Horse Racing News – Monday 3rd July 2017

Fanshawe Still On A High And Capri Masters Broken Wings

Higher Powers To Plate Success

Newcastle’s major flat contest of the year took place up at Newcastle on Saturday afternoon with the 2017 edition of the Northumberland Plate. Some were concerned as to how the race would be affected by the switch to an all-weather surface ahead of the 2016 renewal, but if the measures to be used are excitement and quality of runner, then those concerns seem wholly unfounded.

With just three lengths covering the first eight home, this was certainly a thrilling race to watch, with most of the fancied runners turning up to the party. Sir Mark Prescott’s, Flymetothestars ran with great credit in third, whilst Natural Scenery once again showed his liking for the venue in filling the runners up spot. The spoils though went to the James Fanshawe runner, Higher Power.

Having finished second to subsequent Gold Cup hero, Big Orange, on his previous start, this one certainly had the from in the book to take a hand. Showing a most tenacious attitude to repel all comers in the final furlong, he handed his trainer a quick big race double following the success of The Tin Man in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Cap Fits For O’Brien In Irish Derby….

It was no surprise to see Aidan O’Brien land Saturday’s Irish Derby at the Curragh. Having previously won the race 11 times, he was already the most successful trainer in the history of the contest, and was responsible for five of the nine runners in this year’s renewal. It was however a minor shock that it was not Epsom Derby hero, Wings Of Eagles to come home in front – although that horse had a legitimate excuse (see below) – but Epsom sixth Capri.

Always held in high regard, it was thought a little give underfoot and a stiff test at the distance would see this one to best effect. And so it proved. With the Ballydoyle pacemakers serving it up in the early stages, stamina was always going to come to the fore in the straight and this son of Galileo would not be denied in fending of Wings Of Eagles, Derby third, Cracksman, French raider Waldgeist and the rest. Likely to given a break ahead of an autumn campaign, Sky Bet make him a 20/1 shot for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and 5/1 for the St Leger.

…but Race Comes At A Cost

The performance of Wings Of Eagles in third, whilst by no means poor, did initially appear to be a little disappointing given his superiority at Epsom. However, with the subsequent news that the son of Pour Moi returned from the race with a fractured bone in his leg, and still only went down by under a length, this was a truly mighty effort.

Sadly, this injury is of the career ending variety, but it is to be hoped he can recover sufficiently for a career at stud. Showing speed, stamina and class at Epsom, and immense heart in running through the pain barrier at The Curragh, he rates an attractive breeding proposition and certainly won’t be forgotten by those who backed him at Epsom.