Friday, July 23, 2010

Two Group I wins for Godolphin at Hamburg: Snow Fairy completes Oaks double

A photo was consulted before the verdict was announced in the Oaks at Epsom. The Ed Dunlop-trained Snow Fairy had beaten Meeznah by the narrowest of margins in the 2400-metre Classic to give jockey Ryan Moore his first success in a British Classic. Remember When, an Aidan O’Brien trainee, was third.

The three Epsom finishers returned to renew rivalry in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh last Sunday. There were 15 three year-old girls after the defection of Rosanara who had chased Sarafina home in the French Oaks at Chantilly. Trainer Ed Dunlop took a leap of faith when supplementing his filly. Hibaayeb was trying to give the Godolphin group their first win in the Oaks after running away with the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and was another supplementary entry. Miss Jean Brodie, another Godolphin runner, was sent out by Mahmood Al Zarooni. Ballydoyle was in the Oaks with a five-sided assault.

When Ryan Moore let Snow Fairy loose in the long and demanding Curragh homestretch, announcer Des Scahill had no difficulty in spotting the winner of the Irish Oaks. Snow Fairy left her rivals standing in one of the easiest Oaks victories. Des Scahill said, “the farther she goes, the farther she wins.”

Miss Jean Brodie took the runner-up berth. Lady Lupus salvaged third and Meeznah ran fourth. The victory was worth 246,000 pounds to the winner. It was an Oaks double for Snow Fairy.

Let us take a look at what happened at Arlington Park last Saturday. Tuscan Evening made it six for six in 2010 with an authoritative win in the Grade III Modesty Handicap. The five year-old mare, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, was the 4-5 favorite and was ridden by Rafael Bejarano. She made it all in the 1700-metre grass race. Tuscan Evening won by one half length over Éclair De Lune. It was the eighth Graded win for Tuscan Evening since arriving from the UK in late 2008.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said, “I would love to come back for the Beverly D ( Aug 21) and that’s why we came here today. She shipped well and she liked the course. If she comes out this race well, we will return.”

The Arlington Handicap, a Grade III 2000-metre grass contest, was taken by Rahystrada. A Byron Hughes pupil, Rahystrada was ridden by Inez Karlsson. The winning margin was one half length over Just As Well, last year’s Arlington Handicap winner. Tajaweed, the 2008 Chester Vase winner in England, finished third. General Quarters, strongly fancied, was a disappointment and was sixth. Firm ground was given as the reason for the subpar showing.

The third big race in the Arlington Park card on Saturday was the Grade II American Derby (turf) over one mile and one half furlongs. Workin For Hops, the 6-4 favorite, hit the front and stayed on to win with a measure of comfort. Mike Stidham trains Workin For Hops who also won the Arlington Classic earlier in the meeting. Francisco Torres was aboard on Saturday.

Last Friday at Hamburg in Germany, Govinda, a 109/10 chance, won the Hamburg Flieger Trophy, a race for three year-olds and up. E Pedroza rode Govinda who travelled the 1200-metre turf trip in 1 10.24 seconds. Govinda is trained by A Wohler, one of Germany’s perennial leading lights. Govinda is a sophomore colt by Pulpit who is by A P Indy. Now the questions is, what is Govinda doing in Hamburg? Hyderabad, yes, and may be Bangalore. In California, there was a horse called Harinarayana some years ago. Lord Vishnu is becoming popular in other parts of the world.

On Sunday at Hamburg, Buzzword became a rare overseas horse to win the Group I Hamburg-Idee Deutsches Derby, a 2400-metre contest for three year-olds. The race was thrown open to foreign-breds in 1993. Buzzword, a son of Dubawi, was supplemented at a cost of 50,000 pounds. Royston Ffrench rode Buzzword who is trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni. Buzzword gave the Godolphin team its third Group I (all in Europe) win this year. One with Suroor, the second with Andre Fabre and the third with Al Zarooni.

Another supplementary entry, Monterosso, Kieren Fallon up, was off color. Winner of the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot, Monterosso was fourth behind Cape Blanco in the Irish Derby and had a large following in the German Derby on Sunday.

Paddy O’Prado made no mistake in the Virginia Derby last Saturday at Colonial Downs. It was a Grade II turf race over 2000 metres. Kent Desormeaux got a ground-saving trip and got through on the fence in the lane. A grey son of El Prado, Paddy O’Prado was the 3/5 favorite.

Dale Romans, Paddy O’Prado’s trainer, spoke. “He just keeps getting better and better. He’s doing so good on the grass, I could not think of taking him off it for now. The Secretariat on Million Day at Arlington is next.”

In US action last Saturday, Sidney’s Candy was beaten in the Swaps at Hollywood Park. The Swaps was over 1800 metres. Four ran and Sidney’s Candy was the prohibitive favorite at 1-5. Sidney’s Candy was returning after a tough race in the Kentucky Derby. Skipshot tracked the leader and made up a length and a half in the last 200 to win by a head. It was Skipshot’s first stakes win. Joel Rosario rode for Jerry Hollendorfer. Sidney’s Candy ran the first 800 in 48.78 and could not hold on. The final time was 1 49.94. Skipshot paid $10.20. There is no doubt that Sidney’s Candy was rusty.

At Hamburg last Saturday, Frankie Dettori won a Group I race for his patron, Sheikh Mohammed. Campanologist took the Grosser Preis Von Lotto Hamburg, a 2400-metre race. It was the first Group I this year for trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Campanologist was a 33/10 chance. Wiener Walzer, the 2009 German Derby winner and the favorite, set the pace and could not hold on. A son of Kingmambo, Campanologist won by three parts of a length.

Jockey Dettori commented. “He (Campanologist) is really tough and genuine and deserves this Group I. He was in great form today. We have done it. “

Saeed bin Suroor said, “We have no specific plans. He is entered in all remaining German G I races. So, we’ll be back.”

Tomorrow, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be run at Ascot. Rachel Alexandra heads the Lady’s Secret field at Monmouth Park on Saturday. Canterbury Park has a six race claiming crown series on Saturday. I will be at Canterbury on Saturday.

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