Derby results & ante-post

June 8th, 2015 | Marten's Current Racing Diary

I claim no plaudits for the fact that Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs – first and second in the Derby – made it to the Premier List section of my Dark Horses Annual. The former had impressed me with his finishing effort when beating subsequent Derby third Storm The Stars at Nottingham while Jack Hobbs, having won an all-weather maiden at Wolverhampton a few days after Christmas, appealed as a progressive handicapper with Pattern-class potential.

As someone who enjoys ante-post betting I would have had a modest sum on each at three-figure odds, but Golden Horn did not have a Derby entry at the time and Jack Hobbs was not marked up in the betting until a few days before he ran at Sandown.

As for the Oaks, Qualify did warrant a few lines of mention in the Dark Horses but I never gave her a moment’s consideration for Friday’s Classic. I have since had another look at her run in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and, in truth, she was not really finishing as well as Aidan O’Brien implied after the race. In her defence she does have some very strong stamina influences on her dam’s side, notably from the family of Park Hill Stakes winner Eva Luna.

It must have been pretty galling for the Coolmore owners to see Legatissimo caught in the dying strides by a filly from Ballydoyle that did not run in their colours – especially one that was sold last year.

As for the Derby those, like me, who harboured stamina doubts on the winner’s behalf were put in our place. In fairness my view was that the colt would stay the trip, but perhaps not as well as others. One thing I do believe is that on good ground, or softer, Jack Hobbs would have been closer and possible even have won. As John Gosden says it will be in times to come, as a four and five-year-old, that we see this imposing colt at his best.

Golden Horn will probably now be mainly campaigned at a mile and a quarter, although there is talk of him tackling the King George. Of the others Giovanni Canaletto did indeed prove the pick of Ballydoyle’s three contenders without doing anything to challenge the long-held view that O’Brien lacks a top-class three-year-old colt this year. There has never been the buzz for anything emanating from the yard like we heard for Camelot and Australia.

Elsewhere on the two-day card I have to be impressed with Stravagante in the 1m 2f handicap. The colt went into the race with the profile we have come to associate with challengers from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard – he won the race with subsequent St Leger and Breeders’ Cup winner Conduit – and although this son of Rip Van Winkle is unlikely to scale such heights, he is sure to prove effective at Pattern-class level. I expect his mark to rise from 89 to the low 100s following this emphatic victory.

My other selection on Derby day was Barnet Fair, who never got a clear run in the Dash. Looking back this was always on the cards from his nearside stall. Keep him in mind for a similar race, possibly at Goodwood or later in the season at Ayr.

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