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Does William Haggas dislike the Derby?

Home Forums Horse Racing Does William Haggas dislike the Derby?

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    Avatar photoChivers1987
    • Total Posts 1742

    No runner since 2018 and doesn’t want to send the horse who has produced the best 3 year old middle distance performance so far this season.
    He was on the NLD podcast today and it sounded like he didn’t have a positive view on the race. Thinks it can ruin horses, I’m sure he wasn’t just specifically thinking about Economics for that view.
    He wants to give the horse a chance to mature and progress so it begs the question, would he run Economics in the Derby if it was run a bit later on?

    I know he said he’s not an Epsom type but he’s also not running in the French Derby. It’s disappointing as the race (Epsom) looks a bit of a dud but they think this is the best way to get the most out of the horse in the future and who am I to argue?

    Avatar photoGladiateur
    • Total Posts 4516

    Seeing that he’s won the race before (and The Oaks, too), I don’t believe that it’s a question of his not liking the race.

    Instead, he appears to be one of those (increasingly rare) trainers who puts the horse first.

    If I were lucky enough to win the Euromillions, he’d be high on my list of potential trainers.

    Avatar photoCork All Star
    • Total Posts 8360

    I believe he thinks the race left a mark on Shaamit, a horse that had only raced once before running at Epsom. Economics has only run three times. Perhaps he doesn’t think the race is suitable for such inexperienced horses.

    Avatar photoChivers1987
    • Total Posts 1742

    No runner in the Oaks since 2019 too. Not out of the realms of possibility that he has changed his tune. Frankellina in 2018 ran a very close 2nd in the Musidora, made no impact in the Oaks and ran shockers in lesser races afterwards.
    Young Rascal in 2018 had 112 days off the track after a no-show in the Derby. He did win a couple of group 3’s but then went downhill.
    He’s a great trainer and ambassador to the sport, as far as I’m concerned I wouldn’t question any decision he makes but I think there is something in it to have concern about if more and more of the racing population actively swerve the ‘greatest flat race in the world’.

    Avatar photoChivers1987
    • Total Posts 1742

    Yep, It could just be the inexperienced angle. Still, if Epsom is viewed as a bit of a graveyard for these horses then it’s not great, exacerbated this year by the underwhelming current line up.

    • Total Posts 7425

    I could see in the closing stages of his last run he was looking unfurnished still. Right decision to skip Epsom imo, I don’t think he would’ve handled the course very well.

    Avatar photoyeats
    • Total Posts 3390

    It makes sense what Haggas says, the Dante was too close to The Derby and the horse did have blood on his nose after it. I thought they may have took up the opportunity of the Irish Derby but they want to stick at 10 furlongs.
    Haggas has always been a trainer who usually spreads a horse’s runs out so no different here. He would never forgive himself if he ran in The Derby against his better judgement and it all went wrong.

    • Total Posts 1630

    He’s lucky he’s got patient owners. I wonder what he will think if ancient wisdom scoots up. You can see his point when you see the poor record of winners after the race in recent years. Aiden not sending capulet or Henry longfellow who on paper looked to be in with a shout says a lot. All points to 12f not being attractive to breeders and I do worry about the race which is terrible given its history. Golden horn being an nh sire not a good look for the race either. Hopefully a cracking horse comes out of the race to restore its fortunes. Time for Diego to come to the rescue.

    • Total Posts 2985

    I think doing the best for the horse at this time is something that he views as more important and all credit to him for making the difficult much less popular choice – is it disapointing he is not running, yes but if he would have run and ended up all at sea and finishing mid field then many would point the finger at him for running such an inexperience horse.

    Yes Shammit did win off the back of just two runs over a mile at 2 but as his wife said in an interview with Chapman, he was a completely different more compact/put together type of horse that they felt was up to dealing with the challenge of Epsom at that stage of his career.

    It very well may have taken an edge of him and although Shammit never won again afterwards, it wasn’t as if he ran badly, he was 3rd (beaten 2L) in the King George and 4th in the Irish Champion Stakes (beaten 3L) before finishing 7th in the Arc (the first and only time he had finished out of the 1st four in his career).

    Economics was respectively a later foal than Shammit and only made it to the racecourse once as a two year old in a backend November Newmarket Novice race – he is a much bigger, longer striding more backward type of horse than Shammit was and asking him to try and negotiate Epsom’s undulations on ground likely to be the quickest he will have faced to date the trainer clearly thinks is (at this stage of his career) likely to do more harm than good for his long term future.

    I am a bit surprised that they are not looking to go beyond 10F this year as nothing about York’s performance suggested that he wouldn’t be suited by another 1.5F but there we are. Fingers crossed the horse proves that this decision will reap the rewards later in the season.

    Avatar photoTonge
    • Total Posts 2833

    No surprise that he’s not going for the Derby. Big raw horse who could well be ruined for the rest of the season by running and probably wouldn’t handle the course anyway. The Derby isn’t the automatic stallion maker that it once was but I don’t think that’s down to the distance so much as some recent poor quality winners. Golden Horn should be standing in France or Japan where he would be appreciated for the quality racehorse he was.

    Avatar photocormack15
    • Total Posts 9203

    Maureen Haggas’s comment to Matt Chapman along the lines of ‘people say the Derby is everything, it isn’t’ underlined that it is certainly not at the top of their agenda.

    He’s extremely patient with his good horses and I think primary among his mantras would be ‘don’t **** it up’.

    I personally think it is the right decision although it does take a significant layer of gloss off a race which is a has a matt beige look to it at the minute.

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