Taqdeer one to follow

Photo: Getty I WAS a little worried that the two-day Guineas Festival at Newmarket might come up short in terms of quality. The 2000 Guineas had been billed as a one-horse race for most of the winter and that was partly down to an apparent lack of quality opposition. But this great game has a habit of producing the unexpected and making so-called experts look a little foolish. The eclipse of Air Force Blue was the shock of the weekend and instead we are now waxing lyrical about Galileo Gold who was beautifully prepared by Hugo Palmer and brilliantly ridden by Frankie Dettori.

The Epsom Derby now seems inevitable for this attractive son of Paco Boy although his shrewd young trainer is keeping his options open. As things stand, the 12-1 freely available for Epsom looks decent value especially with question marks against so many others.

But the 1000 Guineas put a fly in the Epsom ointment. As expected, Minding did the business in a professional manner and looked stronger as the race went on. She is generally even money for the Epsom Oaks, while stablemate Ballydoyle, who chased her home, is solid at around 6-1. However, such is the regard that Aidan O’Brien holds Minding that there is a possibility she could take on the colts in the derby and she is at the head of the ante-post betting market. That would give the race a fascinating added dimension although her current ante-post price of 5-2 (with a run) holds little appeal to this punter.

So as a guide to future horse racing tips, what else did the Newmarket Guineas Festival tell us?

TAQDEER / PRIZE MONEY: John Gosden almost allowed Taqdeer, a son of Fast Company, to take his chance in the 2000 Guineas but instead ran him in the competitive 1m 2f handicap that closed the meeting on Sunday. This scopey chestnut colt was held up off the pace and I loved the way he covered the ground to pick up the leaders and see off Prize Money. Taqdeer is entered in the Dante and the St James’s Palace Stakes but not the Derby. Then again, neither was Golden Horn at this stage last year. Gosden has a seriously progressive three-year-old on his hands. Prize Money ran a solid race giving weight to the winner and is 25-1 for Epsom and it will be interesting to see how he gets on if he runs in one of the trials.

SWISS RANGE: Another lovely horse trained by Gosden, she quickened off a slow pace to win the Pretty Polly Stakes and looks an ideal type for the French Oaks. She may not be quite as good as Gosden’s Taghrooda, who also won this race, but she is a filly who could improve through the season.

GLOBAL APPLAUSE: From the first crop of Mayson, Ed Dunlop’s debutante made a winning start in what is always a warm two-year-old maiden and looks a real Royal Ascot type. He will probably run at Sandown en route. Gulliver was as green as grass and after missing the break stayed on nicely into fourth and if he is a quick learner he should win soon.

IRISH ROOKIE: She failed to get home over nine furlongs in a seriously hot Dahlia Stakes but had made rapid headway to virtually take the lead two out before fading. She clearly retains her ability and should pay her way over 7f or a mile.

LUMIERE: Was desperately disappointing and there will undoubtedly be huge disappointment at Mark Johnston’s yard and across Middleham. But this was clearly not her running and whether she is more of a sprinter we shall see. She is certainly worth sticking with.






2 thoughts on “Taqdeer one to follow”

  1. willim fieseler says:

    nice shout

  2. Graham Oliver says:

    Hi Jason,good and interesting post.

    It was remiss of me yesterday when mentioning Even Song not to point out the merits of the impressive winner Swiss range.

    I also agree Global Applause looks like an Ascot 2yo. Possibly the 5f Norfolk Stakes. Mayson might be an outside bet for leading first season sire. Another in this category is of course the Irish Guineas winner Power, who has a runner at the Curragh this evening, the much vaunted Peace Envoy, who won her only start very comfortably.

    Getting on to Minding, it is possibly my wishful thinking, but I do believe she will go for the Derby, even if US Army Ranger wins doing hand stands at Chester. If Minding were a colt that had won the Two Thousand as easily as she has won the One Thousand i suspect the Derby price would be no bigger than 6/4, and possibly as low as evens. The 5/2 or 3/1 available is ‘with a run’ and on that basis I would suggest that anyone that fancies her for the Derby should ‘get on now’.

    Also it should be remembered that AOB has a couple of other decent fillies (besides Ballydoyle) entered for the Oaks in the shape of Somehow and the impressive Seventh Heaven.

    Jason, we will have to agree to disagree about Lumiere. I don’t think she should be touched with a barge pole until she has proved that she has trained on. As I alluded to yesterday, too many champion 2yo fillies fail to train on at three.

    As has happened many times over the years I shall probably be proved wrong. If and when that happens I shall go down upon my knees and confess my abject stupidity to you and bow to your superior knowledge.

    In the meantime, and on another tack, let’s hope that Spurs fail to win at Stamford Bridge this evening and the best result of the year becomes reality and the Foxes are Champions. A fairy tale come true. If only that same magic wand could smite my team next season, and give us promotion, Leeds United. I know, two chances, none and no-chance!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *