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  1. #31
    Senior Member Statto's Avatar
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    There are some key trends for the Derby, taken over the last fifteen years, and they centre around the top of the market.

    - Twelve of the last fifteen winners won their last race, and the other three finished second. So if your Derby fancy was third or worse last time, it doesn’t look good…

    - No Epsom Derby winner has started at a bigger price than 7/1 since 1998 (when the favourite was a filly!). The year before, 1997, Entrepreneur was sent off the 4/6 favourite having won the 2000 guineas on his previous start. He finished 4th. Since then, Sea The Stars has done the double (2009, 11/4). This year’s hot favourite, Camelot, will also bid for the 2000 Guineas / Epsom Derby double.

    - The top four in the betting have won 14/15, and all of the last thirteen Derby’s.

    - Of those to be officially rated by the handicapper, all were rated 108 or more, and all bar one were 113+

    - Thirteen out of those fifteen were returning to the track within 16-30 days of their last run.

    - Twelve of the last fifteen Epsom winners had had between three and five career runs, prior to Derby glory.

    - priced under 6/1


    From racecaller

  2. #32
    Forced Kin
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    Fate of the fav ...

    Camelot is as short as 4-7 for Saturday's Investec Derby and is certain to be sent off as favourite providing he lines up.

    There have been some surprising on the day drifts from short-priced favourites (think Big Buck's) in the past 12 months as the bookmakers fight for the punters' pennies but Ladbrokes are the firm going shortest about the son of the late Montjeu and the Magic Sign aren't usually too wide of the mark when it comes to horses trained at Ballydoyle.

    The QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner was always expected to be something special having produced some incredible data in his work at home and, thus far, hasn't fallen short of expectations.

    The market confidence since his Newmarket triumph suggests that Camelot's still churning out impressive figures as he burns up the gallops but what does the data say about the fate of favourites in the Epsom Classic?

    The shortest priced winner of the Derby was 1894 scorer Ladas who obliged at odds of 2-9 under John Watts for trainer Matthew Dawson.

    He numbers one of the 17 odds-on shots to have justified their market position on the Downs with the most recent being Shergar at 10-11 in 1989.

    That's not a hugely impressive strike rate as almost half as many odds-on favourites have been beaten as have succeeded with 14 jollies leaving their supporters less than that.

    The most recent of those was Entrepreneur who foiled the public's attempt to get a better rate than the banks provide when finishing only fourth in 1997 while Tenby preceded him in his dishonour when 10th in 1993.

    The shortest priced losing favourite was Surefoot (inappropriately named as it turns out) who could finish only fourth in 1890 at 40/95.

    So where will Camelot find his place in history?

    Since 1965, 50 favourites (including four joint-favourites) have carried the weight of a nation's hopes and dreams on their backs and 17 of them have brought home the bacon.

    There was a golden period for the market leaders with six winners in the first nine years of that period, including a hat-trick of successes featuring Nijinsky, Mill Reef and Roberto.

    A feat achieved again at the start of the '80s with Shergar, Golden Fleece and Teenoso doing the business before El Gran Senor's second at 8-11 saved the layers from a beating but Slip Anchor put the market leaders back on top in 1985.

    You'll have noticed that we're clocking up the winning favourites at an alarming rate and we're still in the 1980s, a decade where there were further successes for Reference Point and Nashwan bringing the tally to 12 by the time 1990 came around.

    That all means, of course, that there have been slim pickings in the intervening 21 years with just five favourites landing the money in that time with the well-backed Carlton House falling at Pour Moi's guillotine 12 months ago.

    Hawk Wing, Fame And Glory and Jan Vermeer (who he?) have all headed the betting for Aidan O'Brien since Galileo provided the handler with his first Blue Riband success in 2001 and all have come up short, albeit Hawk Wing finished second to a stablemate.

    Putting a more positive spin on the date and, to paraphrase, there are lies, damned lies and data; three of the last nine (one joint) favourites have been successful suggesting a recent swing back in favour of the fortunes of the market leaders.

    The last favourite to oblige was 2007 hero Authorized, a Racing Post Trophy winning son of Montjeu as, coincidentally, was the previous winning favourite Motivator - is there an omen there?

  3. #33
    Brillant analysis from Donn McClean. The Frankie thing is hard to understand.

    Where to begin? Camelot. Where else. Will he stay, won’t he stay? He was a stayer until he won the Guineas, the worry was that he wouldn’t have the pace to win a Classic over a mile, and now that he has, some are questioning his stamina for a mile and a half.

    On one hand, he is similar to Sea The Stars, a top class thoroughbred, bred to excel over middle distances, who got away with it in the Guineas, using his class to see him home over the bare eight furlongs. In another, his profile is not wholly dissimilar to Entrepreneur’s, high-class juvenile, Guineas winner, bred for further, sent off at odds-on in the Derby. Entrepreneur finished fourth in the Derby, beaten eight lengths by the Dante winner Benny The Dip (this year’s Bonfire), who just got home by a short head from subsequent St Leger winner Silver Patriarch (Thought Worthy?).

    Okay, so we covered the points for and the points against Camelot a couple of days ago, but that doesn’t mean he still isn’t a talking one (point, that is).

    Next? Joseph O’Brien. Will he be able to handle the pressure, they are asking. I’m not sure, do you feel pressure when you are 19? I remember the pressure of turning over the Leaving Cert English Paper II and scanning it for the word Kinsella with the word Thomas close by and something about discussing his poetry, but that was a different type of pressure. Sporting pressure, I’m not so sure. Standing on the 21-yard line with the ball in your hands and the goalposts in front of you and the minor county final in your grasp (okay, so it’s not quite the Derby, but you’re getting down that road), are you going to feel pressure? At 19?

    Also, Joseph is as cool as a cucumber that has been left in the fridge overnight, and he has just eight rivals on Saturday, he will be racing among the smallest Derby field in years, so the possibility of traffic problems will be minimised. I wouldn’t worry about Joseph at all. His presence in Camelot’s saddle is a positive in my eyes.

    Next? Frankie Dettori. It is a sad day when Frankie is off to Haydock while the Derby is going on at Epsom. It would be like Richard Dunne playing an Astro League game as Ireland kicked off against Croatia.

    We have been here before, the marginalisation of Frankie as Mickael wends his way into Godolphin favour. Barzalona is top class, no questioning that, but so is Frankie, he is riding as well as ever these days, and he knows Epsom like he knows his own back garden. And where does loyalty come into it? Perhaps there is more to it than we know about but, from this vantage point, it’s a strange one. Kevin Foley wouldn’t have a look-in with this one.

    Finally? Camelot and Bonfire. They frolicked together (insofar as frolicking is not the sole preserve of lambs) at Highclere Stud as youngsters, playmates. On Saturday they will go toe-to-toe in combat, first and second favourites, on one of the greatest stages in the world of thoroughbred racing. The fox and the hound, Cu Chulainn and Ferdia. Fascinating.

  4. #34
    Ryan MElligiot

    All eyes will be on Camelot as he bids to maintain his perfect record and cement his status as the undisputed star of his generation in the Investec Derby which Aidan O'Brien will be bidding to win for the first time since 2002.

    Following his comeback win in the 2000 Guineas Camelot has been installed as the odds on favourite to become the first Ballydoyle hope since High Chaparral to land the great race. He is the first odds on chance to line up in this race since Entrepreneur came up well short in 1997 and interestingly 14 of the previous 31 odds on favourites in the Derby have been beaten.

    That represents an interesting statistic but with just eight rivals standing between him and the second leg of a possible triple crown bid Camelot cannot be opposed. There was a lot to like about his display at Newmarket and the step up to middle distances could see the Montjeu colt come into his own.

    He will have to cope with the unique demands of Epsom and this will be his first beyond a mile but the progeny of Montjeu have excelled themselves in this race and the late Sadler's Wells horse is on the cusp of siring his fourth Derby winner since 2005.

    Quite simply Camelot's form is by some distance the best on offer here and it will be a shock if he gets turned over. Bonfire is an obvious threat following his Dante Stakes win but a decent showing from the other O'Brien runner, Astrology, is expected and he could be the one to side in the betting without Camelot market.

    Last season Astrology made up into quite a smart two-year-old, winning his maiden before running well at Group 2 and Group 3 level. The Galileo colt looked like one that could progress well over the winter and he did noting to dispel that notion when trouncing his rivals in the Dee Stakes at Chester.

    That trial mightn't have been the most exacting event but Astrology couldn't have done any more than win by eleven lengths. Again there should be progress forthcoming from his first run of the year and he will certainly appreciate the drier ground at Epsom. On ratings alone he is the clear third best in the Derby field and it wouldn't be a major surprise if he, rather than Bonfire, gave the market leader most to do

  5. #35
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    Fahey on his runner. EW chance ?

    Mickdaam goes in the Investec Derby for me at Epsom on Saturday and he's my first runner in the great race, it doesn't get more exciting than this.

    He had a little setback, an infection in his hock, but he's cantered for 11 days now and he's fine. He's hardly missed anything so it's been a pretty straightforward preparation and he's grand, we're happy with him.

    As for his chances, well, he's 33-1 and he's got to step up on what he's done but he'll get the trip and he tries, which always gives you a chance.

    Do I think he's good enough to win it? Probably not. But you never know, you should never be scared of one horse.

    That one horse, of course, is Camelot. He looks exceptional. He did well to win the Guineas and he should win the Derby. But you never know.

    Our fellow won well at Chester, Tony Hamilton thought he hit the front and pulled up a bit and in an ideal world I'd have preferred it if they'd gone a bit quicker.

    They will be very different ground conditions at Epsom on Saturday to those that he encountered at a rain-sodden Chester but I think he'll love it. He's such a good-moving horse I think it will suit him well.

    So, all-in-all I'd say he definitely has an each-way chance as he's guaranteed to stay, guaranteed to like the ground and he's such a well-balanced horse I imagine he'll handle the idiosyncrasies of Epsom too.

    It's fantastic just to have a Derby runner and I hope he runs well.

  6. #36
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    Aussie Jim's forecast ...

    As the danger to Camelot, I prefer Main Sequence, trained by David Lanigan for the Niarchos family, who have been connected with the Derby for the past 55 years. In 1957, Stavros Niarchos was represented by a colt called Pipe Of Peace, who, ridden by Scobie Breasley, finished third to Crepello. There have been others since, but I believe this is their best chance of victory.

    Many will be put off by Main Sequence winning two handicaps at Newmarket before his win in the Lingfield Derby Trial on the all-weather. It may be an unconventional preparation, but it is inescapable that this athletic colt has an ability to quicken that will stand him in good stead when Camelot is launched in the home straight.

  7. #37
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    Camelot- Bonfire forecast for me. Off now so happy punting to all.

  8. #38
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    greg wood


    The Derby 2012, 4pm Saturday 2 June
    Camelot and Bonfire in Derby duel their destinies determined for them

    Two top colts who were paddock playmates as foals confront each other for first time since in race that is the stuff of legend

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    Greg Wood
    Greg Wood
    guardian.co.uk, Friday 1 June 2012 16.42 BST

    Camelot is odds-on favourite for the 2012 Derby at Epsom
    Camelot, ridden by Joseph O'Brien, is a strong odds-on favourite for the 2012 Derby at Epsom. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

    Horse racing is a hurricane of chance and possibility that never blows itself out. Rarely does the accumulator from an ordinary seven-race meeting return at less than 10,000-1. As betting-shop regulars will tell you with world-weary resignation, something incredible happens in racing every day, and they always see it a moment too late.

    Yet even the most jaundiced of punters will marvel at the story of the Derby at Epsom on Saturday afternoon, as three old acquaintances come together on the Downs in Surrey. Only nine horses will go to post for the world's most famous Classic, the smallest turnout for more than a century, and a third of the field – three out of nearly 16,000 thoroughbreds foaled in Britain and Ireland alone in 2009 – spent the formative months of their lives in the same paddock at Highclere Castle in Berkshire.

    One of the three, Minimise Risk, is a 66-1 outsider. The other two, Camelot and Bonfire, dominate the betting, and though the former is trained in Ireland and the latter in Hampshire, their destinies have apparently been bound together from their earliest days. It is perhaps the most extraordinary – and certainly the most striking – alignment of chance and coincidence in the Derby's 232-year history.

    That the three spent their early lives at Highclere, one of the country's grandest estates and familiar to millions as the setting for Downton Abbey, will only add to the sense of period drama as tens of thousands of spectators gather at Epsom, just as they have done for 10 generations.

    "It's a bit Black Beauty-esque," Harry Herbert, who tried to buy Camelot as a yearling and founded Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, which owns Bonfire, said this week. "Even before they were weaned, they were in the same paddock and they spent their lives together until they were prepared for the yearling sales.

    "They went up to Tattersalls [sales ring] and were pretty much in next-door boxes. Camelot made 525,000 guineas, Bonfire made 90,000, and Minimise Risk made 410,000. Then they all went their separate ways, and now they are coming together again to do what they were bred to do."

    Saturday's Classic would have been the target too for thousands of thoroughbred foals born in France, Italy and Germany in 2009. Of course, racehorses have genes. Some are more equal than others, and Classic quality runs through the pedigrees of all three colts like a watermark. This gave them a significant head start on most of their contemporaries and Camelot, in particular, has had an air of predestination about him from his earliest days.

    Herbert's brother-in-law, John Warren, who runs Highclere Stud with Carolyn, his wife, helped to plan the matings that produced both Camelot and Bonfire, noticed it. So did Demi O'Byrne, the bloodstock advisor to John Magnier, who eventually submitted the winning bid for Camelot at the sales.

    Both Warren and O'Byrne are blessed with the rare ability to look at a yearling and see a three-year-old. It is like looking at a seven-year-old boy and correctly predicting his athletic ability at 16. "John said to me in June of their yearling season, you've got to come to the Stud, I want to show you this yearling," Herbert says. "It was Camelot.

    "He said, you've got to buy this horse [for a Highclere syndicate], he will be at least half a million, and I said, that's somewhat beyond our budget.

    "We tried some other ideas, but we just couldn't get it done, he was out of our range. I think John bid about 350,000 for Camelot at the sales, and I'm not sure he even had an order, and when we didn't get him, he was very upset. He said: "That horse will come back to haunt us."

    O'Byrne, who sees hundreds of yearlings every year, rarely if ever takes pictures of horses, but in Camelot's case, he made an exception. "He showed me the picture on his phone last year," Herbert says. "It was Camelot as a yearling at Tattersalls. He said: 'I never take a picture of a horse, I see them and move on, but he was the most perfect yearling I've ever seen.' Demi is one of the greatest judges of a horse, along with John Warren. It's an incredible gift."

    Despite the sense of destiny, though, it is still very possible that Bonfire, the 90,000gn yearling that Herbert bought instead will prove to be Camelot's nemesis on the most important day of all. "The difference in price was all down to the pedigree and the sire line," Herbert says. "It was Montjeu [the sire of Camelot] versus Manduro [Bonfire].

    "Montjeu [who died earlier this year] was the most amazing stallion, and his colts were and are in huge demand. Manduro was a first-season sire, and though he was a wonderful racehorse who was described by André Fabre as the best he had ever trained, some of his first yearlings were slightly light-framed middle-distance horses in the making, which to purchasers felt like time and a question mark. "Bonfire wasn't like that, he was a magnificent specimen, but the market decided that it wasn't certain about Manduro at the time."

    A Derby winner from his first generation of descendants would be the ideal advertisement for the strength of Manduro's bloodline. In addition to the prize money of £750,000, any Derby winner is reckoned to be worth at least £10m as a stallion, while Camelot, who is already a Classic winner from last month's 2,000 Guineas, could be worth 10 times that if he adds the Derby to his record.

    "It's all going to come down to good old Epsom and this great race," Herbert says, "and the course and the cambers and how the race pans out. Who knows what will happen, but if Bonfire and Camelot go on together in the last furlong of the race, it really will be absolutely extraordinary."

  9. #39
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    Pedigree notes

    Camelot

    The top of line of his pedigree is the gold standard – Montjeu, Sadler's Wells, Northern Dancer. The last of those helped to found the Coolmore legend when Robert Sangster and Vincent O'Brien invested heavily in his sons in the 70s, and Sadler's Wells was champion sire 14 times. Notable mares in pedigree include the brilliant miler Miesque, the dam of Kingmambo, who sired Tarfah, a Group 3 winner and Camelot's dam.

    Bonfire

    Sire line is German, via Manduro and his sire, the outstanding Monsun, a three-time Group One winner and strong influence for stamina. Much less stamina on the dam's side, and though Night Shift, sire of Night Frolic, Bonfire's dam, is by Northern Dancer and sired King George winner Azamour, he is normally an influence for speed. Extended pedigree includes Bikala, sire of Apple Tree, who won the Coronation Cup over the Derby course and distance.

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