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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Notes - Sept 23

- Tim Holland has a superb article up on Brisnet that is well worth reading in its entirety. Noting the intentions of Aidan O'Brien to send Dylan Thomas to Belmont to prep for the Classic, the piece recounts all of the Coolmore runners that have come over for the big race. Giant's Causeway was the first, in 2000, and his thrilling loss to Tiznow is posted on Not to the Swift, with French racecallers. That's right, racecallers. There were two announcers, who switched off like a tag team after each one's turn through the field. The difference between the two is stark - imagine if ESPN had decided to have Durkin and Denman split the races in this fashion!

Holland opines that Giant's Causeway was more likely to take to the dirt than Dylan Thomas will be.

Being by Storm Cat and out of a Grade 2 winner on the dirt, it was expected that Giant's Causeway would take to the dirt. So it was little surprise to many that he ran a huge race from the 13 post to be beaten in a thriller by Tiznow, who would go on to repeat the following year.
In addition to being by Danehill, who has proven himself as one of the best turf sires worldwide in recent years, Dylan Thomas is out of a mare by Diesis (GB) who is having a banner year as a broodmare sire. With his daughters previously responsible for grass-oriented millionaires such as Cetewayo, Honor in War (Lord at War [Arg]) and Manndar (Ire), they are also credited with this year's English St Leger S. (Eng-G1) victor Sixties Icon (Galileo [Ire]), who is set to take his chance in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) in October.
Dylan Thomas has proven that his ideal scenario is lying close to the early pace over firm ground at 10 furlongs, and of the five previous Coolmore runners to attempt the Breeders' Cup Classic, the closest to match this is Giant's Causeway. However, while the latter's pedigree suggested that dirt should be no problem, the same cannot be said for Dylan Thomas, so it will pay the connections to make this "fishing trip" before committing to the big race at Churchill Downs in November. [Brisent]
- O'Brien may be bringing along a pal for Dylan Thomas in George Washington. The latter bounced back and won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. "Mick [Kinane] said he was just half-speeding....If he's well tomorrow and the coming days we'd love to go to the Breeders' Cup." [Sporting Life]

- New York's Ad Hoc committee announced that it will not make the Sept 29 deadline to announce their recommendation of the next franchise holder. The announcement is expected to come next month. [NY Daily News]

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I just read about GW's scintillating run today, and wow, they were really piling on the superlatives. Kinane went so far as to say he's never ridden a better horse. His main problem (aside from a recurring string of health issues) is that he's known to be a bit of a nut-job. However, O'Brien alluded to that after the race when stating that GW has "really grown up" and "turned into a man" since his comeback try in the Sussex. If this is really a new-and-improved version, then watch out come Breeders Cup Day. It's quite possible the best miler in the world goes off as second or third choice (Aragorn, Gorella).

P.S. - Speaking of comebacks and health issues, Araafa turned in an excellent performance today, running second by a length and a half. I'm not quite sure where Librettist finished, but Godolphin has to be very disappointed in his run today. Perhaps he just doesn't run as well on fast ground, as his recent Group One double in France was achieved over soft going. On the other hand, he was meeting a much tougher group of animals today. Maybe he just couldn't handle it.