Monday, September 17, 2012

Black-type performers

Fantastic week-end of sports that was. Liverpool were lucky to draw with Sunderland while Stoke's +1 Handicap against Man City proved a nice winner. In racing, were in not for the exploits of outsider Encke, Camelot and Michelangelo would have provided with a very good return. As it is, Camelot did not win but a Placed Michelangelo was good enough to bring the bacon home.

It was an exquisite week-end of racing really. Godolphin again played the spoils to the ambitions of Coolmore by denying Camelot of the Triple Crown. The son of Montjeu stayed on but just lacked the finishing kick to reach his conqueror at the finish. It was another big-race win for jockey Barzalona who seems to have a knack of landing big-money races and Classics. It will be interesting if Camelot is given the green light for the Arc.

Speaking of the prestigious race, Orfevre, the Japanese superstar labored to win the Prix Foy, one of the major prep races. While many were left disappointed with his workmanlike win, he did beat a high-class colt in Meandre. It was also his first race after a long layoff. I think he's a genuine Arc contender; whether he wins it or not will depend on a load of factors. But he certainly looks the most talented Japanese representative after Deep Impact.

Shareta won the Prix Vermeille impressively by dispatching a high-class field and on that form, must be given a leading chance for the October show-piece. She came out second last year to Danedream and she seems to be hitting top form at the right moment again. She is definitely the best representative from the Aga Khan contingent.

Moonlight Cloud beat Farrh in the Prix Moulin. Freddy Head's filly is just an a tough sort that runs her heart out every time. She might be the only lateral link between Frankel and Black Caviar! She came a head off second to the Australian superstar at Royal Ascot, but beat Farrh in turn who's been trounced many lengths a couple of times by Frankel. I cannot wait for the next run from the French filly because she's among the best from 6 furlongs to a mile.

The Woodbine Mile on Canadian soil saw Wise Dan from the US stroll to a comfortable win over some good European sorts such as Cityscape. Obviously, it is widely agreed that Europeans are better than the US-trained ones on turf but this son of Wiseman Ferry could prove to be the exception come the Breeders Cup Mile in November. Wise Dan is by far the best miler from the US and unless Excelebration or Moonlight Cloud make the trip to Santa Anita, the race could be a shoe-in for the US champion.

This week is all about the 1st round of the Champions League and there are quite a few interesting match-ups on the go. I'll get to some previews tomorrow.

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