Former jockey Joseph O'Brien, who recently retired from riding due to difficulty controlling his weight, revealed to the Racing Post web-site today that he expects to receive to his training licence this week and expects to have his first runners in his own name by next Monday.
Can't help but wonder though watching Vazirabad in these 15f & 16f races if dropping down in trip to 12f might not prove to be just a bit on the sharp side for him? He also has an entry in the G1 Coronation Cup, but I'd say it's very unlikely now that he'd go to Epsom because it would be such a quick turnaround after his having just ran today in the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at Saint-Cloud.
From today's Racing Post web-site: Red Verdon will be supplemented on Monday into this year's G1 Investec Derby field after pleasing trainer Ed Dunlop on Sunday morning with a piece of work he turned in being ridden jockey Silvestre De Sousa. Dunlop told the Racing Post that provided a routine scope comes back without any issues on the son of Lemon Drop Kid that he will be supplemented on Monday for Epsom at a cost of $75,000(Euro).
For my money, Vazirabad is the best stayer in Europe right now. Today's win in the G2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at Saint-Cloud runs his career record to 8-6-1-0 and he's an unbeaten 4 for 4 at group level to date. His only 2 losses came very early in his career in his very first start for unraced maidens and on his second start in a conditions race where he finished 2nd.
Great news! The top international turf milers are willing travel, I.E., Maurice, Solow, etc....A big run by Tepin in the Queen Anne Stakes could firmly stamp her name right up there with those kinds of horses. In my view, the biggest thing she has to overcome that's different than the way she's been running in the states is learning to negotiate the straight mile vs. racing around turns/bends like she's won all of her graded stakes doing in the states. It's a different animal entirely.
It's not likely the stewards at Ascot will agree to make concessions for her to use a nasal strip, but in fairness, it's something that's never been allowed for races anywhere in the UK. Just like Lasix. I hope I'm wrong because I really see how Tepin fares against some of the top European turf milers outside of the states, but it won't at all surprise me if we're hearing by in the morning that Tepin won't be headed to Ascot.
This filly has very quietly, sort of under the radar, built herself a really fine record and she's got a killer turn of foot also.
From this afternoon's Racing Post web-site: English 1000 Guineas 2nd, Ballydoyle, will miss the G1 Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 3rd but English 1000 Guineas winner & Irish 1000 Guineas 2nd, Minding, is still on track for Epsom according to a statement released earlier this afternoon by trainer Aidan O'Brien. O'Brien had actually mentioned splitting the pair up a few weeks back after they ran 1st & 2nd at Newmarket in the English 1000 Guineas, saying he may send Ballydoyle to France for the G1 Prix de Diane(French Oaks), and he also named the G1 Coronation Stakes during next month's royal meeting at Ascot as a possible target for Ballydoyle as well.
It was announced earlier this week by Coolmore's UK representative, Kevin Buckley, that The Gurkha, who was an impressive 8 length winner of the French 2000 Guineas at Deauville will not go to Epsom to run in the Derby but will instead be sent to Royal-Ascot to run in the St James's Palace Stakes. A decision that I feel certain was made in large part due to Air Force Blue's back to back clunkers in the English & Irish 2000 Guineas. Buckley went on to say that Coolmore's 4 probable starters for the Derby at Epsom will likely be US Army Ranger, Port Douglas, Idaho, & Deauville. There's no way of knowing how well The Gurkha would or wouldn't handle the step up in trip to 2400m for the Derby, but he's certainly proven he's lethal at a mile and I think will be the horse to beat in the St James's Palace Stakes. His performance at Deauville translated over to Newmarket or the Curragh would've put multiple lengths on Galileo Gold in the English Guineas or on Awtaad in the Irish Guineas either one, IMO.
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