July 20, 2019 at 17:32 #1449012
…Will Coolmore ever let him on a horse again?
Having backed Star Catcher in the Irish Oaks I was delighted to see Frankie allowed to dictate a slow pace, with Fleeting, Pink Dogwood and Iridessa all out the back. Peach Tree goes well from the front and yet Seamie could not have done a better job in getting the three best team O’Brien horses beaten if he tried. Did he try? Has he fallen out with O’Brien/Coolmore? If not, he will do now.
Thanks Seamie.value is everythingJuly 20, 2019 at 18:21 #1449020
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What aload of nonsense.July 20, 2019 at 20:27 #1449026
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Coolmore jockeys ride exactly to instructions. Improvisation is not encouraged. Seamie would’ve done precisely as he was told there, likewise Donnacha and Moore.
Which I think makes you wonder why the instructions were so hopelessly half-baked! What was the point of the outclassed Peach Tree’s presence if they were just going to lob along beside Frankie without doing anything to help the two good hold-up fillies who really needed a good pace assist? Especially baffling given that Pink Dogwood and Fleeting had both already been undermined by being poorly-placed against pace biases this season. Did they not note the huge pace bias the Curragh has had recently? Did they not SEE how Frankie dictated to win the Ribblesdale on his filly? It really didn’t take a genius to see what might happen if they failed to act.
To me this all screams poor preparation – somebody has dropped the ball in working this race out and instructing the jockeys. I imagine of all people Ryan Moore would’ve been the most angry by how this race unfolded. He rose to prominence by improvising (remember rides like Notnowcato?!) and outthinking rival jockeys to steal races, much as SDS day in day out in the UK at the moment. I expect he was quietly seething after this little fiasco.
It just goes to show how little Coolmore/Ballydoyle care about what their fillies achieve on the racetrack. If they show any kind of 100+ ability, they’ll be going onto the farm to breed for the next 15+ seasons, so there aren’t really the urgent financial incentives they face with colts.July 20, 2019 at 20:33 #1449027
Here, Iridessa dropped out the back with Pink Dogwood, with Fleeting nearer the back than front.
Peach Tree the rank outsider of team O’Brien, who both stays much further than this trip and is fully effective from the front.
Races run at a steady pace favour runners ridden prominently and/or speedier sorts. ie When the early pace is steady those held up are up against it; trying to make ground on leaders as those leaders are themselves still quickening.
Heffernan’s failure to take on Star Catcher meant stayer Peach Tree herself was never going to have the speed once pace quickened.
Fleeting finished well at both Epsom and Ascot, but too late. Had the pace been a fraction stronger might have even won at either event. Once again didn’t have the truly run race best suiting her come from behind style or her stamina.
Pink Dogwood beaten for pace at 1m2f last time out and by far her best performance in a truly run 1m4f at Epsom. ie Should’ve been suited by this return to this greater test of stamina (1m4f)… However, dropped out the back here and – because of the stady pace – had the worst of both positional disadvantage and less of a test of stamina than it should’ve been.
Iridessa might have been suited by a test of speed, but along with Pink Dogwood I can’t believe would’ve been in that position had they known the pace would be steady.
Rival, Star Catcher given the best positional and speed advantage.
Iridessa’s market weakness and run suggests something amiss for her anyway and not saying the result would’ve necessarily been any different with the others either had the pace been different. What am saying is Seamie’s failure gave team O’Brien the very worst chance of winning and their main rival Star Catcher the maximum chance.
Given characteristics and positions of team O’Brien’s runners this was more than just a poor ride/tactics.value is everythingJuly 20, 2019 at 20:59 #1449029
Can’t believe Coolmore/Aidan are that stupid, LS.value is everythingJuly 20, 2019 at 21:28 #1449031
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I really think that’s what happened.
Seamie Heffernan is a veteran pro who has played the Coolmore game for years. If they told him to go hard and hassle Frankie into going a genuine pace, he would have carried it out and erred on the side of overdoing it if anything. With those instructions today’s ride would be such an unthinkably large error – far too big for anyone with Heffernan’s experience and long history of being the ultimate team player.
Really is worth noting that Ballydoyle don’t often play around with the pace in fillies/mares race. That kind of ‘race manipulation’ they tend to save for the colts, again hitting home how ‘fillies are the rake’ as far as they’re concerned.July 20, 2019 at 22:26 #1449035
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I backed Pink Dogwood but knew my fate as soon as I saw her slowly away and dropped out off what even I, a NH fan, could see was a slow pace. She fought for the first few furlongs ( must have caught a windscreen’s worth of flies in her gob) and I was thinking oh please just let her do what Kemboy did in the Lexus. I appreciate she was on the inside at the back though so perhaps not possible to get through or out and round and…orders is orders.
Anthony Oppenheimer interviewed on RTE afterwards said it was not the plan at all for Star Catcher to lead but that Frankie copped on immediately what was happening, ditched the instructions and rode the race to give his filly the best chance under the unexpected circumstances.
It must be very annoying not being allowed to improvise like that, or even to practise and implement plan B.July 20, 2019 at 22:44 #1449036
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Btw what did y’all think of the end of Pink Dogwood’s race? Can’t work out whether she is a little bit of a boat and that the turn of foot at Epsom was an optical illusion created by others slowing; or whether she lacks a bit of resolution at the business end. At the moment when space appeared in front of her she had another filly on her outside crowding her slightly (not bad riding just a normal thing when they’re getting down to brass tacks; I don’t know if they actually touched). Being a decent sized filly one would have expected a bit more confidence and bloody mindedness from PD in a “lean into me and I’ll get my shoulder into you and bowl you over” kind of a way. She seemed quite put off as if it wouldn’t take much to bully her off her line. Then she did pick up- kind of- but she didn’t really get her head down, neck out and give it the full welly to try to get past the others.
Just physically “couldn’t”…or an element of “wouldn’t” too?July 22, 2019 at 10:28 #1449089
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Definitely a very strange race from Coolmore. As most did, i expected them to go hard but for Seamie to give Frankie an easy lead was mind-boggling. As you say LS, especially when the Curragh looks to be favouring front runners this season.
Fleeting for me ran exactly the same race as she did at Ascot, coming with a good run before ducking in behind the leader.
Pink Dogwood wants some more juice in the ground, was highly tuned to win the Oaks & may even be a bit soft hence stopping in the Oaks once hitting the front? Last point still dubious but wouldn’t surprise me.
Her splits in the Oaks are definitely no ‘optical illusion’ – sectionals tell you that she quickened up very well.July 23, 2019 at 00:43 #1449145
The Verdict seems to agree with me; very surprised with Coolmore/Heffernan’s tactics on Pear Tree.value is everything
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