2000 Guineas' Controversy Continues
John Gosden is the trainer of KINGMAN who was second to NIGHT OF THUNDER in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
He believes the race would have worked out better for all if the horses had gone down the centre of the extremely wide course and had not split.
After TAGROODAH's victory in the Pretty Polly, he complained about Christophe Soumillon who sunk
the chances of a good horse like Spain's NOOZHOH CANARIAS in the race by ignoring his trainer's instructions not to ride from the front at great speed and lied to other trainers when he agreed to ride NC down the centre of the course.
They blame him for the race mess.
Gosden did admit that the winner, the runaway NIGHT OF THUNDER, would have won the Guineas by two lengths or more if he ran in a straight line.
It would have been a better race if Soumillon had followed good sense as did the fillies in the 1000 Guineas the following day.
Joseph O'Brien's Ban on Australia
Joseph O'Brien, son of trainer Aidan, received a two-day ban for excessive use of the whip on AUSTRALIA who came third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
One hopes the experience of jinking after NIGHT OF THUNDER's near collision and the beating do not hurt the lightly-race colt's chances as favourite in the Investec Derby June 7.
Commanding Curve Aims for Belmont
COMMANDING CURVE made a brilliant late run in the Kentucky Derby to grab second to CALIFORNIA CHROME by 1-½ lengths behind the winner.
His connections believe he is best suited to the longer trip of the Belmont Stakes (1½ miles) over the 1-3/16 mile of the Preakness.
He will also have extra time to recover for the June 7 race.
CALIFONIA CHROME is favourite in the Preakness, but most racing experts think he could be vulnerable in the longer trip at Belmont.
If he is, then it is another year without a Triple Crown winner.
Ride On Curlin's New Jockey
Trainer Billy Gowan was angry that Calvin Borel ignored race instructions in the Kentucky Derby and brought back a horse that was "not tired at all after the Derby".
Joel Rosario will replace Borel in the 1-3/16 mile Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Park.
No Preakness for Untapable
UNTAPABLE's trainer Steven Asmussen assured the media that his filly would not compete against colts in the Preakness Stakes May 17.
Asmussen had no firm comment about TAPITURE plans after his 10th in the Kentucky Derby.
Annie Power Reigns Supreme
Willie Mullins' new female superstar, 6yo ANNIE POWER IRE (Shirocco GER), has only finished second once in her 12 Rules races and that was to
Jonjo O'Neill's 6yo gelding MORE OF THAT at Cheltenham.
AP won her 11th race at Punchestown in the G1 EBF Mares Champion Hurdle, 2m2f on good to firm Turf, by 7 lengths over JENNIES JEWEL and another 3-1/2 lengths over KATIE T.
ANNIE POWER was sent out 1/6 fav in recognition of her exceptional talent.
Her trainer has a choice of any hurdle race for next season.
Even now she is quoted at 15/1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup which is a race over fences.
With QUEVEGA's retirement this week, ANNIE POWER is the most accomplished mare in Jump racing.
Ruby Walsh will continue to ride her.
Taghrooda Now Favourite For Oaks
©British Champions Series
She looks just like him in female form. She moves just like him with casual power and fluidity. She has the cool confidence that he exuded when taking on lesser mortal horses (all of them).
She's as beautiful as he is handsome.
She's her father's daughter in every way and, if TAGHROODA GB wins the Investec Oaks as 3/1-to-evens favourite, she will validate his record forever with his first Classic winner as a young sire.
He could only be 8yo SEA THE STARS IRE (Cape Cross IRE - Urban Sea USA [Miswaki USA]) and half brother to GALILEO IRE by Urban Sea.
Frankie Dettori considers him to be the greatest Turf horse of our age and I compare him to SECRETARIAT on Turf.
He won 6 Group 1s at three from 8f to 12 (including the 2000 Guineas and the Arc de Triomphe). His Timeform Rating is 140 which many think is too low.
He stands at The Aga Khan Studs for a mere 85,000 euros for Hong Kong owner Christopher Tsui.
His first crop winner is respected MY TITANIA who, at two, won a G2 at 8f and is an exceptional 8-12f G1 winner at three.
In his second crop as a sire, there are 33 males entered in the Investec Derby.
But there is no question that his filly TAGHROODA has the best chance of being his first Classic winner in the 1m4f Oaks at Sandown Park.
Her trainer John Gosden has MUNJAZ GB (Sea The Stars - Qurrah [Zafonic USA]) in the Derby for her owner, Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum. He will have his prep in the Lingfield Derby Trial over 11 furlongs May 10.
Even if MUNJAZ wins the Derby, the Oaks is on a Friday and the Derby on Saturday - she could still be STS' first Classic winner.
TAGHROODA and MUNJAZ are Shadwell Stud homebreds.
Her dam is Sheikh Hamdan's distinguished mare EZIMA (Saddler's Wells USA).
The filly won her maiden in September at two (8f at Newmarket) and her 10f Oaks' prep May 4 at Newmarket.
She creamed Listed Pretty Polly's five other entries May 4 by six effortless furlongs in a hands-and-heels ride by Paul Hanagan who has probably never had an easier race.
JORDAN PRINCESS was second and Godolphin's SOUND REFLECTION 3rd by a ¼ length.
SR could have been second and might have offered a race if Mikael Barzalona were not playing his usual tricks. He burnt out his willing filly leaving her unprotected way out in front as if he was the pacemaker. He wasn't.
How much longer will Charlie Appleby tolerate his games?
Given the addition of Kieren Fallon as co-retained jockey to Godolphin, I expect a long-overdue shakeout.
Gosden described TAGHROODA as a sweet-natured, willing filly who just waits for an 'ask' and then delivers.
He is looking for another prep race for her before the June 6 Oaks to give her a little more experience before the Oaks.
She has only had two career races and the additional two furlongs will be farther than she has run, but she is bred for the 1m4f and looked as if she could have kept going in a canter in the Pretty Polly.
Sandown is a tricky course with treacherous cambers, twists, turns, rises, dips and a fairly long home straight. It will find out all but the best and stoutest horses.
She must be something extraordinary for the pros to agree that she she is the unquestioned favourite with only two previous races to her credit.
Wouldn't it be extraordinary if both SEA THE STARS' 3yos delivered the Derby and Oaks to jockey Paul Hanagan, trainer John Gosden and owner/breeder Sheikh Hamdan?
SEA THE STARS in winning form in photo below:
©Sea The Stars Timeline Photo
Not to slight the other SEA THE STARS' fillies, see our article "Sea The Stars' 3yo Fillies Are Firing" which covers VAZIRA FR, AUTUMN SUNLIGHT IRE and Sheikh Hamdan's other beauty HADAATHA IRE (photo proves the point).
According to CALIFORNIA CHROME'S trainer Art Sherman, the colt will compete in the 139th Preakness Stakes, 1-3/16m on Dirt, at Pimlico Park May 17.
Resting at Churchill Downs, the colt should arrive at Pimlico May 12 for the second leg of the Triple Crown - the USA's Classics for 3yos.
It will be another first for Sherman who has never ridden at or trained a horse that ran at Pimlico.
Dallas Stewart who trains the Kentucky Derby second, exciting COMMANDING CURVE, assured that "We'll be there."
DANZA (third) and RIDE ON CURLIN (seventh) are the only other Derby competitors who are committed to the race at this point.
Most New York-based horses will not compete in the Preakness.
Violette, SAMRAAT's trainer, said he might re-think his decision if for
some reason CALIFORNIA CHROME didn't make the Preakness.
Others under consideration are BAYERN, DYNAMIC IMPACT, KID CRUZ, OUR CARAVAN, PABLO DEL MONTE (who qualified for the Derby but bypassed it for the Preakness), RING WEEKEND and SOCIAL INCLUSION.
Sadly UNTAPABLE's connections feel it is "not in her best interest to run back in two weeks".
Sea The Stars' 3yo Fillies are Firing
VAZIRA FR, with omnipresent Christophe Soumillon, shunted back the more experienced 3yo filly, KENZADARGENT FR, to a short neck loss in only her second start (won both) in Group 3 Prix Vanteaux, 1m1f55y on Turf at Longchamp.
She is trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for the Aga Khan who bred her at his Haras.
SEA THE STARS IRE holds stud court at the Aga Khan's Farm.
VAZIRA is third SEA THE STARS IRE filly to show exceptional talent out of his first 3yo crop.
Moyglare bred and raced AFTERNOON SUNLIGHT IRE won her maidan at Limerick by five lengths over ACHNAHA IRE for trainer Dermot Weld.
Shadwell bred HADAATHA IRE won her first race out at Newmarket - the Rossdales Maiden Fillies' Stakes - under Paul Hanagan over John Gosden's EASTERN BELLE GB.
HADAATHA (centre below) is trained by Roger Varian and owned by Shadwell's owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.