Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Final bound

Barcelona are through to the Wembley final after dispatching Real on aggregate. No real news there. I believe Man Utd will follow them tonight as they try to finish off Schalke at Old Trafford. Ferguson has admitted to having an eye on the crucial Chelsea game over the week-end, so with the 2-0 advantage secured in Germany, he's bound not to play his best team. So Rooney looks to be rested. Even so, I cannot see Man Utd lose that game. For sure they'll qualify and a draw-no-bet on the Red Devils looks safe too.

The main news on Tuesday was the withdrawal of Frankel from Derby considerations; Henry Cecil, his trainer, having serious doubts whether this super horse with such stunning speed and acceleration could endure the stamina-laden challenges of classic distances. Obviously, fans, pundits and even pedigree analysts have diverging opinions on that one, and the question can only be answered if he is tried at those distances. Until then, any guess is speculative at best. Here's my take looking at it pedigree-wise.

There is no lack on stamina on the sire side since he's from the proven stayer and sire of stayers Galileo. It's mainly on the dam side that there are question marks. He's by the Danehill mare Kind, who only ran at sprint distances. Before we can conclude that there is a lack of staying power on this half of the pedigree, it is to be noted that Kind is out of a Rainbow Quest mare, is a half-sister to high-class stayer Powerscourt, and has produced a horse of middle-distance caliber in Bullet Train. So, stamina is clearly not lacking. Also, the fact that Kind always ran below 7 furlongs in Group races does not mean that she could not have run further and win.

So, it seems to me that Frankel could see out the Derby distance and would have had a great chance in the June Classic race given that there is nothing in the 3-year old division that is hinting as superstar status at staying distances. Except may be stablemate World Domination. In fact, this could very well be the answer to all the debate. Maybe the plans from the Cecil yard is to have Frankel plunder all the prizes at shorter and mile distances while World Domination will do the  same at 10 furlongs and further; two Juddmonte-owned stars kept apart and ran at their best-suited distances to beat anything in their class. We'll just have to see how it pans out, and if World Domination really proves to be that good, then so much the better for everyone!

Draw-no-bet: Man Utd

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