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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tout Seul's Avatar
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    Irish Derby Festival.

    Surprised to see an apparent lack of interest in this meeting given the depth of knowledge of many of Irish contributors to the forum. Some good, informative races yesterday and plenty still to come.
    Dating back to Fred Winter/ Richard Pitman days I have sought to enhance my enjoyment of the game and returns by choosing particular stables or owners to follow. Not following blindly but trying to develop a sufficient knowledge/understanding that gives me a vicarious sense of involvement.
    Top of a very short list currently for me at this time is the Harrington yard. Fortunately the yard’s blossoming Flat operations have provided me with some of the best moments in the sport that I can remember. Sod the betting aspect, the performances of the unfortunate Alpha Centauri, especially at Ascot, were exhilarating. Saw her win at Newmarket and close up she was awesome. Enough.
    To mention yesterday’s debut filly, Windracer, in the same post is not to invite comparison, not feasible, but she’s a lovely, powerful, horse with a good attitude. JH had tweeted that she would do well and she had to to beat the well-backed favourite, two very promising fillies. Watch for them both next year!

    Today Albigna goes in the Airlie Stud race. She was pulled out of Ascot (ouch!) and was supplemented for this. Didn’t back her ante post because Windracer was also entered and now her price is much tighter than I’d hoped. On her debut she came flying through a group of horses to win impressively with a confidence and speed belying her debut status. Probably looking through rose-tinted glasses but it seemed that she was learning with every yard.
    The stable is definitely in form, JH usually leaves a bit more to come from debutants and also has a habit (both over sticks and on the Flat) of getting her string ready to peak for a specific meeting.

    Hopefully a good day.
    Last edited by Tout Seul; 28th June 2019 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Typo
    "Do not think the moment was imagined, do not think of strategies like this." Leonard Cohen

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  4. #2
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    Have a great day, TS!
    Two's company, three's allowed.

  5. #3
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    Tout Seul,
    Windracer had actually won a barrier trial at Naas 3 weeks ago - a relatively new phenomenon in Irish racing - which would have stood to her yesterday in terms of the early gate speed she showed.
    The trials are available to view on the itm.ie website.

  6. #4
    Senior Member Tout Seul's Avatar
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    Thanks. RP.
    I was aware of the trial but had a very sketchy idea of what form it actually took. If I’d had known it was that significant I would have increased the size of the pot put aside for yesterday’s race. Seems a good idea.
    Saying that, the amount of money for the favourite made me more cautious than I had expected to be.
    "Do not think the moment was imagined, do not think of strategies like this." Leonard Cohen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tout Seul View Post
    Sod the betting aspect, the performances of the unfortunate Alpha Centauri, especially at Ascot, were exhilarating. Saw her win at Newmarket and close up she was awesome. Enough.
    Totally agree TS. I love to go to the races, betting's well down the list for me.

    GL today

  8. #6
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    WOW!! Took awhile for the penny to drop there

  9. #7
    Senior Member Tout Seul's Avatar
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    Well into the last furlong I was thinking ‘Why didn’t I do the sensible thing and disregard yesterday’s winnings when backing this?’ No way could she win from there. Then afterburners came on, WOW! She flew.
    From head in hands to lunatic jumping up and down. Heart attack stuff.

    Diary. I do bet. Generally relatively small amounts but occasionally make what are substantial bets for me. What I inadequately tried to convey was that at times the bets become irrelevant it’s just the performance that is what really gets the heart pumping.
    "Do not think the moment was imagined, do not think of strategies like this." Leonard Cohen

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  11. #8
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    Well done, TS.
    Ah! but a man's reach should exceed his grasp......

  12. #9
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    I guess that's similar to what I was trying to convey in my post TS. In the 70's I used to go to the Tuesday of York's August meeting when there were always 3 Group 1's on that first day. Just to see the quality of the horses on show made it very special.

  13. #10
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    So there I was after a sudden family bereavement making arrangements to get to Irish Derby 2019.
    In 1979 a neighbour brought me by train ; Mallow railway station platform was packed tight as the train approached.
    Standing room only on the 8 am special from Cork.
    The Stand bar was overflowing as we entered the racecourse once enclosures opened at midday.
    The racecourse doubled up as parade ring to allow pubic to get a proper view.
    Lester, Willie the shoe, Willie Carson and Freddie Head rode that day. it was magic.
    Despite the huge crowds I do not remember queuing too long for anything.
    Roll on Budweiser Derby Days when I experienced the greatest sense of community ever on a racecourse.
    Walk into any bar with cans of bud a pound each; you pulled out whatever note came from your pocket and bought that number of cans, passing around to whomever was beside you, knowing that your generosity would be returned by some other stranger before too long.

    2017 the building site was used to sacrifice 15000 paying customers for 2 foreign trained horses.

    2019 with the new facility in place, teething problems apparently seen to I left home with baldeagle driving and my nephew in tow , looking forward to visiting the derby museum in kildare town before racing.
    The museum was closed Derby day, for what reason I cannot fathom.
    To the railway we went to collect Paddy off the Dublin train at 1.02pm
    A bus with 12 passengers waited until precisely the final hoot of the train before leaving the station, going out of view as the passengers alighted from the train.
    I was flabbergasted.
    On the racecourse the shortest queue was at the shop/cafe; it took only thirteen minutes to get three bottles of water and a chicken roll.
    The other queues were much longer.
    The racing was fantastic but of course the Derby disappointing, no foreign raider despite all the efforts to maintain interest by alienating racegoers.
    Not having a proper catering facility for a crowd is daft.
    These latte/cappuccino machines are just too slow to cater for any kind of a crowd.
    One item stands are the way to cater for a crowd, rapid exchange with no confusion or delay.
    I do hope the powers that be see the light and pull the rod out of their asses.

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  15. #11
    Senior Member Grey's Avatar
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    I thought the Irish Derby was a most unsatisfactory race.

    I have seen bumpers where similar things happened, and the stewards hauled in every rider bar the winner to demand an explanation. Given that complete outsider Sovereign was allowed by professional jockeys to win one of the big races of the year unchallenged, I was waiting to hear an announcement along similar lines.

    What made the situation worse was the lopsided nature of the field for the race, with so many of the runners, including the hot favourite, in the same ownership. Were team tactics in operation? By sending two runners into a clear lead, was Ballydoyle placing the onus to organise a chase on the runners from other stables? And had they calculated that because of stamina doubts the jockeys on these horses would be caught in a dilemma?

    I'm not saying I know the answers to these questions. The stewards sought an explanation for the apparent improvement in form of the winner, but I think they should also have brought in the riders of every other horse in the race to ask why they failed to land any kind of blow.

    I know that Coolmore/Ballydoyle are the most formidable combination in racing and they are committed to maintaining the status of the Irish Derby, but it doesn't serve their purposes if people start suspecting that their dominance makes it more difficult for others to win it.
    Last edited by Grey; 2nd July 2019 at 3:21 AM.

  16. #12
    Senior Member an capall's Avatar
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    I awoke on Saturday morning, down to Sandycove for a swim, coffee and, excitedly, the Irish Field. Reviewed the card. Did it again. Read all the set up pieces. Thought about the Derby again - the only point that interested me was KP and Madhmoon. Reviewed the card again. Reflected on the roadworks on the M7. Thought about it some more.

    Went playing golf.
    "And still they gazed and still the wonder grew. That one small head could carry all he knew."

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    You know what you'd miss as a racing spectator, seeing joy on the faces of a Derby winning owner/trainer.

    I was coming home on Saturday night and the 11 O'Clock RTE sports news came on. Their view on what was most important to their listeners, reflecting in their running order was:
    - GAA qualifiers
    - Women's World Cup
    - European Golf
    - European Games Athletics
    - Irish Derby

  18. #14
    Senior Member an capall's Avatar
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    For those who subscribe to Final Furlong Podcast, todays edition - review of the weekend has Sarah Lynam and Kevin Blake discussing the new Curragh. She is very unimpressed.
    "And still they gazed and still the wonder grew. That one small head could carry all he knew."

  19. #15
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    Some of those Bud Irish Derby days really were fantastic. I remember Alamshar v Dalakhani and, to a slightly lesser extext, Dylan Thomas v the French in particular. Looking back in hindsight they probably weren't out and out top class affairs, but the anticipation building up to them with the French involved was notable. There's no doubt the change in the French calendar has adversely impacted the Irish Derby.

    I've not had the chance to experience the new Curragh yet, but judging from the social media / podcast etc response it seems underwhelming. That said, given the way things have gone and the fact it was a building site for two years I don't think the first Derby Day crowd was actually that bad all things considered.

    What will be interesting to see is how the move to Friday night / 'twilight' cards plays out. It didn't seem to work for the Derby festival - but fair fucks for trying it and hopefully they learn. I do think that a Saturday Derby (and Oaks) is the right move, but looking at some of the upcoming fixtures I'm very skeptical. Running the Heinz on a Friday evening is absolutely laughable for me as a 'purist'.. but will be interested to see if they attract a crowd.

  20. #16
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    Generous vs Suave Dancer was the most anticipated race of that summer. Genuine sporting showdown excitement.

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