Playing the percentages
Were it not for Kameko then Aiden O’Brien would have been responsible for the whole field in the abandoned Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster. The Ballydoyle maestro had saddled five of the six runners declared for the final British Group One of the season.
And for some reason he is attracting criticism. It is not his fault that other owners and trainers have not entered their horses in the race is it? Trainer Ralph Beckett is partly blaming the early closing of juvenile races which means late developing two year olds are missing out. We do want to see the best horses in these big races.
This race itself is often a springboard for classic success. The last two 2000 Guineas winners, Saxon Warrior and Magna Grecia, won this race with the likes of Roaring Lion and Circus Maximus beaten in the race. Going back it was a decent Derby trial with Camelot, Authorised, Motivator and the brilliant, but probably underrated, High Chaparral all successful at Doncaster.
My Derby horse
I was hoping for a big run from KAMEKO. He won on his debut before two close seconds in group races. He seemed to be confused by the dip in the Royal Lodge and he is my Derby horse for 2020. In fact I have put him in an ambitious yankee for next year’s classics.
The perils of having a couple of quid left in an online account.
Alongside Kameko I have selected CAYENNE PEPPER for the Oaks. She looked better value than the three lengths she was behind Quadrilateral in the Fillies Mile. She will hopefully come on for a step up next term.
Staying with the fillies I like TROPBEAU for the 1000 Guineas. There is a danger backing French horses as they sometimes stay at home. But Andre Fabre has won this race recently with Miss France so if she does show up at Newmarket in May he must think she has a chance. She was possibly unlucky in the Cheveley Park.
Finally, in the 2000 Guineas, I am going for a horse who was a no show last time. SISKIN was a non runner in the Middle Park after “becoming unruly in the stalls”. I like this horse. His win in the Phoenix Stakes was very good as I don’t think he was at his best on the ground. Stamina could be a concern but he is very talented. Just have to get him out of those stalls.
So there you have it. Not quite a face spitter, but for a few shillings I could win half the weeks wages of an average Premier League footballer.
A final note on Kameko, or rather his jockey. Oisin Murphy is the Champion Jockey for 2019. He is definitely in the top league now. He was an apprentice for Andrew Balding, who also mentored William Buick and last years champion apprentice Jason Watson. A good grounding is important.
There must be something in the water at Kingsclere.
Edge of the seat stuff
You should all know by now how much I love staying races. And the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day was proof once again that these races are not for plodders. Kew Gardens and Stradivarius provided a fantastic finish with the 2018 St Leger winner ending the winning streak of the dual Gold Cup winner. By the shortest margin possible. Absolute edge of the seat stuff.
Magical joined a select club that includes Legal Case, Pride, and, one of my favourite horses ever, Triptych. All of these, and there may be others, were beaten in an Arc and then won the Champion Stakes two weeks later (or thereabouts). Triptych did it twice. Imagine using the best race in Europe as a prep for your end of season target. LOL (as the young people say.
Magical was winning her fourth Group One (she has been second in five more) and this was her ninth race of the season. She is so consistent. Take out her Arc run and she has pretty much run 120 plus figures all season.