Social Discourse: 13th May 2019

We are into the thick of the flat season now, and that means taking some international trips for what is a big recap edition of Social Discourse. There’s plenty to look forward to this week, but in case you were gripped by the weekend’s football – and let’s be honest, there’s no shame in that – here’s what you might have missed.

  1. Kings and Castles

Anything Coolmore can do, Godolphin can do… just as well?

A fortnight on from Coolmore’s Guineas double, Godolphin landed their own brace of successes in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and Pouliches with two horses of immense promise for the season ahead.

It was also a momentous milestone for the Boys in Blue, who passed 300 Group 1 winners worldwide – and judging by these two exciting Classic winners – they will be adding to that total this summer.

Persian King had been all the rage for the Poulains, following his impressive win in the Prix de Fontainebleau, that following on from a game victory over 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, but there was one big unknown – heavy ground.


The surface at Longchamp was very testing – in line with the surface for much of the week’s racing in Europe – and Persian King, like most of the field, was untried on anything slower than good to soft.

However, he was punted as if defeat was out of the question – indeed he went off 2/5 t- and the money turned out to be right as he responded with tenacity to Pierre Charles-Boudot’s drive at the cutaway, and impressed what already looks like a legion of fans, including one extremely notable fellow…

This first Classic winner for Kingman showed a decent turn of foot in the circumstances and no small amount of grit to get the better of Shaman, the only other heavy ground winner in the field, in a performance which augured well for a future step up in trip, and the Prix du Jockey Club appears to be the next target according to connections:

From the trainer: “He would prefer good ground. The Jockey Club was the long term plan so we’ll see. The other option is to wait for Ascot but we’ll decide with Sheikh Mohammed and Diane Wildenstein. The Jockey Club seems the obvious target.” – Andre Fabre speaking to Scott Burton of the Racing Post

Best of The Rest: San Donato ran a big race to be third on his return, especially as he was making his seasonal debut and running on ground so heavy for the first time. Grainges, third in the Jean Luc Lagardere and perhaps unlucky not to take the Djebel, might have a future up in trip too.


Not less than half an hour later, the Royal Blue was in front again as Castle Lady poured her heart out to get the better of Commes by a nose in the Pouliches.

The daughter of Shamardal, who received a fine ride from Mickael Barzalona, got the victory by just a nose from Commes as the two flew past the line together, with Kevin Ryan’s East (more on her later) a fine third.

Her progression has been a story in itself: she was once with Charlie Appleby, but was then switched to Alex Pantall, and in the space of just under three months she’s gone from Chantilly maiden winner to Group 1 filly.

With Commes, a daughter of Prix du Jockey Club winner Le Havre, set to head to the Prix Diane, Royal Ascot could well be on the cards for the winner, who “won’t stay the Diane trip” according to her trainer.

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East, who was drawn very wide, finished to strong effect and has a bright season ahead of her.


  1. Trials And Tribulations

Ladies First – The Oaks is developing into a hell of a renewal, isn’t it?

  • Already set to head there, we have Hermosa, the 1,000 Guineas winner who did her best work late:

  • Mehdaayih, the uber-impressive winner of the Cheshire Oaks who is surely set to be supplemented

  • Maqsad, the brilliant winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes

  • Anapurna, the wide margin winner of Lingfield’s Oaks Trial

  • Blue Wind Stakes winner, Pink Dogwood

  • Happen, the Athasi Stakes winner and daughter of Alexandrova


In the Musidora Stakes at York this week, we will see the unbeaten Frankellina and Sandown winner Sparkle Roll.


  1. The Ballydoyle Six

The Derby picture is developing too, although it seems to be tilting itself towards one man. You know his name: Aidan O’Brien has six Derby’s and five of the top six in the betting for this year’s Epsom renewal.

  • Top of the list is Sir Dragonet, the eight-length (yes eight-lengths) Chester Vase winner, who was so powerful late on that he covered the final circuit two seconds quicker than Mehdaayih

  • Ballysax and Derrinstown Stakes winner Broome

  • Japan, the Beresford Stakes winner who reappears in the Dante (see below)

  • Anthony Van Dyck, the winner of the Lingfield Derby trial at the weekend


The only horse who isn’t from Ballydoyle and in the top five? Too Darn Hot, who runs in…


  1. Dante’s Inferno

There’s just over a fortnight to go until The Derby, and the last trial arguably has the potential to shake things up the most – the Dante.

The York Trial is traditionally one of the strongest, and this year that will be the case once again with what looks like a very deep field.

Taking to the Knavesmire will be:

  • Champion 2-year-old and Dewhurst winner Too Darn Hot

  • Beresford Stakes winner Japan
  • Surfman, subject of a big gamble and a 14 length novice winner at Newcastle

  • Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Line of Duty, hoping to strike one for TV’s AC-12

  • Telecaster, second to subsequent Bet365 Trial winner Bangkok on debut before then winning by nine lengths at Windsor


Also running….

  • Sandown maiden winner Almania, the representative of Sir Michael Stoute, Mark Johnston’s Nayef Road, Kadar, Turgenev, Dark Vision and Western Australia. Whoosh!


  1. Elsewhere
  • Cape Byron held off the gallant Kynren to land the Tote Victoria Cup at Ascot


  • Salouen took the Carey Group Buckhounds Stakes in style on the same cards

  • Pretty Baby overcame the widest draw and the slowest ground she’d raced on to claim a game victory in the Chartwell Stakes at Lingfield


  • At Chester, Making Miracles won the Chester Cup by six lengths, beating Who Dares Wins and Whiskey Sour, with Cambridgeshire winner Low Sun in fourth


  • Circus Maximus won the Dee Stakes, beating stablemate Mohawk with Fox Chairman unlucky in third

  • Hazapour took the Amethyst Stakes, coping well with the drop down to a mile
  • Morando stormed to victory in the Ormonde Stakes, beating Kew Gardens by no less than eight-lengths, with last year’s Chester Cup winner Magic Circle in third


  • Hamariyna was a taking winner of Leopardstown’s 1,000 Guineas Trial

  • Hazapour took the Amethyst Stakes, coping well with the drop down to a mile

Phew! That’s all for another packed instalment. Tune in again next week – same time, same place – for more of the same. Until then, this is William Kedjanyi signing off…

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