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A Word Apart

There was a lot to like about A Word Apart’s performance on his racecourse debut in the maiden that opened proceedings on Derby Day at The Curragh, a race that was won last year by Walk On Bye. A Word Apart was slowly away and was last of the nine runners after they had gone 50 yards. He just had to be nudged into the bridle by Pat Smullen three furlongs out, he was a little green, but he was starting to pick up when Petronius Maximus seemed to lose his footing and crashed into the stands rail just in front of him, with the result that A Word Apart had to take evasive action, he had to fly-jump to his right just to avoid the Ballydoyle colt’s flailing legs. An incident like that would have been enough to upset an experienced horse, but the Moyglare Stud colt was quickly back on an even keel, and he ran on really strongly all the way to the line, coming from five lengths behind the leader Sydney Harbour passing the furlong pole to narrow the gap to two and a half lengths by the time they reached the line.

You have to think that this six-furlong trip would have been far too sharp for the son of Desert Style, a half-brother to Casual Conquest, even though his dam won over five furlongs, and despite the fact that he was obviously showing his trainer enough speed to merit an entry in the six-furlong Phoenix Stakes next month. However, he is also in the Derby next year, and that is potentially a truer reflection of the path that he will follow now. He could be one for the seven-furlong maiden at Galway on the Monday evening that Dermot Weld loves to win, but there is a chance that he could be destined for much bigger things. Weld is not averse to running his very good horses at Galway in general and in that maiden in particular, having won it in the past with subsequent Irish Derby winner Grey Swallow, and with subsequent Belmont Stakes winner Go And Go. It would be hoping for a lot to hope that A Word Apart could be even nearly as good as those, but he could prove to be very useful.

27th June 2010