The Prince Consort Stakes

Long Run‘s demise in the Gold Cup was entirely due to nepotism.  The owner insists that his son, a 5lb claiming conditional rider (apprentice), must ride this horse.  The stupid part of all this silly sentimentality is that the boy can’t claim his weight allowance in Grade 1 races.  He has given Long Run poor rides before but today’s was the worst as, for the first time, it was the difference between winning and losing.  Let’s hope the owner comes to his senses and Barry Geraghty is declared next time.  Somehow, I doubt it.

But now, after a week of feast, it’s time for the famine:  The Prince Consort Stakes

AUTHENTIC TERRIBLE TOUT SPEED FIGURES

1.    Prince Andrew            100
2.    Great Like That             82
3.    UNCLE DONNY           108
4.    Lashing Force             104
5.    Timeforarms                86
6.    Potcheen                    102
7.    Rainbow Man            101
8.    Aventura                    101
9.    Eastwood                     96
10.  Italiano                      101

Although it is competitive on paper, there are 4 standouts namely Prince Andrew; Uncle Donny; Potcheen and Italiano.  They should make up the Superfecta.

Prince Andrew appears clearly held by Uncle Donny on their January 28 meeting but I was luxuriating at Half Moon that weekend and didn’t see the actual race.  Prince Andrew has 7 lbs to make up based on the bare result but the booking of Winston Griffiths instead of Peter Bryan will take care of at least 5 of those 7 lbs so there’s not a lot in it between these two.  Prince Andrew‘s subsequent run will give him an experience advantage but the speed figure (SF) he posted then was inferior to his January 28 SF so he can’t have learned much.

When you also consider that both have been victimized by the draw (Prince Andrew worse of all) and both are more stayers than milers, it may well be that at least one of them will be found out tomorrow by the speedier types.  The likeliest candidate is Prince Andrew, a half brother to Derby 2nd Sterofabulous (by Royal Minister) and to confirmed stayers Quick Medic (by The Medic) and Royal Blast (by Royal Minister).  If he tries to run a “pace race” out of that number 1 hole, he will find himself with too much to do and too much traffic to overcome.

Now Uncle Donny is more versatilely bred being the first foal of the Royal Minister mare, Pretty Hilly, herself a daughter of Champion 2yo, Oaks winner and 1,000 Guineas 2nd Millford Sound which makes her a full sister to Millimetre (Champion 2yo and 3yo; multiple Grade 1 winner including the Jamaica 2yo Stakes and the St Leger); and a half sister to Theorem (by French Champagne; winner of Grade 1 Governor’s Cup and 2nd in the Superstakes); and 1,000 Guineas winner, Fiord (by Exotic Traveller).   Still, he will also come into his own around two turns and may find 7f against top 3yos a bit sharp even at this stage of his career.

However, he is a standout on speed; will be far better positioned up with the pace than Prince Andrew and will not go down without a fight.  He will be staying on strongly up the lane (albeit at one pace) and will only be beaten by a horse that can quicken past him.  He will prove very, very hard to beat here and should finish no worse than 2nd.

The very short list of those capable of quickening up past Uncle Donny include Italiano and  POTCHEENItaliano is the first colt produced by the Schism mare Pik A Trix who had previously produced modest fillies Zixx (by Pat N Jac) and Queen Eliza (by Royal Minister).  He is bred for speed on both sides but has twice proved (by his staying on 3rd to foreigners BlastThem Away and Noon It Is over 7f on New Year’s Eve and his storming last quarter finish over 6f on February 25) that 7f is well within his grasp.  He recorded a 25.8 seconds final quarter that day (with 57Kg) and so, with a mere 53Kg tomorrow, he may confuse the starting gates with a launch pad at Cape Canaveral.  Additionally, he has been given the perfect draw.  He should have no trouble brushing aside old rival Lashing Force.

But, in POTCHEEN, they all have to deal with a classy youngster who is perfectly suited by all conditions save for the fact that he is burdened with top weight.  That will mean that POTCHEEN doesn’t have to win this to have an outstanding chance in the 2,000 Guineas but his credentials as the prospective winner of a one mile classic are so good compared to his rivals that he must be given the nod.  He has already defeated Guineas favourite and subsequent Jamaica 2yo Stakes winner All Correct (another who impresses as a two turn type).  His misfortune in the 2yo Stakes (inexplicablely, a tongue strap was fitted and he was victimized by the dreaded number 2 draw) and his reappearance run against foreigners, for which he could not have been at 100%, was a picture perfect prep race.  He needed that run but ended up only 2 1/2l behind 1:33.2 on the same day that highly touted Eastwood slaughtered Timeforarms (both run tomorrow) in 1:34.3.

POTCHEEN‘s style of running is what’s required as he’ll be much closer to the pace than his main rivals.  I expect Omar Walker to ride a more patient race (held up; tracking the pace) than he did on Trinithetutor last week and to ride POTCHEEN for a turn of foot 2 furlongs out.  He should enter the final furlong with a crucial lead which will be whittled down by Uncle Donny all the way to the line

SELECTIONS:        POTCHEEN from Uncle Donny (2nd); Italiano (3rd); and Prince Andrew (4th)

Good Luck!

THE TERRIBLE TOUT

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