August 5, 2007 at 08:29 #4798
Just a throwaway thought, but with such criticism about over the standard and ability of the winners of the Derby would the standard be improved by allowing geldings to run in it.
Please no knee-jerk reactionary responses, have a think about it.
…………..and on the same lines, is the race run to early in the season to hope to decide the best 12f. 3-y-o?…………..not many 3-y-os get 12f. by the start of June.August 5, 2007 at 08:54 #110556Irish StampMember
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It’s run way too early in the season Seabird and for a Championship 3yo race at totally the wrong track. Will they change it to Ascot or York though?
No because 200 years of prestige is much more important in the HRA’s eyes than having a credible and deserving winner.
Ideally I’d run it mid-July and take the King George back to mid-August.August 5, 2007 at 08:55 #110557PrufrockParticipant
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I see no good reason why geldings should be excluded from the Derby and all other Group races, but I doubt it would achieve the aim of bolstering the Epsom classic significantly.
Just looking through the posed portraits in the last two Timeform Racehorses annuals (a short, but not infallible, cut to identifying good 3-y-o geldings), only Road To Love might have run otherwise, and he would have failed to stay.August 5, 2007 at 09:09 #110558TheCheeksterMember
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What I find odd is that geldings can run in the ‘trials’. Specifically the Chester Vase. Yet fillies can’t.
Wheres the logic in that?August 5, 2007 at 10:33 #110562GalejadeMember
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By all means let geldings run in any race – here seems no reason not to.
Irish Stamp has raised very interesting questions on the timing of the Derby and the track and that is much more complex IMO. If the Derby was put back the effect on the current system of pattern races designed to find a true champion capable of running over a variety of distances would be majorally impacted. The Eclipse would be an aged horse only event as would the Juddmonte International since it would clash with the King George. Hence the emergence of a true Champion 3y0 capable of being the best over both 10 and 12f would be lost and racing would become narrowed and more specialised than ever.
Along similar lines I would argue that the use of courses such as Epsom to find a true Champion are also essential. A truly great horse should be able to run both up and downhill and around bends and we should be aiming to breed horses of the balance and conformation capable of doing so. As a breeder I would hate to see the emergence of animals only capable of running in straight lines on a flat track. The conformational deficiency this would allow in horses would lead to unsound animals with a greater degree of breakdowns then the high levels we already endure.
As Peter Allis is fond of saying when professional golfers complain about the set up of chmpionship golf courses " this is todays examination paper -get on with it". If we want proper Champion racehorses then they should be set tough and comprehensive examinations.August 5, 2007 at 10:54 #110568
…………even though the teacher didn’t have time to cover the whole syllabus?!
ColinAugust 5, 2007 at 11:04 #110572stevedvgMember
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If it continues down its current path, I think the Derby is headed the way of the Leger.
In recent years, the winner of the Irish Derby has gone on to do far more than the winner of the English.
I think there are 2 reasons why:
(1) The Epsom Derby seems to cause a lot of horses to get injured.
(2) Epsom comes earlier in the season.
So, you’ve got to think that owners/trainers (particularly in Ireland & France) will be increasingly inclined to send their best 12f 3yo’s to Ireland instead.
And, if this was to continue, the English derby will end up as an anachronism (like the boat race) and the real racing fans will know that the Curragh or Longhcamp (the GP de Paris) is where you’ll find the "real Derby".
SteveAugust 5, 2007 at 11:12 #110575
Steve, I would suggest that Galejade is saying that the fact that more horses are likely to be injured at Epsom makes it a better test of the breed. If the horse’s legs are not up to running down the side of a "mountain" on what is quite often firm ground, then he shouldn’t be bred from.
ColinAugust 5, 2007 at 11:20 #110577sberryMember
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and if it’s moved back to the summer and away from epsom and geldings allowed to run it might be a good idea to run it on the AW at lingfield in the hope of tempting some of the good horses from america and dubai over to boost the form of the race ?
why must people meddle with the good things in life ?August 5, 2007 at 11:51 #110578GalejadeMember
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When did Epsom become a mountain? was it after Galileo ( now the leading 3rd season sire by a mile), or High Chapparral or Hawk Wing.
As you can see from above ( + Dylan Thomas) one leading Irish owner/trainer does not agree with you at least. He made a real effort to win it this year too – how many did he run?
Most breeders agree that one defining characteristic of all good race horses is that they are well balanced and it is certainly a characteristic much sought for in yearling buying. Without same you cannot run quickly up and down hills or around bends thereby differentiating the horse from a Camel who runs almost as fast in a straight lineAugust 5, 2007 at 12:26 #110581
Galejade, did you not note the punctuation marks around "mountain", of course it was an exaggeration.
To answer your question, NO, it was always thus but there are a number of horses who have never raced after taking part in this particular race.
The reason connections run their horses in the race are because they have to, if they want to win, what is referred to as, the Blue Riband of the turf. But ask them if they would rather the race was run on a more orthodox course than Epsom and I have a strong feeling that I know what their answer would be.
ColinAugust 5, 2007 at 13:01 #110584nitroMember
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Reminds me Funny Cide who was the first gelding who has won the Kentucky Derby some years ago.August 5, 2007 at 14:52 #110595Young MickMember
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Personally I am happy when the derby is run and I think it would be a bad idea for geldings to run in it. One of the reasons why the derby creates so much hype is because the horse who wins in can go on to sire, then people can say. I have the son of a derby winner and so on. If you let geldings run in it and say they won the 1st two years, I think it would be an anti climax. This is because you will never see if he can go on to produce great offspring.
Although personally I have never thought much of Authorized you cannot take it away from him that it won by the distance it did, although the last couple of years the derby has been substandard. Also I think the reason why derby horses run poorly afterwards is because the trainers build them up to hit there peak for that one race.
I don’t think making it later in the year would change much because then when would you have the St Leger.August 5, 2007 at 15:27 #110601stevedvgMember
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As you can see from above ( + Dylan Thomas) one leading Irish owner/trainer does not agree with you at least.
Re-red my post. There’s a difference between the future tense and the present tense.
He made a real effort to win it this year too – how many did he run?
A “real” effort? So, if he ran 10, it would mean he was making even more of an effort? If he ran 2, he couldn’t be arsed?
I though O’Brien ran lots of horses for 3 reasons:
(a) Prize money
(b) that it was, bar the favourite, a weak G1 where his horses had good chances of picking up black type.
(c) by running so many, there was a chance Dettori’s head would have exploded and he would have beaten himself. Thus leaving the door open for one of his horses to win.
then people can say. I have the son of a derby winner
Immediately followed by the words
“… and he got second place in a juvenile hurdle at Cartmel a few months ago … we we’re really chuffed.”
SteveAugust 5, 2007 at 16:08 #110606insomniacParticipant
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Can anyone name a GP1 race that is CONSISTENTLY won by a top-class horse?
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