“There Is Only One Place To Find Out” – Can City Of Troy Gain Derby Redemption?

In it seems no time at all, Coolmore's big horse City Of Troy (Justify) has gone from "our Frankel" to a colt carrying a huge symbolic question mark over a head that appeared poised to carry racing's crown. There have been few greater anti-climaxes in the history of Ballydoyle than that which accompanied his abject 2,000 Guineas performance and, following the roller-coaster experience of last year's Derby, we are unexpectedly back in familiar territory. What occurred at Epsom last June was heralded as a feat of training without equal as...

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All Eyes On Opera Singer In The Irish 1000

This year's G1 1,000 Guineas took place without Ballydoyle's Opera Singer (Justify), so there is a sense of unfinished business when it comes to the pecking order of the 3-year-old fillies at present. Sunday's Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at The Curragh should answer some questions, none more so than that concerning how straight she is for a tough reintroduction having suffered that setback. So good in the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac, some will tell you that she may not have to be at 100% to win this but when it...

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'Milano' Aiming To Leave Rivals Half-Baked In Tokyo Yushun

Record-setting G1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) hero Justin Milano (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) faces 15 colts and one filly in Sunday's ¥611,240,000 G1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) at Tokyo over 2400 metres on Sunday. Flawless in three starts, the Masahiro Miki runner won his career bow over 2000 metres on this course in November, and added the G3 Kyodo News Hai with Jantar Mantar (Jpn) (Palace Malice) second in February. He knocked 0.70 seconds off of the Japanese 2000 Guineas record, covering that trip in a sparkling 1:57.10, with Group...

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Stellenbosch Gunning For Classic Double In Yushun Himba

Katsumi Yoshida's Stellenbosch (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) is aiming to add a second Classic to her resume in Sunday's G1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks). Facing off against 17 other fillies, the daughter of the three-time winner Bloukrans (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}) will leave from gate seven under Keita Tosaki. She defeated her G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies conqueress Ascoli Piceno (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) and Listed Elfin S. heroine Light Back (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) in the G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) over 1600 metres back in April. If she prevails on Sunday,...

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Ballydoyle Stayers Out In Force On Friday

Aidan O'Brien's Gold Cup picture will be a lot clearer by Friday night, with the 2022 hero of that Royal meeting's feature Kyprios (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and the G3 Red Sea Turf H. and G2 Dubai Gold Cup winner Tower Of London (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in action across the Irish Sea. The latter, who is beginning to fulfil his TDN Rising Star tag over staying trips, takes aim at the York Dante festival's G2 Boodles Yorkshire Cup before Ryan Moore flies to Leopardstown to steer Kyprios to an almost inevitable...

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Friendly Soul Steps Up In The Musidora

Arguably the most impressive Oaks trial winner so far this month when dominating the Listed Pretty Polly S., George Strawbridge's Friendly Soul (GB) (Kingman {GB}) makes a 10-day turnaround in Wednesday's G3 Tattersalls Musidora S. at York. Upsetting the already-proven Kalpana (GB) (Study Of Man {Ire}) at Newmarket, where the third was 12 lengths further behind, the John and Thady Gosden-trained filly is slightly ahead of the curve as far as pedigree is concerned, so far showing more precocity than her three Group 1-winning half-siblings. Despite being by Kingman, she...

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Henry Longfellow Bids For Classic Glory

After the disappointment of City Of Troy last Saturday, it is up to Ballydoyle's fellow TDN Rising Star Henry Longfellow (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) to seek to redress the balance in Sunday's Emirates-sponsored G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp. While the stable's 3-year-olds seem to be gradually creeping into gear with every passing day, there is the sense that they are more than a little rusty as they reappear from winter quarters and the son of Minding (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) will have to be near a peak to navigate what...

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Namur Razor Sharp For Victoria Mile

The in-form Namur (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) faces only 14 foes in the G1 Victoria Mile at Tokyo on Sunday, a "Win And You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar in November. There won't be any safety nets for her rivals either, as the Carrot Farm runner has been extremely consistent of late, taking last October's G2 Fuji S. over her pet distance before showing her heels in open company in Kyoto's G1 Mile Championship a month later. A solid third to impressive...

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Passenger Returns At Chester

Sir Michael Stoute's mastery of knowing when to press and when to relent with his horses has resulted in a rarefied fine-tuning of training older horses bordering on cliche. On Friday at Chester we see another budding kingpin from Freemason Lodge in Passenger (Ulysses {Ire}), who starts a potentially significant 4-year-old campaign in the G2 Ire-Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Huxley S. Such a live contender for the Derby just two runs after his debut in Newmarket's "Wood Ditton", the Niarchos homebred was unable to build on his promising...

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All Eyes On Chester With Epsom Classics Up For Grabs

After the shell-shock of City Of Troy's performance in Saturday's 2000 Guineas still reverberating, the Derby has a much more open look than it did last week and so the focus on Chester's May Festival will be even keener than usual. Wednesday's G3 Boodles Chester Vase has supplied the Blue Riband hero twice since 2013 and with a record 10 successes it is clear that Aidan O'Brien has come to prioritise the trial for his Epsom hopefuls. Ryan Moore had the pick of a duo this time and has opted...

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Clash Of Champions In NHK Mile Cup

A valiant second in the G1 Oka Sho last month, 2023 Japanese Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Ascoli Piceno (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) is looking for redemption in Tokyo's G1 NHK Mile Cup on Sunday having lost her unbeaten record. However, the 18-strong field boasts two champions and plenty of up-and-comers and her task is not straightforward. The mount of crack French reinsman Christophe Lemaire, the granddaughter of the high class G1 Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile heroine Listen (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) won both the G3 Niigata Nisai S. and the G1...

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Moment Of Truth For City Of Troy

Newmarket Heath's nude brutality awaits a clutch of elite 3-year-olds on Saturday, from the ones who have flashed unusual prowess in the major juvenile exposés to those whose flashes of luminosity have come on smaller and less expected stages. The Rowley Mile's designated strip for the 2000 Guineas is as hostile this horrid Spring as it ever has been and Friday's grey skies and rain only served to extend Europe's winter hangover. Indifferent to weakness, expecting many a flinch and fold from the competitors lined up for the first Classic...

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