epsom derby 2013 /
Epsom Derby Can Provide New Dawn for Godolphin
The dust may have settled on a busy weekend at Newmarket but what exactly have we learnt from the first two classics of the season in the Rowley Mile? The Guineas are always a fascinating spectacle as punters look for the three year olds to follow through the forthcoming season, as well keeping an eye on those who may have struggled to progress as expected over the winter. There was no doubting the star of the weekend was Dawn Approach who romped to victory in the 2000 Guineas to further mark himself out as the next potential superstar of flat racing.
Trainer, Jim Bolger, has been waxing lyrical about Dawn Approach to anyone that would listen and once again he was proven right has the horse extended through the line five lengths clear of his nearest rival to win with notable style. Part owner, Sheikh Mohammed, was on hand to see the Colt romp to victory, with Godolphin beginning the long process of repairing their tarnished reputation - It was the first time the ruler of Dubai had been on a UK racecourse since the Mahmood Al Zarooni drug scandal and the performance of Dawn Approach will have surely been a timely boost to the long time supporters of racing. Connections have now been quick to say that the Epsom Derby is the next stop for the horse and he would have to have a favourite’s chance at the start of June, for which his odds were slashed from 12/1 to 3/1 immediately after the race and the son of 2008 Derby winner, New Approach, is now a best price 7/4 for Epsom glory. Victory on 1st June would certainly be the perfect tonic for Godolphin, who haven't had a winner of the Classic since Lammtarra in 1995, following recent revelations.
The biggest disappointment from the 2000 guineas was the hotly fancied Toronado who faded badly over the final furlong. The Richard Hannon horse won the Craven Stakes in some style recently but was legless as he crossed the line on Saturday after travelling well for the majority of the race. The run left both trainer and jockey bemused while a trip to the Derby now looks unlikely for Toronado, who may be given a rest now before running at Royal Ascot next month.
The Hannons may have been left down in the dumps following the 2000 Guineas but they bounced back just 24 hours later. Sky Lantern produced a game performance under a cracking ride from Richard Hughes to land the 1000 Guineas at a nice price of 9/1. The Champion jockey was delighted to have ridden his first British classic winner on the filly and she now looks like one to follow going forward. Sky Lantern got up in the final furlong to beat Just The Judge in a thrilling finish and it’s fair to say that both horses are likely to be in the winning enclosure again this summer. Sky Lantern will likely head for the Coronation Stakes at Ascot whilst Just The Judge will take her chance in the Oaks at the Derby meeting, for which the Charlie Hills trained filly is a best 9/1 chance with Boylesports.
Pre-race favourite Hot Snap looked green as she flopped for Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally despite starting the race well backed. Connections were left scratching their heads following the race and it will be interesting to follow this interesting, but inconsistent filly this season. Hot Snap showed a devastating turn of foot to win the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket last month but the jury remains out on her future plans after her latest Rowley Mile disappointment.
There was a decent run from the Aidan O’Brien trained Moth who finished back in third place despite still looking green. Ballydoyle were clearly happy with the run and Moth could be one to keep an eye on with regard to the Oaks at Epsom next month, with the step up trip likely to play to her strengths and could be capable of reversing the Newmarket form with Just The Judge as the odds suggest with the daughter of Galileo the 7/2 favourite for the fillies classic.