Things We Learned » Family ties

Family ties

There are family ties all over the place in today’s Derby.  Five of the 18 runners are by super-sire Galileo, three of them are by Galileo’s brother Sea The Stars, and two of them are by sons of Galileo, one by New Approach and one by Teofilo.  Also, one is by Sea The Stars’ sire Cape Cross.

The relatives are not only on the sires’ side either.  Ulysses, by Derby winner Galileo, is out of Oaks winner Light Shift, while Cloth Of Stars is by Galileo’s brother Sea The Stars and he is out of a full-sister to Light Shift, so he is by Ulysses’ sire’s brother out of Ulysses’ dam’s sister.  You still with this?

And the dam of Port Douglas – who is by Galileo – is also by Kingmambo, like Ulysses’ dam and Cloth Of Stars’ dam. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, Moonlight Magic is by Sea The Stars’ sire Cape Cross, and he is out of Melikah, who is out of Urban Sea, and is therefore a half-sister to both Sea The Stars and to Galileo.

The Derby family lines are a bit like the Derby form lines this year: the longer you study them, the more complicated they get.


Plate talk

Strange to be thinking about the Galway Plate on Derby week, but it was difficult not to do so when the Charles Byrnes-trained Shanpallas stayed on strongly for Barry Geraghty to land the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at Ballinrobe on Tuesday. 

JP McManus’ horse has a score to settle with the Galway Plate.  He ran out at the third fence in the race in 2014, and he was impeded on the run between the last two fences when he finished fifth behind Shanahan’s Turn last year.  He proved that he could operate at Galway when he finished second, beaten just a half a length, in a decent handicap hurdle at the 2014 festival, three days after he had run out in the Plate, and he is now 1lb lower over fences than he was when he ran in the race last year.

Alelchi Inois finished a head behind Shanpallas in sixth place when sent off as favourite for the Plate last year, and the Willie Mullins-trained gelding stayed on well to catch and pass Sadler’s Risk in the two-mile-six-furlong chase at Punchestown on Wednesday.  The trainer said afterwards that the Plate was again the plan this year, and Luke McMahon’s horse is another who should be coming to the boil nicely.


Halford getting going

Anamba was impressive in winning the Listed Owenstown Stud Stakes at Naas on Sunday.  The Michael Halford-trained filly did get a nice gap on the far side, but she picked up impressively when she got it, and she came clear to win well in a good time, slightly faster than standard. 

The Jersey Stakes over Sunday’s seven-furlong trip is a possible target for her at Royal Ascot, but it is interesting that she also holds an entry in the Coronation Stakes.  This was just her third run ever, her only defeat was in the Group 3 Weld Park Stakes at The Curragh last September, and she should continue to improve.  She is an exciting filly.

It was a good day for Michael Halford, whose horses could be just running into form now.  Anamba’s win was obviously the highlight of the day, a first win on turf for her trainer this season, but Hasanour ran a cracker to chase his stable companion home.  That was Hasanour’s first run since two disappointing efforts in Dubai in the winter, and he could be in line for a tilt at the Royal Hunt Cup now at Royal Ascot.  He would be interesting in that race, over a stiff mile run at a strong pace.

Also, Halford’s Yulong Baobei finished second to Cuff in the Listed Coolmore EBF juvenile fillies’ race, while Moritzburg ran on well to take third place behind Peace Envoy and Lundy in the Listed Rochestown Stakes over six furlongs, in a race in which it was probably an advantage to race handily.  By Dutch Art, there are plenty of middle-distance performers on Moritzburg’s dam’s side, and he could improve for a step up to seven furlongs.


Candy worth noting

In Britain, it might also be worthwhile having a second look at Henry Candy’s horses now.

The Kingston Warren trainer will probably be happy enough to see the back of May, he had no winners from 32 attempts in Britain last month, but May is never his month.  Last May he had one winner from 30 runners, in May 2014 he had no winners from 24 runners.

By contrast, in June last year, he had eight winners from 36 runners, in July he had 10 winners from 38 runners, and signs are that his horses are starting to run into form again now.  Bounce ran well for a long way on her seasonal debut at Leicester on Monday before lack of a recent run told inside the final furlong and she faded to finish third behind Taneen.  Also, Spring Fling ran well to finish third in a six-furlong handicap at Windsor the same day, while 20/1 shot Nicarra was only beaten a total of a length and three quarters from a wide draw in a one-mile fillies’ handicap at Nottingham on Wednesday.

The yard should be rocking by the time Royal Ascot rolls around.  (Ref. Limato, La Rioja, Twilight Son.)


Nasal strip

It’s a fair question by Tepin’s trainer Mark Casse: isn’t a nasal strip more like a set of blinkers or cheekpieces or a visor or a cross noseband or a hood than it is like a performance enhancing substance? 

Good news that his mare is going to take her chance in the Queen Anne Stakes anyway, even without the outlawed performance-enhancing strip.  It means that, with Ervedya and Belardo and Endless Drama and Limato all also on track for the race, the Royal meeting will burst into life once again this year.  All things being equal, the curtain-raiser will be one of the best races of the week.


© The Irish Field, 4th June 2016