Monday, October 3, 2011

Musings on the Arc

On Friday, Mundana won for a good recommendation.

The result of this Sunday's Arc was a mixed tale of "I never saw that coming" and "As I thought" altogether for me. Although she was supplemented for the race, I did not think Danedream had the class to win. I took it on the account that her form in Germany was good but not strong enough to make a difference. I was wrong. She just destroyed the field and has to be considered in her future races. I am a big fan of German breeding as they put a lot of emphasis on the horse soundness, unlike in the U.S, and they have proven that their stock should not be taken lightly. Think Monsun, Lomitas. Very potent indeed.

The good second of Shareta also surprised me. Definitely one filly to follow as she literally was the one leading the pack, not counting the inexplicable suidical rabbit race of Treasure Beach. That she resisted the assaults of the rest of the pack shows her temerity.

Now for the ones I saw coming. Snow Fairy finished third, running her race as I had hoped. I did not give much chance to Reliable Man, Meandre, Galikova, all 3 big names from the French 3-year old crop and they were never into contention. I wished I had laid them big.

Now for the ugly.  I mentioned the fear of pilot error on So You Think and it unfortunately materialized. Heffernan obviously let him with too much to do by staying so far back in the race. I don't think he would have won anyway, but he definitely would have been much closer to the winner if he had been ridden in a stalking position. Some would say that his wide draw made him sit back. The way this horse travels, it just seems better to have him up with the pace as he does not have the turn of foot to come from so far behind. Anyway, pointless to try to analyze this further, blame it on team tactics or the choice of Heffernan as rider for such a big race.

It gets uglier with Treasure Beach. A rather pitiful scene to see a Derby winner and proven Group 1 winner being confined to the role of pacemaker. Yet another talented horse being destroyed and reduced to a secondary role by Aidan O'Brien, the Ballydoyle master. Hopefully Mike de Kock has seen this and making his way to buying another Coolmore reject. Think Eagle Mountain, Archipenko, Golden Sword, King of Rome... the list of converts is not a short one.

Anyway, the Arc 2011 is gone and there is no point furthering the analysis or trying to understand the mind of the Ballydoyle trainer. I acknowledge he's very good, but there are times where he does things that border on the ridiculous. "So You Think would have no problem with the dirt surface in the Breeders Classic", he intimated. Don't get me wrong, I would love it if he relished the ground there and won America's premier championship race. The problem is how can someone infer such a thing when the horse never ran on dirt either in training or on a race-track? It comes from the same person that said that SYT might not get the 12 furlong distance of the Arc, after nearly winning the 16f Melbourne Cup? Just my opinion, but he seems to take delight making us think the moon is made of green cheese.

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