Social Discourse – Monday 19th August

Refreshed after a week in the sun, Social Discourse is back to digest the action from the previous seven days. Last week was another busy one,with the best race and the best performance appearing only yesterday, writes William Kedjanyi,


  1. Planet Earthlight

It was the race of the week, and the juvenile race of the season so far. The winner of the Coventry Stakes, Arizona, faced off against the winners of the Queen Mary (Raffle Prize) and Norfolk Stakes (A’Ali). They were all beaten, however, by star French colt Earthlight, who knuckled down to get the better of a duel with Raffle Prize, the pair coming well clear of third-placed Golden Horde.


The winner, for whom the heavy ground was a concern, could be coming to a racecourse near you next Spring – if you live near Newmarket, that is. Andre Fabre, when asked by the omnipresent Matt Chapman, strongly suggested that he would be heading to the Rowley Mile.


The rest: Raffle Prize did nothing wrong, and the Cheveley Park is her next target. Next year, the Commonwealth Cup could be the aim. Golden Horde ran a sound race to be third and can improve again. Arizona stayed on late to beat A’Ali for fourth but he didn’t do much to dispel the notion that Aidan O’Brien’s horses are not running at their very best right now, and perhaps we’ll see better from him down the road. A’Ali probably found the ground too soft and the trip too far, while this was too much for Aroha, Royal Dornoch, and Devil.


Fun Fact: This was a first French winner of the Prix Morny in eight renewals.


  1. The Miss, Mrs, and Mister

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past week, you’ve seen this.


And most people on your feeds have had an opinion on it.

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This is all fair and well – indeed this series of newsletters is built upon opinions on one social media network – but can there ever be too much? (Spoiler alert: yes).

Here is just one out of a select few.


Now, this is not an opinion on what anyone should call their boss, in racing or another industry. Frankly, as long as you’re treated well, it shouldn’t matter. But it gets to a point where one must ask oneself; Do you really need to be this angry when replying? Does this issue really count that much? Is this an appropriate response to a 200-word comment piece?


The answer is no.

Does this issue matter all that much?

One suspects the answer to that begins with n, too.


  1. La Coronet

Like London Buses, if you wait long enough, you get two of them.

John Gosden doesn’t have to wait for many things, but he did have to be patient to see his wonderfully consistent mare Coronet take the Darley Prix Jean Romanet, thus doubling her Group 1 tally.


Holding her head high – as you do when you’re a top class racehorse – she took her second Group 1 in a row, once again finding favour in France, and staying on best to get the better of With You in what was a good stretch duel, albeit a less sustained one than we saw earlier in the Morny. She’s gained quite a following, too.


Le Rest: Red Tea ran a huge race for Joseph O’Brien, ridden by his brother Donnacha, and was ahead of I Can Fly, who ran her usual consistent race but who didn’t make a big impression. It was yet another so-so effort from a Ballydoyle horse in a summer which has not brought much joy for Aidan O’Brien. Spirit of Nation didn’t have the toe to get involved, and Wild Illusion was disappointing and doesn’t look like the same horse we saw last year.

Two-Thousand-And-Dettori: This was Dettori’s 13th Group 1 of the summer, for anyone still tracking.


  1. Over The Weekend

In case you missed it…

  • Glorious Journey was a game winner of the Hungerford Stakes, relishing the seven furlong trip to get the better of Librisa Breeze, who ran a fine race on his return, in a game performance that may see him pointed towards the Prix de la Foret in October


  • Technician was back to his best and pressed his claims for a shot at the William Hill St Leger with victory in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury, getting the better of Morando in another tight tussle at the Berkshire venue.

  • Thunderous backed up wins at Doncaster and Redcar with a game win in the Denford Stakes, beating the Richard Hannon-trained pair Sun Power and Sesame Birah, with the latter coming second

  • Trebellum scored an impressive victory in the Group 2 Shadwell Prix de la Nonette, taking yet another prize for John Gosden

  • Andre Fabre had another two-year-old winner as Lady Bamford’s Tropbeau was a smart winner of the Shadwell Prix du Calvados over seven furlongs.

  • Dakota Gold went one better than 12 months ago when making all in the Great St Wilfrid Handicap at Ripon, beating the consistent Summerghand into second

  • Tarnawa gave trainer Dermot Weld a record sixth triumph in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Give Thanks Stakes at Cork.

  • On the same card, Flight Risk showed he still retains plenty of ability at the age of eight when getting the better of younger rivals in the Listed Platinum Stakes
  • In America, Chad Brown took yet another major prize as Dunbar Road claimed the Alabama Stakes in style on a sloppy track at Saratoga

  • Meanwhile, at Del Mar, Higher Power was a wide margin winner of the Pacific Classic, a Grade 1 ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Classic

  • Cambier Parc ran down Hidden Message to win the Del Mark Oaks

  • Japanese Arc contender Blast Onepiece showcased his claims with a neck victory over Sungrazer in the 1m2f Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen under Yuga Kawada.



  1. Making Hay On The Knavesmire

York’s Ebor meeting is one of the highlights of the summer, and as always here are some pieces of advice for the week coming.


  • Always try and bet the night before if you can. You can very often beat starting price
  • Think about course form. York is a specialists’ track, especially when the ground softens
  • If you are going and haven’t already yet, buy and take a mobile phone charger. In fact, two if you can carry them
  • Think about where the pace is. There are many sprints at York where the pace will help or hinder others
  • Try and make use of sectional timings


  • Chase: Four days of some of the most competitive races you will find all year will mean you’ll have times when things go wrong. Keep a steady strategy
  • Go too hard too early if you’re going – obligatory notice here but York is a fantastic place
  • Count out a horse completely because of price or draw
  • Disregard sectional timings – there can be many advantages gained for even a cursory glance at the splits

I’m away again next week – try not to miss me too much 😉 – but back in a fortnight for more of the same. In the meantime, enjoy York.


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