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16 May 21 15:13
Date Joined: 14 Jul 04
| Topic/replies: 49,717 | Blogger: GEORGE.B's blog
Most Flat racing followers presume the Dewhurst winner will return to Newmarket for THE 2000 Guineas the following spring, and when St Marks Brasilica won the premier Classic trial for 2YOs, who would have bet against this half-brother to 2000 Guineas hero Magna Grecia lining up on the Rowley Mile on the first Saturday in May?

However, in the build up to the race, the Betfair market signals were ominous regarding the colt's participation, even though no official announcement had been made, and sure enough when the final dec's came through St Mark's Brasilica's name was missing.

The obvious reason for his absence from Newmarket would appear to have been the expected quick ground, and today on soft ground at Longchamp, St Mark's Brasilica confirmed the favourable impression he'd created in the Dewhurst and that he is indeed a top class colt.

Is it possible though that commercial reasons also played a part in the decision?
St Mark's Brasilica is by the Aga Khan-owned Siyouni, who stands in France for 140,000 euros.
The obvious reply to this is that Magna Grecia is also by a non-Coolmore stallion in Invincible Spirit, yet still ran in and won the 2000 Guineas.

Who knows, perhaps time will show soft ground to be essential in order for St Mark's Brasilica to show his best, but whatever, one suspects Siyouni's stud fee will be going up a little more after today!
Pause Switch to Standard View What was the REAL reason why St Marks...
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Report ItsMeSwaddle May 16, 2021 4:14 PM BST
Cynical, what about some magic carrots showing up in the cistern?
Report GEORGE.B May 16, 2021 4:20 PM BST
I don't know about 'cynical', but do they want a colt by a rival stud's stallion to be winning the main Classic for milers?
Report Hayden May 16, 2021 4:27 PM BST
Whatever the reason it's yet another classic for Aiden , relentless
Report FOYLESWAR May 16, 2021 6:22 PM BST
sottsass didnt do the stud fee much harm either george
Report impossible123 May 16, 2021 6:57 PM BST
I think AOB already had Wembley and Battleground (an afterthought). The fast ground was also a factor.
Report FOYLESWAR May 16, 2021 7:08 PM BST
aob said st marks was always going to france .
Report elisjohn May 16, 2021 8:31 PM BST
ok im going on and on about it, but this lot have reallly destroyed the sport that i loved in the 70s to 2000
Report GEORGE.B May 16, 2021 9:01 PM BST
FOYLESWAR 16 May 21 17:22
sottsass didnt do the stud fee much harm either george

Good point, Foyles. He sired Laurens too among others, and now St Mark's Brasilica has come along. He can get top class colts as well as fillies.

So perhaps you could understand IF Coolmore didn't want to big up his burgeoning reputation any more by winning THE 2000 Guineas with one of his sons?
Report elisjohn May 16, 2021 9:23 PM BST
Report layingisthewayforward May 16, 2021 9:46 PM BST
Elisjohn, please explain how aidan obrien winning the French 2000 is killing the sport for you?
Report A_T May 16, 2021 10:14 PM BST
It comes as a surprise that Cool more even own a horse sired by Siyouni let alone it winning classics. Second best stallion in Ireland Sea the Stars have they ever used him or bought one of his progeny. The Aga Khan is not nearly so small-minded.
Report elisjohn May 16, 2021 10:43 PM BST
didnt say that winning the french 2000 gns ,i said this lot has destroyed my love for the game  , and if you can honestly say that theyre great for the sport then thats youre prerogative.
Report Ramruma May 17, 2021 7:04 AM BST
@GEORGE.B -- I am not sure about your theory is that Coolmore would be worried about boosting Siyouni, especially as in doing so, they are making their own Siyouni-line stallion: St Mark's Basilica has now won three Group 1 races in three different countries, including a Classic; presumably he will now go for the French Derby although I see Royal Ascot is not ruled out.

And since Siyouni is most popular in France, it perhaps made more commercial sense to advertise St Mark's Basilica there, as a future alternative.

The only way it could be any better for Coolmore is if St Mark's Basilica were not out of a Galileo mare, as (some) future breeders will be looking for an outcross for Galileo.
Report The Headmaster May 17, 2021 9:06 AM BST
A_T - they're not being small-minded ignoring STS.  The stud is saturated with Galileo to the point it's going to go down a sinkhole  Supporting his half-brother would only exacerbate the problem.
Report geoff m May 17, 2021 11:20 AM BST
FOYLESWAR16 May 21 18:08Joined: 09 Jan 11 | Topic/replies: 21,007 | Blogger: FOYLESWAR's blog
aob said st marks was always going to france .

Not true Foyles:

Around march time he was interviewed and stated St Marks/Wembley on course for 2000 GNS with Ballydoyle for St James Palace.
Ballydoyle drifted out accordingly in the market up until 3 or 4 days before the GNS
St Marks was clear favourite here around 7.0 mark up until a couple of weeks before GNS then ominously started to drift right up to 48 hour decs when it was clear he was going to miss the gig.
Report GEORGE.B May 17, 2021 12:05 PM BST
The point is this: St Mark's Brasilica was the one who won the Dewhurst, he looked the part physically too, and arguably the best pedigree being a half-brother to a 2000 Guineas winner, plus he looked sure to be suited by the step up to a mile. In a nutshell, he looked their best prospect as a 3YO miler, and since when did they start sending their potentially best 3YO for the French Guineas?

They didn't even want to formally announce he wasn't going for the 2000 Guineas, we had to find out through the Betfair market and the final decs.

The ground may seem a plausible excuse but in such a lightly-raced and progressive colt, it's far from certain that he's ground dependent, and reading the quotes from O'Brien yesterday, nothing was said about any ground preferences, just something about that they were going to go to France last year with him, so decided they would this year.

I don't really buy Ramruma's argument about trying to market him as a successor in France to Siyouni, who himself is still relatively young and could have another good 10 years at stud.

The 'cynical' argument is this, had St Mark's Brasilica gone to Newmarket and won the Guineas, it's a massive advert for Siyouni, who only a few months earlier had sired the Arc winner. Would that be good business for Coolmore, effectively marketing a rival's sire?
Report Ramruma May 17, 2021 12:21 PM BST

Yes it is true St Mark's Basilica won the Dewhurst but remember he only ran there after he was pulled out of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere when the contaminated feed issue meant all his runners were withdrawn from the Arc meeting. Here is the BBC report from last October:-

So St Mark's Basilica was always aimed at France first, not to advertise Siyouni but to establish St Mark's Basilica as a viable alternative to Siyouni.
Report Ramruma May 17, 2021 12:33 PM BST
@geoff m -- yes, it might be that Aidan did put people away. Does anyone have a record of the Ballydoyle press day after Cheltenham?
Report GEORGE.B May 17, 2021 12:38 PM BST
The jockey bookings in the Dewhurst and previous form might have suggested that they didn't view him as the best of the crop at Ballydoyle, and so might explain why they were thinking more about France at that point, but on the day he showed himself to be the best (at least on soft ground).

He became the winter favourite for the Guineas on the back of it, and according to Geoff's post above, O'Brien apparently said in March that the 2000 Guineas was the target.

All I'm asking is, was there more to it than just the ground for missing Newmarket, did commercial reasons play a part?
Report geoff m May 17, 2021 1:16 PM BST
March 24 ATR stable tour:
St Mark's Basilica (FR)
3-y-o; bay colt
Breeding: Siyouni (FR) - Cabaret (IRE) (Galileo (IRE))
Trained by: A P O'Brien
Next Race: Curragh, 22 May 2021 15:20
Form: 25131-
View full form

Form profile
Rated 120, he won the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket last October.

Trainer says
He’s in good order and we’re happy with how he progressed over the winter. The plan is to go straight to the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket with him. The experience that he got of the track in the Dewhurst can only be a help to him when he goes back there. He’s a straightforward, honest-to-God horse that has a lovely mind. He’s so relaxed, he might give himself a chance to stay beyond a mile, but he’s never looked short of pace and a mile will be our focus with him for the time being.
Report FOYLESWAR May 17, 2021 2:25 PM BST
he said on the atthraces website yesterday ,ah listen the plan was always to go to france ! and paddys.sportsbook were 2 points bigger than any other books all winter ,they new!
Report geoff m May 17, 2021 3:10 PM BST
Foyles:maybe his plan .But not what he shared with the press/public on @ least 2 occassions this spring.
Report Ramruma May 17, 2021 4:03 PM BST
@GEORGE.B -- yes. I agree it was all about commercial considerations. My position is that commercial considerations led directly to France rather than Newmarket. Yours is that they meant skipping Newmarket.

It is usually a safe assumption that Coolmore is driven by commercial considerations.
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