Derby picture becoming a little bit clearer
Dante throws up possible Derby prospect, and it’s not from Ballydoyle
Hughie Morrison says he doesn’t know how good Dante Winner Telecaster is as he’s never had anything like him before. The Oisin Murphy ridden colt beat the evens favourite Too Darn Hot (subsequently ruled out of the Derby) by a length at York to make his mark in the Derby betting, but the decision still has to be made if the Epsom Blue Riband will come too soon for him and therefore wait until the end of June for the Irish Derby or French Derby.
Telecaster was entered for the Derby but was later withdrawn, so a supplement would have to be paid to re-enter him, a route Golden Horn took four years ago to win the Dante and the Derby.
Sweet notes from Stradivarius
The John Gosden trained Stradivarius won back-to-back Yorkshire Cups when he beat Southern France by ¾l, but looked to have to work harder to make it his sixth consecutive victory. Jockey Frankie Dettori (pictured in a flying dismount from Stradivarius) went for his whip at the three-furlong pole, but the horse won willingly and is set for a repeat attempt at the £1m Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ Bonus, which would again mean winning the Ascot Got Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup back at York.
Which Derby will it be?
Whilst question marks continue over the participation of Chester Vase winner Sir Dragonet in the Derby, trainer Aiden O’Brien strongly hinted at the Breakfast With The Stars bash at Epsom that the Surrey track is more likely to see the son of Camelot, than Chantilly and the Prix du Jockey Club.
Ballydoyle could have seven in the colts’ classic and Aiden O’Brien gave the impression that all are progressing well including those who won the recent trials, not least Anthony Van Dyck (pictured) and Broome.
John Gosden said that he’d be keeping two in the Derby, Private Secretary and Humanitarian. The former will be Frankie Dettori’s mount who said the colt, rated 92, would have to come on 20lbs to get close to being competitive. The son of Kingsman, he’s replicated the route 2015 Derby runner-up Jack Hobbs took by winning the Sandown Classic Trial.
Gosden also said that Mehdaayih, who was a standout winner of the Yorkshire Oaks, would be supplemented for the Oaks to join stablemate and Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Anapurna.
Ian Balding continues to show his keenness for Bangkok as a Derby candidate, describing him as on a par with the best two colts he’s trained, Bonfire and Elm Park, and the Derby has always been the plan for him.
Hughie Morrison, trainer of Telecaster, won’t make a decision until Monday about the Dante winner’s participation at Epsom, but continued to say that he’d had a hard race at York. He would have to be supplemented for the Derby but already has entries in the French and Irish classics.
Stoute adds another Lockinge in Newbury treble
Mustashry gave Sir Michael Stoute his eighth Lockinge win when the 6yo gelding won Newbury’s flagship 1m Group 1 by 2½ lengths with Jim Crowley aboard. Stoute, 73, who trained his first Lockinge winner in 1986, added the 1m4f Group 2 Ashton Park Stakes with Crystal Ocean (Ryan Moore riding) and the Listed fillies 1m2f race with Queen Power (ridden by Silvestre de Sousa) to land a Newbury treble
Late call for Russell results in big chase double
Davy Russell only got the call two days before the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris to ride the Isabelle Pacault trained Carriacou, but it resulted in the combination winning the 3m6f Grade 1 race by an emphatic nine lengths. Coming seven weeks after Russell won the Grand National at Aintree, he made his first competitive ride over the Auteuil course look easy and flew past the runner-up and favourite Bipolaire, to land the 10/1 odds.
The day before, Paul Townend won the Grand Course de Haies d’Auteuil on Benie De Dieux for Willie Millins, finishing 6½l ahead of 4/6 favourite De Boj Coeur. The 3m1½f Grade 1 French Champion Hurdle was an easy victory for the mare.
Racing income hit by £17m fall
Income from the levy, the sport’s central funding system for prize-money and integrity, has dropped by a shock £17m. The income is derived from a percentage paid by bookmakers on their gross profit, and a fall in the 2018-19 levy yield was expected with the Levy Board saying that 2019 expenditure would have to be cut by £5m. The fall of £17m, far greater than anticipated, was said to be caused by much reduced bookmaker profits in Q4 of last year.
This highlights a concern that many in racing have expressed that having the levy based on gross profitability, where bookmakers can use racing as a loss-leader for other betting opportunities, means racing is at the mercy of reduced margins.
The levy fall further squeezes the sport’s finances, which are facing reduced income from media rights due to the expected closure of betting shops resulting from the reduction of FOBT stakes from a £100 maximum to £2.
Irish Guineas on ITV
The Irish 2,000 Guineas will be included in ITV Racing coverage this Saturday. The Curragh classic will be one of nine races on ITV4,with races also from Haydock. Goodwood and York.
However, as previously noted on The Racing Hub, Thursday evening’s Brigadier Gerard card from Sandown will not be shown by ITV this year. The fixture was added to last year’s schedule on a day when there was no football during the World Cup tournament, but will be absent from screens this year.
FOBT turnover drop less than feared say Ladbrokes Coral
GVC Holdings, the public parent company of Ladbrokes Coral, have reduced their forecast of the negative effect on earnings by the reduction of FOBT maxium stakes. Instead of a prediction that 2020 earnings would be hit by £145m, the revised figure is £120m. Looking further ahead, the 2021 prediction is down from £120m to £105m.
Arbuthnot quitting training and cites BHA handling of doping case
David Arbuthnot’s 38-years as a trainer comes to an end next month, with his citing a run of bad luck and the BHA’s handling of a malicious doping case being a significant factor in his decision to quit. Arbuthnot, who has trained nearly 500 winners, including at the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot, was fined £1,000 last month following an anonymous tip-off which led to a positive test on Strollawaynow for bute nearly two years ago.
A BHA vet had been told the drug had been administered to the horse and a disciplinary panel accepted that Arbuthnot had not been involved in the administration of the drug and that it was probably done maliciously by someone unknown. The fine was invoked under the “responsible person” rule.