Past Winners » Idaho


I am giving Idaho another chance here in the Hardwicke Stakes.

We had Aidan O’Brien’s horse on side last time in the Coronation Cup, but he was desperately weak in the market before that race.  That was the day that the Ballydoyle horses had transit problems, Idaho and Highland Reel arrived at the track just before the cut-off for entries and, while it didn’t appear to affect his brother Highland Reel, it may have affected Idaho.  For whatever reason, it wasn’t his true running.

A lot of the reasons for backing him that day hold true today.  He was one of the best middle-distance three-year-olds around last year, and he probably didn’t get due credit.  Third in the Epsom Derby, he made Harzand fight hard for victory in the Irish Derby.  After that, Idaho won the Great Voltigeur Stakes easily, and he was travelling well when he stumbled and unseated his rider in the St Leger.

A return to his Epsom or Curragh form should see him go close today, and he is four now, he has the potential to be even better than he was last year.  His brother loves fast ground and goes well at Ascot, so there is every chance that Idaho will go well at Ascot today, on his first run there.  Also, Highland Reel continually progressed as he gained in experience, and there is every chance that Idaho will do likewise.

Dartmouth is a worthy favourite, but the combination of fast ground and a mile and a half may not present a sufficient stamina test for him.

Dal Harraild is interesting, and Second Step looks like a rejuvenated character now for Roger Charlton, and there was not much between Idaho and Wings Of Desire in last year’s Derby but, at the prices, Idaho is the bet.

IDAHO WON (ADV 9/2, SP 9/2)