Gleneagles & Found Take A Breather – Weekend Review
The biggest news to emerge from the weekend was that Aidan O’Brien’s dual 2,000 Guineas winner, Gleneagles, did not take up his entry in Saturday’s Derby, while Found also misses the Oaks in favour of Royal Ascot.
Glen Out – Golden In
Gleneagles absence means John Gosden’s Dante winner, Golden Horn – supplemented for the race on Monday – is now the 7/4 favourite, with O’Brien’s best chance coming via his Chester Vase winner, Hans Holbein (12/1).
Another in the Derby headlines is Dermot Weld’s, Zawraq who was galloped over 1m2f at weekend, where he was strong at the finish, leaving Weld to believe he will stay Saturday’s 1m4f trip. He is currently 5/1 for Epsom glory.
On the subject of the Derby, there were two Derbies which took place elsewhere at the weekend, including in France, where Andre Fabre’s, New Bay, justified favoritism in beating Ballydoyle’s, Highland Reel, over 1l (1m2f, good to soft). It was a much-improved performance from Fabre’s colt, having previously finished runner-up in the French Guineas, and punters were in agreement, backing him into 10/1 for the Arc de Triomphe.
Also punted for the Arc was the Japanese Derby winner, Duramente, who made it a second Group 1 in just three career outings, winning by almost 2l (1m4f, firm). This colt looks the real deal and will no doubt have plenty of home support making the trip to France come Arc day, where the Japanese seek a long-awaited first win in the race.
Duramente is currently 12’s to make history, but could be a lot shorter if he adds further wins throughout the season.
It needs remembering, however, that the magnificent mare, Treve, will bid for a third consecutive win in the Arc, and showed her wellbeing via an effortless Group 2 victory on her return in France last Friday. She is now 5/2 for October’s big one.
Elsewhere in France, Willie Haggas’ progressive sprinter, Muthmir, won a Group 2 over 5f. This 5yo is going places, and will now make the step up to Group 1 company at Royal Ascot later in the month, where he is 6/1 for the King’s Stand Stakes.
Muthmir’s victory also formed part of a fantastic weekend for Paul Hanagan, who 24 hours earlier rode a four-timer at Haydock, having steered another improving Willie Haggas sprinter, Adday, to Group 2 victory over 6f.
Value For Ascot
Adday got the better of the previously unbeaten, Limato, to the tune of 1l, and the pair look set to clash again in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot – a Group 1 for 3yo’s over 6f. However, Limato remains 3/1 for that contest, as he may have been unsuited by the slower ground at Haydock, though as Adday also handles fast ground, he looks value at 8/1.
Also heading for Ascot is Clever Cookie, who made it a second Listed win at York on Saturday over 1m6f, having won a Group 3 at Chester last month. A 2m2f winner over hurdles, Peter Niven’s 7yo looks to be improving and is an interesting 10/1 shot for the Ascot Gold Cup over 2m4f.