A meeting to forget
As the dust settles on a brilliant two days of racing at Del Mar it’s time to look at what was largely a poor showing from the Irish horses.
Of the 16 involved the best performances came from Go Bears Go and Broome both of whom finished second in the Juvenile Turf Sprint and the Turf.
Other than that it was a meeting to forget with Vertiginous finishing seventh, Twilight Jet 10th and Glounthaune 12th on Friday.
While Emaraaty Ana and Love came fourth, A Case Of You fifth, Pearl’s Galore sixth, Glass Slippers eighth, Acanella and Real Appeal ninth and Mother Earth 10th on Saturday.
The stall draws can be looked at but not as an excuse for everyone, at Del Mar a middle draw is key which not all the horses got.
For example, in the Turf Tarnawa was never going to defend her title after being drawn 13th.
She eventually finished 11th, Japan was drawn 14 and finished fourth and Bolshoi Ballet came from stall 15 and was sixth, while Broome was in stall eight.
And, as you already know,he came second proving that a good draw can help. But that’s not the only reason.
I’m not for one second blaming the trainer or the jockey as I could do neither job but Del Mar is a tight track where position is vital.
When Tarnawa won at Keenland in 2020 she made her move in the home straight eating into the three-length lead of Channel Maker passing her in the closing stages. That tactic was never going to work at Del Mar.
If you have a high draw as she did you need to be in a position to strike at the home turn challenging in the final furlongs which, apart from the second place finishers, none of the Irish horses managed to do.
Having watched the races back I don’t think it was the going that was to blame. It could be the tactics employed but then horses that came over from Charlie Appeby’s yard won three of the races. So, maybe we should put it down to bad luck.
All the horses from the Emerald Isle will return and have good seasons in the Britain and Ireland next year.
Hopefully some will go to America and challenge when the Breeders Cup heads back to Keenland on 4 and 5 November 2022.