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02 Jun 19 12:35
Date Joined: 13 Dec 02
| Topic/replies: 44 | Blogger: Stevo's blog
Since the arrival and ever-growing dominance of the Coolmore Magnier operation, together with its monopolisation of the best 1.5 mile stallions, we have witnessed a steady decline in the Stature and spectacle of the Epsom Derby.

It reached a new nadir yesterday with the sight of 7 of the 13 runners in the race being A.P. O'Brien runners, and 5 of the first 6 being the same.

I am old enough to remember when the Derby was a day of national interest around the country. Younger people may find that hard to believe, but many offices and workplaces around the nation would have sweepstakes on the result, and the race result would headline the News.

I doubt yesterday most of the nation even knew the race was taking place, never mind took any interest in the result.

Below I cite the Derby fields for 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991.  All Have decent French representation and are on the whole hugely more competitive and watchable than the predictable dirge which was served up yesterday.

In ireland itself they are facing an existential crisis due to the hegemony of Mullins and Elliot in NH Racing, which is squeezing the lifeblood out of their training ranks.

The same thing is happening in Irish flat racing with O'Brien often having 3, 4 or 5 runners in listed and Group races.

Racing in the British Isles needs to take a serious look at this, and although I certainly do not like the 'coupling' process seen in France and to a lesser degree in the USA, I would certainly consider a rule to allow only a maximum of TWO runners from the same stable in any race. If a trainer has 3 or more he would like to run, then choose your best two.

The apathy and disinterest I witnessed yesterday in my local betting shop about the Derby was quite stunning. A once truly great race has been neutered and marginalised.

1991 Derby

1        Generous    Alan Munro    Paul Cole    9/1
2    5    Marju    Willie Carson    John Dunlop    14/1
3    7    Star of Gdansk    Christy Roche    Jim Bolger (IRE)    14/1
4    ½    Hector Protector    Freddy Head    François Boutin (FR)    6/1
5    shd    Hundra    Bruce Raymond    Paul Kelleway    66/1
6    ½    Corrupt    Cash Asmussen    Neville Callaghan    4/1 jf
7    4    Hokusai    Lester Piggott    Henry Cecil    25/1
8    6    Hailsham    Steve Cauthen    Clive Brittain    28/1
9    ½    Toulon    Pat Eddery    André Fabre (FR)    4/1 jf
10    7    Mystiko    Michael Roberts    Clive Brittain    5/1
11    10    Environment Friend    George Duffield    James Fanshawe    11/1
12    2    Arokat    Paul Eddery    Barry Hills    250/1
13    30    Mujaazif    Walter Swinburn    Michael Stoute    33/1

1        Quest for Fame    Pat Eddery    Roger Charlton    7/1
2    3    Blue Stag    Cash Asmussen    Barry Hills    8/1
3    1½    Elmaamul    Willie Carson    Dick Hern    10/1
4    2½    Kaheel    Michael Roberts    Alec Stewart    33/1
5    2    Karinga Bay    Brian Rouse    Denys Smith    14/1
6    hd    Duke of Paducah    Ray Cochrane    Guy Harwood    14/1
7    hd    Zoman    Richard Quinn    Paul Cole    6/1
8    nk    Treble Eight    Bruce Raymond    Michael Jarvis    66/1
9    1½    Linamix    Gérald Mossé    François Boutin (FR)    11/2
10    10    Missionary Ridge    Michael Hills    Barry Hills    50/1
11    ¾    Digression    Walter Swinburn    Guy Harwood    14/1
12    1½    Sober Mind    Alan Munro    Paul Kelleway    150/1
13    1½    Bookcase    John Williams    David Elsworth    150/1
14    1½    Razeen    Steve Cauthen    Henry Cecil    9/2 fav
15    hd    Bastille Day    Stephen Craine    Tommy Stack (IRE)    100/1
16    3    River God    Michael Kinane    Henry Cecil    28/1
17    12    Aromatic    Tony Clark    Guy Harwood    100/1
18    3    Mr Brooks    Pat Shanahan    Kevin Connolly (IRE)    66/1

1        Nashwan    Willie Carson    Dick Hern    5/4 fav
2    5    Terimon    Michael Roberts    Clive Brittain    500/1
3    2    Cacoethes    Greville Starkey    Guy Harwood    3/1
4    ½    Ile de Nisky    George Duffield    Geoff Huffer    20/1
5    2    Mill Pond    Pat Eddery    Patrick Biancone (FR)    16/1
6    2    Gran Alba    Brian Rouse    Richard Hannon, Sr.    80/1
7    6    Classic Fame    John Reid    Vincent O'Brien (IRE)    33/1
8    ¾    Torjoun    Ray Cochrane    Luca Cumani    11/1
9    3    Flockton's Own    Richard Hills    J. R. Shaw    500/1
10    hd    Prince of Dance    Steve Cauthen    Dick Hern    11/2
11    15    Warrshan    Walter Swinburn    Michael Stoute    13/1
12    25    Polar Run    Tony Clark    Guy Harwood    250/1

1        Kahyasi    Ray Cochrane    Luca Cumani    11/1
2    1½    Glacial Storm    Michael Hills    Barry Hills    14/1
3    1½    Doyoun    Walter Swinburn    Michael Stoute    9/1
4    ½    Red Glow    Pat Eddery    Geoff Wragg    5/2 fav
5    nk    Kefaah    John Reid    Luca Cumani    25/1
6    3    Sheriff's Star    Tony Ives    Lady Herries    18/1
7    hd    Unfuwain    Steve Cauthen    Dick Hern    9/2
8    6    Minster Son    Willie Carson    Dick Hern    6/1
9    ½    Project Manager    Kevin Manning    Jim Bolger (IRE)    66/1
10    2½    Al Mufti    Richard Hills    Harry Thomson Jones    14/1
11    1    Charmer    Paul Eddery    Dick Hern    11/1
12        Clifton Chapel    Billy Newnes    Steve Norton    100/1
13        Maksud    Michael Roberts    Robert Armstrong    200/1
14        Al Muhalhal    Paul D'Arcy    Harry Thomson Jones    500/1
Pause Switch to Standard View Coolmore have single handedly wrecked...
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Report wondersobright June 2, 2019 12:40 PM BST
this is what happens when all of the best horses are in a small number of hands

it is dreadfully dull
Report Nogoody June 2, 2019 1:04 PM BST
The race has never been the same since Coolmore changed it from a Wednesday.
Report isleham June 2, 2019 1:05 PM BST
if ao'b had been limited to 2 runners there would have been a field of 8 so what kind of race would that have been
Report GEORGE.B June 2, 2019 1:09 PM BST
I think sometimes they do have a 'chosen one' who they want to win for commercial reasons, so all we can ask for as punters, is that the ones they do run in it, run on their merits and say for example, are not sacrificed as pacemakers, and as far as I could see yesterday, all their horses ran on their merits, which made for a very competitive Derby and an appealing betting heat.

So I totally disagree with the OP.
Report Burkey1885 June 2, 2019 1:15 PM BST
Ground was against some of the his runners
Report ronnie rails June 2, 2019 1:15 PM BST
George b
the shop was bouncing yesterday the  stakes and slips on the derby was way way better than I expected.
Report GEORGE.B June 2, 2019 1:19 PM BST
Cheers for that Ronnie, so the betting public voted with their feet in a positive way!

Maybe there's not a standout champion, but it made for an exciting race, and the horses they ran in it, all deserved to take their chance on ORs.

And they're able to run so many for one reason, they have Galileo.
Report Vubiant June 2, 2019 1:48 PM BST
I suggest that that criticism of Ballydoyle's enthusiasm for the Derby is misguided and unwarranted. One could equally argue that they pay  a  tribute to the Derby by taking it  so seriously -regarding it as the plum prize they really try to win. One might better ask why the competition has  melted away so much.
I agree it's a pity that the French are more absent these days -but why is this ?  O'Brien ( among others ) regularly challenges them in France.
Report stewarts rise June 2, 2019 1:48 PM BST
Looking at the 4 Derby results you put up, an awful lot of the runners had no chance, look at the distances the backmarkers were beaten, 15 of the runners were 66/1 plus so although more runners probably less quality overall, more chance of a good horse having their chance compromised by horses dropping back through the field.
Think you have to put the name of the trainer out of your mind when having a bet, and back the horse you think is the best, as already said if MOB only ran 2 yesterday would have only been 8 runners. He probably didn't know himself which of his entries was likely to act best around Epsom and don't think anyone could say that bar his 100/1 shot leader who ensured a decent pace that any didn't do their best. Wings Of Eagles certainly wouldn't have won if that was the case. If the other trainers including those having all the sheiks horses haven't got a horse good enough to run then theres not much you can do about it.
Report layingisthewayforward June 2, 2019 1:55 PM BST
If you took their runners away from yesterday's race, what are you left with? Maybe we should be looking at the other owners/trainers and ask what they're doing rather than blaming coolmore?
Report sparrow June 2, 2019 1:58 PM BST
I agree with vubiant's view that they are showing the Derby the greatest respect.
Report MJK June 2, 2019 2:13 PM BST
Was there a need to start another thread on this? Anyhow, regarding the Derby losing its appeal isn't that the same for flat racing as a whole? And to a lesser extent racing as a whole? Perhaps punters are sick of big flat trainers/owners hiding behind their accents and getting away with cheating on a daily basis.
Report 1st time poster June 2, 2019 2:22 PM BST
they bang on about AOB and gallileo been the dogs bollocks why doesnt a pundit ask the question if both are so good why is the only horse coolmore can put up in older age group ones is a 2 mile plodder in kew gardens, Cry
Report fredlyn June 2, 2019 2:27 PM BST
Agree with most of the above -what I can't get my head round is why other , trainers , stables , owners can't get horses to the race & Coolmore get seven
Report mymumsfinethankyou June 2, 2019 2:29 PM BST
race means absolutely zilch anymore
Report StillLearning June 2, 2019 2:31 PM BST

Jun 2, 2019 -- 1:05PM, isleham wrote:

if ao'b had been limited to 2 runners there would have been a field of 8 so what kind of race would that have been

An 8 runner derby?

Report 1st time poster June 2, 2019 2:42 PM BST
pundit tom Stanley in awe as AOB tells him about gallello,s been different head down never beaten etc,etc why didn't Stanley ask him about the 100,s and 100,s of blue blooded gall,s who couldn't beat the stable yard cat and some of those who did make the grade beaten distances in races.its a scatter gun throw as much shoite strategy tha tworks because they can afford to buy up most of the possible opposition.there happy to win the derby, godolphin happy to target the hound/banded racing in dubia,weld happy to target galway etc,etc.godolphin possible no one avoiding Epsom to run today
Report Storm Alert June 2, 2019 3:04 PM BST
Derby has been fading away for more than 30 years. Coolmore's domination through number of runners ruined it for me in recent years and didn't bother to watch or bet yesterday. I used to take Wednesday off work when I could to watch.
Report 1st time poster June 2, 2019 3:09 PM BST
didn't AOB have about 50 consecutive losers at Epsom derby a few years back
Report Stevo June 2, 2019 8:09 PM BST
My point is that the Race was made to look farcical yesterday, by one trainer saddling 7 of the 13 runners.

Accusations of teaming up have been levellled at O'Brien on numerous occasions.

Allowing our premier horse race to be manipulated by one omnipresent breeding operation is beyond bad.

Those on here making excuses for Ballydoyle and Coolmore by saying why dont the other trainers step up, ignore the reality that the prime mile and a half bloodstock has been cornered by Coolmore/Magnier for years now. Ask Godolphin.

Of course, they run their operation to their own maximum benefit, I cannot fault that.

But no other major racing country in the world would put up with yesterdays farce.

Because a farce it most certainly was.
Report chavman June 2, 2019 8:26 PM BST
steeve cleans his flat on wednesdays
Report thelatarps June 2, 2019 8:31 PM BST
THe derby is still the only race in this country about which anybody overseas has heard or cares.
No one wants to know about the king george or ascots hideous champions day, which might as well be run at cheltenham in january for all its relevance to proper good ground flat racing.
I think tom segal went into detail about the demise of british flat racing a few years ago.
He made well reasoned (I thought) arguments about the lack of the traditional owner/breeders and the uk racing program being heavily dependent on handicaps for sprinter/milers. This means the majority of horses are bred for speed, with stallions like kodiac and dark angel in demand.
THeir progeny stand no chance of winning a guineas let alone a derby.
This means the classic races are going to be the preserve of the likes of coolmore, juddmonte, darley etc
It reflects society in a way, money goes to money.
And say what you like about coolmore but they never stitch up the race in favour of one runner.
In fact its been quite tragi-comical in recent times watching the likes of masar and harzand turn them over.
Report RothmanMike June 2, 2019 8:35 PM BST
I don't understand the need for the stable to have 7 runners in the Derby.
2 or 3 OK, but unlike other stables they are all owned by the same owners so a day out for them doesn't hold water.
O'Brien is a shrewdly, knows all of them well and that a few shouldn't win, so I do question why some of them are running.
A no bet race for me because of this.
Report unclepuncle June 2, 2019 8:55 PM BST
Coolmore are the only thing keeping the Derby going.
Report RothmanMike June 2, 2019 9:02 PM BST
Maybe more folk would be tempted to join in if the battalions eased off a little.
Report ItsMeSwaddle June 2, 2019 9:05 PM BST

Jun 2, 2019 -- 8:35PM, RothmanMike wrote:

I don't understand the need for the stable to have 7 runners in the Derby.2 or 3 OK, but unlike other stables they are all owned by the same owners so a day out for them doesn't hold water.O'Brien is a shrewdly, knows all of them well and that a few shouldn't win, so I do question why some of them are running.A no bet race for me because of this.

Same stance.

Always going to be people playing this game with more info than me.

But this is a rather extreme example.

Report chavman June 2, 2019 9:06 PM BST
theres a dearth of 1m 4 horses hence the perpetual search for a guinneas winner to stay beyond the 1m/1.2 /1.4.
Report RothmanMike June 2, 2019 9:29 PM BST
Been the same since the Sir Ivor era.
Has always been the question - will it stay the extra 4f.
Report Vubiant June 2, 2019 11:31 PM BST
Looks like the Derby is doomed -some truculent forumites refuse to bet on it .Laugh
Report Whippin Piccadilly June 3, 2019 12:05 AM BST
I personally found the race very enjoyable. Cool
Report driver2 June 3, 2019 5:15 AM BST
Me too WP
Report know all June 3, 2019 9:21 AM BST
As a serious punter it looked very straight forward 7 runners i ended up with 5, the favourite was the one that puzzled on different ground but the price would have been 7/4 if they knew, i had to back 5 including the winner and my best result would have been japan 3rd looked unlucky not to win it, made a profit so didnt do a lot wrong and the interview with the owner before the race said it all they didnt seem to know which one so as a punter why try to beat them just go along with what they are doing, its very easy really unless your stuck with the i only back one in a race mentality
Report salmon spray June 3, 2019 9:37 AM BST
There are too many moderate sprinters/milers in training in the UK and too many very moderate stallions of that sort.
Even when you we do get a very good horse in England,sired by Galileo,it swerves the Derby for some obscure race at Royal Ascot,where unfortunately it managed to scramble home.
Report lewisham ranger June 3, 2019 9:42 AM BST
thelarps and unclepuncle make very valid points. the derby would be a glorified group three race these days if it wasn't for coolmore. I think I stated on here that the home challenge looked dire before the race, and it badly needs to step up.

as a racing fan you can bemoan the dominance of coolmore but you can also use it in your favour. hard to separate his runners at times that must be admitted, but for example If we look at the breeding angle, galileo had won two derbies with his immediate progeny before this one, I think his most fancied runner this year was Anthony van dyck (it's possible he had other runners, I'm not sure) and that got largely overlooked with the hype surrounding the Australia and Camelot stock. and yet galileo came up trumps again.

just because O'Brien dominates as a trainer doesn't mean as a punter you can't win on the race.
Report 1st time poster June 3, 2019 10:17 AM BST
their propping up their own brand in reality the derby is no longer  the race people want to win its the 5/6 10 furlong races between now and the arc,which on yesterdays evidence you wouldn't think AOB,S 7 had the speed for,they havnt got a superstar 12 furlong older horse and AOB,S 12 FUTRLONG 3 YR OL;DS SEEM TO WANT MUCH FURTTHER AT 4 PLUS, so it looks like the derby and arc are the operations 2 main targets
Report doantwin2easy June 3, 2019 11:12 AM BST
O'Brien knows his horses of course, but there are far too many imponderables for him to know in what order they will finish on the day. Aside from luck in running, there is the course and the camber to handle, the ground on the day, the differing levels of experience.

What he does know, is that off a guaranteed pace (which they can force), his Galileo's, Australia's and Camelots have a touch of class and will stay. Those beasts all won the Derby after all. They are bred to knuckle down when others have cried enough. And you can't buy that for middle distance races. Well you can, but Coolmore will charge you a pretty penny.

I feel a little bit sorry for the owners of Telecaster (sired by New Approach, also a progeny of Galileo and who also won the Derby) - supplemented for £85k after withdrawing their initial entry in March, when they could have got in for peanuts.
Report 1st time poster June 3, 2019 11:21 AM BST
why don't the 100,s that don't make the race track,dont get oout of AOB,S YARD,get beat furlongs in some races knuckle down and fight, he,s getting or so of the very best to perform on a racetrack ,whilst the rest of them perform ,show the same instincts,falabilities as many other sires
Report 1st time poster June 3, 2019 11:24 AM BST
same people say the same thing about 300 mjk horses from 150 different sires at distances from 5 furlongs to 2 miles from sellers to group ones,
Report beccaboo June 3, 2019 11:41 AM BST
Some salient points.
1) The final result validated the decision to run so many,only inches between a lot of them, so who knew?
2) There is only a limited number of horses good enough to participate at the top level,hence the competition to buy or breed them is competitive. In the market the "lads" put the cash down and reap the benefits, or get burned, although they limit the damage by pooling their resources.
3) The whole crux of the topic is can the Derby be made more competitive. The short answer is no!! as any colt showing the needed potential is soon gobbled up by the big players.
4) You have to ask yourself if i had the best six horses in training would i throw all my darts to win the blue riband? You bet.
Report 1st time poster June 3, 2019 11:49 AM BST
problem been its not going to be the best race but an AOB GALLOP,
Report doantwin2easy June 3, 2019 12:06 PM BST
why don't the 100,s that don't make the race track,dont get oout of AOB,S YARD,get beat furlongs in some races knuckle down and fight, he,s getting or so of the very best to perform on a racetrack ,whilst the rest of them perform ,show the same instincts,falabilities as many other sires

Yes he's handpicking from a fairly large pool. I nearly made that point funnily enough. I still think there's a fairly unique mix of class, stamina, attitude and ability to handle the track that is ingrained in some of the best progeny of these stallions. Most notably Galileo without wanting to point out the obvious.
Report 1st time poster June 3, 2019 12:26 PM BST
seems AOB and the boys have given up the fight against all the top 10 furlong races,10 derby entries over the weekend and not a word about any of them showing a lot of speed even though that was the watch word for even the most obvious slow boats 2/3 seasons ago, now its all about stamina,durability, head down etc,etc
Report lewisham ranger June 3, 2019 1:57 PM BST
what's lost in all this AOB dominance talk is that Mahdmoon, who finished second is trained by Kevin prederghast and on another day could easily have won the race.
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