STUDYING or planning pedigrees is a fascinating element to flat racing.
When you see the French 2000 Guineas and Champion Bumper winners are on the same cross – Muhaarar out of a Galileo mare - you may ponder what a game of chance it is. The French 1000 Guineas winner has the top NH sire Jeremy as her dam sire.
This flat season had looked a bit of a Frankel benefit with the 2000 Guineas in the bag off a very good performance by Chaldean, and two of the top colts in the Derby betting in Military Order and Arrest, before you also throw in the Group 1 Prix Saint Alary winner last weekend to give him another classic contender.
But two other sons of Galileo have waved their banners this week and now also have legitimate Derby contenders.
Back in 2017, Ulysses and Churchill fought out the finish of the Juddmonte International at York, and six years later three of their offspring, The Foxes, White Birch and Passenger were in the first three in the traditional main Derby Trial, the Dante Stakes, back at York. Throw in Sprewell for the Derby, and his French 1000 Guineas winner Blue Rose Cen, and it’s been quite the few weeks for Churchill.
Ulysses might have been the slow burner and it is very welcome to see a sire doing well who only proved his class at four (he was 12th in Harzand’s Derby on his fourth start, off just one wide margin maiden win). With White Birch and Passenger (if supplemented), he has a great chance of siring a Derby winner, something that would fit his classic pedigree.
There was no more admirable horse over the last decade than the 2018 Dante and four-time Group 1 winner Roaring Lion and a great pity he left only one crop. From that crop he too has a Derby and Oaks contender in Dubai Mile and Running Lion, along with a nice prospect in Valiant Prince.
The Derby is shaping up nicely.
THE colts’ classic contenders may be a bit of a muddle but on the fillies’ classic front, two high class trial performances see it shaping up into an intriguing contest. And add in the Frankie-Ryan rematch from last year’s close finish. Soul Sister’s 18/1 Muisdora win looked good and it came on decent ground and with fast closing sectional times.
Opinions differ on Savethelastdance’s wide margin win – time expert Simon Rowlands gave her a huge thumbs-up on his ATR column – “I would not be betting against her”, while our new British racing columnist Mark Howard expresses doubts in the “too good to be true category” on page 10.
As my late grandmother used to say if losing the argument – “Doctors differ and patients die”! Roll on, Epsom.