Epsom Derby 2016: Why the Prix Greffulhe matters.
Since the Prix Greffulhe was transferred to Saint-Cloud and shortened to 2,000 metres in 2005, Andre Fabre has won the race seven times. The average winning time for the race during this period was 2.08.96. Of the four Fabre runners that bettered this time, all were sent to contest the Epsom Derby. Of these four, Visindar and Ocovango both ran fifth at Epsom, depsite the fact that neither of them had sufficient stamina on the damside.
Pour Moi, the 2011 Prix Greffulhe winner, ran away with the 2011 renewal of the Epsom Derby, after which, his trainer Andre Fabre was quoted as saying: "He's a great horse with great acceleration. The speed he has is exceptional and he had a turn of foot twice."
Pour Moi won the Greffulhe in 2:03.20 compared with a winning time of 2:03.70 for Fabre's 2016 winner (and Epsom Derby bound) Cloth of Stars (compare their respective winning performances below). Cloth of Stars boasts a good turn of foot has sufficient stamina on the dam side and will be seen to better effect in a mile and a half race run at strong pace. He is currently priced at 10/1 on Betfair for the 2016 Epsom Derby.
Andre Fabre's Prix Greffulhe winners that were sent for the Epsom Derby.
|Year||Horse||Prix Greffulhe Winning Time||Epsom Derby Finishing Position|
|2016||Cloth Of Stars||2:03.70||??|
Pour Moi landing the Prix Greffulhe.
Cloth of Stars landing the Prix La Force.
How much can US Army Ranger Improve?
|Horse||1st Race||2nd Race||3rd Race||Improvement*|
|Age of Aquarius||83||106||107||24|
|Go For Gold||80||70||114||34|
|All Too Beautiful||84||105||113||29|
|Rock Of Gibraltar||88||101||115||27|
|Flame and Glory||88||109||114||26|
|Rip Van Winkle||90||108||114||24|
|Black Bear Island||90||93||105||15|
* Improvement shown by Aidan O'Brien runners between their first and third starts.
Ballydoyle won't stay.
If you look through Galileo's best progeny to date, the 12f+ horses are those with sufficient stamina on the distaff side; ie, those that have a damsire stamina index of at least 9.2. Applying this to his entrants for the 2013 Epsom Derby, for example, we saw that Battle of Marengo (7.9) was a doubtful stayer along with Mars (9.1), whilst there are were no question marks as regards the winner Ruler of the World (9.9) and the third placed horse Galileo Rock (10.0). Perhaps, unsurprisingly, Galileo Rock also went on to run a decent third in the 2013 St Leger.
Marvellous, the winner of the 2014 Irish 1000 Guineas, was by Galileo, out of the Storm Cat mare You're so Thrilling, and boasted a damsire stamina index of 7.7f. Reagrding Marvellous, John Magnier was quoted on the Sporting Life website;
" Aidan fancied her. In fact, I think he even asked Joseph to ride her and Joseph picked the other one. Her pedigree would indicate there's could be more to come to come, she's out of a sister to Giant's Causeway who won the Cherry Hinton. She's really well bred and probably bred to get a mile and a half. We'll have to listen to what they all say over the next few days but I couldn't see any reason why not (run in the Oaks) if all goes well."
What happened? Marvellous was amazingly sent off 4/1 favourite for the 2014 Epsom Oaks, on the back of mug money and the bandwagon effect. She was quite simply never a factor and Joseph O'Brien blamed the race coming too soon; " I was flat out at the top of the hill. With six or seven to go I was struggling. She'd have had a hard enough race in the Irish Guineas, on testing enough ground at the Curragh. We'll freshen her up now." ( so it won't come too soon for Minding ...who according to Timeform recorded a final-3f sectional of 35.86s on softish ground, and was found after the race to have a mark on the right side of her face and a cut between her nostrils. ).
So, the theory ran that a horse that had Storm Cat on the dam side was " probably bred to get a mile and a half." For those looking for some sort of comparison, I would point you in the direction of O'Brien's Misty for Me, who was also by Galileo, out of the Storm Cat mare Butterfly Cove - boasing a stamina damsire index of 7.7f (the same as Marvellous). Having won the Irish 1000 Guineas, she was sent to the Epsom Oaks, where she finished a well beaten fifth. She subsequently won the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh over 10fs, but never managed to win beyond this distance. ( We would do well to remind ourselves that Ballydoyle recorded the second fastest time ever in the Prix Marcel Boussac in 2015 - the fastest time, being recorded by the crack Irish miler Finsceal Beo).
Ballydoyle will not stay the trip at Epsom, and those rushing in to take the 4/1 need their heads examined. That might also do well to watch the 2015 running of the Prix Marcel Boussac a race in which Turret Rocks (a true middle distance horse) got within a length and a quarter of Ballydoyle, before finsihing sixth in the English 1000 Guineas (during a period when the Bolger stable was very much out of form).
Bet365 have just gone 7/2 Ballydoyle - what a total joke!
Horses that completed the 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks double.
Of those that have completed the 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks double only the very brilliant Oh So Sharp in 1985 recorded
a time that was comparable to that recorded by Minding in the 2016 1000 Guineas. Having said that, there could not be a greater contrast as regards the manner in which they won their respective races.
|Year||Horse||1000 Guineas Winning Time||Epsom Oaks Winning Time|
|1985||Oh So Sharp||1:36.85||2:41.37|
Horses that completed the 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby double.
Of those that have completed the 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby double only the very brilliant Sea the Stars in 2009 recorded
a time that was comparable to that recorded by Galileo Gold in the 2016 2000 Guineas. Having said that, there could not be a greater contrast as regards the stamina in their respective pedigrees, and quite frankly, the notion, put forward by the likes of Tom Segal that
Galileo Gold should run in the Epsom Derby is a total joke. Segal needs to brush up on his sectionals. As regards the Irish 2000 Guineas
there is a very clear case to be made that Galileo Gold was sent to the well too soon on the back of these sectionals.
|Year||Horse||2000 Guineas Winning Time||Epsom Derby Winning Time|
|2009||Sea the Stars||1:35.88||2:36.74|
Epsom Derby 2016 Dosage Profiles
|Trainer||Horse||Dosage Profile||Dosage Points||Dosage Index||COD|
|OBrien||US Army Ranger||3-0-8-4-1||16||0.78||0.00|
|Gosden||Wings of Desire||2-1-16-6-1||26||0.73||-0.12|
|Fabre||Cloth of Stars||6-1-22-5-2||36||1.00||0.11|
|Stoute||Across the Stars||1-1-12-1-1||16||1.00||0.00|
Dosage Profiles of Epsom Derby Winners: 1996 - 2015.
|Year||Horse||Dosage Profile||Dosage Points||Dosage Index||COD|
|1997||Benny the Dip||9-9-18-0-0||36||3.00||0.75|
|2006||Sir Percy||1-0-5-1-3||10||0.54||- 0.50|
|2009||Sea the Stars||5-3-8-0-0||16||3.00||0.81|
|2013||Ruler of the World||9-0-21-8-0||38||1.05||0.26|
Epsom Derby 2016 Pedigrees
|Horse||Sire||Dam||Damsire||Damsire Stamina Index||Month of Birth|
|Wings of Desire||Pivotal||Gull Wing||In The Wings||11.8f||Feb|
|Linquistic||Lope De Vega||Dazzle Dancer||Montjeu||11.8f||Jan|
|US Army Ranger||Galileo||Moonstone||Dalakhani||11.2f||Feb|
|Shogun||Fastnet Rock||Perihelion||Galileo||11.2f||April (28)|
|Sanus Per Aquam||Teofilo||Fainne||Peintre Celebre||10.5f||April|
|Moonlight Magic||Cape Cross||Melikah||Lammtarra||10.5f||March|
|Cloth Of Stars||Sea The Stars||Strawberry Fledge||Kingmambo||9.9f||April|
|Viren's Army||Twirling Candy||Blue Angel||Oratorio||9.2f||Jan|
|Red Verdon||Lemon Drop Kid||Porto Marmay||Choisir||7.1f||March|
|Across the Stars||Sea The Stars||Victoria Cross||Mark Of Esteem||8.7f||March|
|The Gurkha||Galileo||Chintz||Danehill Dancer||8.4f||March|
|Harzand||Sea The Stars||Hazariya||Xaar||8.1f||March|
Source: Industry analysis. 03/05/2016.