come over the course of just eighteen years, while I have taken twice that time.
I’m sure many will spout out the old excuses. “He had half the field”, “he gets the best horses” “he has financial advantages”. But he still needs to get the horses to Epsom fit and ready.
And considering he had four of the first five, and that they were separated by less than a length, surely proves that there was no outstanding candidate from Ballydoyle this year.
Anthony Van Dyck had the rail to run against and that could have made the difference. A clever ride from Seamie Heffernen who has waited a long time for his first Derby win.
Madhmoon ran an excellent race and, while no way a non stayer, he has to be high on the list for ten furlong races.
Japan, one of those who I could not have on his Dante form, was another eyecatcher. Wayne Lordan lost his whip in the final furlong and that may have cost him second place.
Broome and Sir Dragonet, two I thought would be less effective on the faster ground, were very close. Sir Dragonet, running only his third race, could improve plenty.
The closeness of the finish will annoy form students but I think Madhmoon and Japan look good. The main players from the cast at Epsom are entered for the Irish Derby next month so it will be interesting to see who comes forward from Epsom.
Different track, possibly different going. This is why this sport intrigues. We can not be entirely sure.
Looked all over
Anapurna and Pink Dogwood (another I didn’t fancy) were involved in a great finish in The Oaks with Frankie Dettori just edging out Ryan Moore on the John Gosden filly.
When Pink Dogwood hit the front it looked all over but Anapurna is as game as she is talented. It was twenty five years since the Italian won his first Oaks on the brilliant Balanchine and this was win number five for him.
Fleeting was finishing like a train from a long way back and could reverse form with Pink Dogwood at the Curragh. The winner will not be in the Irish Oaks as she will now take a break before being aimed at an autumn campaign.
There was also a classic in France on Sunday and Persian King was well fancied to win the Prix Du Jockey Club. Unfortunately the French Guineas winner was well beaten by Sottsass who was giving his trainer, Jean-Claude Rouget, a third French Derby winner in four years.
The winner was going away at the end of the race and could get a bit further. He is entered in the Irish Champion Stakes so maybe a ten furlong campaign is being planned.
Persian King will probably revert to a mile as Andre Fabre thinks he didn’t quite get the trip.
I am hoping that he will turn up at Goodwood for the Sussex Stakes with Magna Grecia, Phoenix Of Spain, Too Darn Hot, Mushtashry, Laurens, and anyone else who fancies being Europe’s top miler for 2019.
I thought beforehand that the Coronation Cup left a bit to be desired. But I couldn’t foresee Lah Ti Dar and Old Persian being fourteen lengths behind the winner.
Kew Gardens was the best of the fancied horses in second with Defoe the middle leg of an Andrea Atzeni treble. The Roger Varian trained horse was gelded over the winter and ran a career best at Epsom winning his first Group One. Could he improve again?
What a great few days racing.