epsom derby 2011/
Derby Hope Maxios Flops at Longchamp
The Jonathan Pease-trained Maxios, as short as 20/1 in the Epsom Derby betting before this weekend's Group 3 Prix La Force at Longchamp, did absolutely nothing to enhance his reputation when finishing last of the five runners in the 10 furlong contest won by the Aga Khan's Baraan, writes Elliot Slater.
Making his seasonal reappearance having won both outings as a juvenile last term, the Monsun colt was clearly unsuited by the funereal pace for much of the contest and was unable to quicken when eventually the field got into full stride turning for home. Stephane Pasquier's mount, (a horse bred to stay at least 12 furlongs), was clearly caught flat-footed and ended up some three-and-a-half lengths behind the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained winner.
Owned by the Niarchos Family, the half-brother to the 2004 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Bago has some serious work to do if he is to recover his reputation in time to be given the green light to take his chance at Epsom on June 4, a race for which he can now be backed at odds of up to 40/1.
Last season Maxios made a winning debut at Longchamp in September when running out an impressive four-length winner over a mile, then followed up at Saint Cloud in October overcoming the heavy ground to prove a short-head too strong for Private Jet in the Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon, showing a fine attitude in getting up in the very last stride under a strong drive from Christophe Lemaire.
Sunday's winner Baraan, could now represent the Aga Khan in the French Derby at Chantilly in June, both his owner and trainer suggesting the race as his most likely target with the Aga Khan already having already earmarked a trip to Epsom for his other big three-year-old hope Vadamar, currently a 25/1 shot to land the mile-and-a-half classic.