Sunday was a busy day out on the track, with a good standard of racing in Ireland and France especially, whilst here in England; Chelmsford, Leicester and Windsor all took advantage of the summery weather. Aiden O’Brien dominated as usual at the Curragh, whilst there was plenty of reasons for joy over in France for British racing.
3 35 CARAVAGGIO (AP O’Brien) 1/8, Group 1 2YO, 6F, Good to Firm
We didn’t necessarily learn anything new with regards to Caravaggio at the Curragh, it was just a reconfirmation of the blinding speed and ability he possesses already in his career. He is four from four now and has been dominant in each of these, all of a high standard. Ballydoyle’s juvenile has now earned over £200,000 already and is the clear cut Guineas favourite for a reason. There is no doubt he is the top 2YO around these shores and a crack at the Nunthorpe hasn’t yet been concretely ruled out, although the top 2YO races over the next month or two seem more realistic. After the race O’Brien revealed that his star juvenile clocked up over 45MPH on the gallops, something never seen by any horse at Ballydoyle, scary…
3 30 PALING (R Charlton) 6/4, C4 H’Cap, 1M2F, Good to Firm
The clear cut favourite heading into this race and it is hard to see how 6/4 was even available. He had cracking form coming into this assignment and confidently demolished the field, easing down to a 5L victory. He did get weight all round due to the age allowance in the handicap, but this was not a factor. You have to feel he is steadily reaching his potential and Sunday’s win was a big step forwards. He will be raised close to the 90 mark, and some top handicaps or even some black type will be the targets before the end of the summer.
2 50 VENTURA STORM (R Hannon) 14/5, Group 3, 1M4.5F, Good
After a positive start to the summer, Richard Hannon’s Zoffany colt lost his way through May and June. But in recent weeks, since being upped in trip, we have seen back to back victories in Listed and now Group level. The 3.5L victory in France was very assertive and the chasing pack had no chance. The Irish or English St Leger are now realistic options and the horse certainly looks capable of the trip with more still to offer at the highest level. He topped a great weekend for the Middleham Park Syndicate, after Donjuan Triumphant ran brilliantly for Richard Fahey and the syndicate in the eventful Group 1 Maurice de Gheest.