Sunday, 19 May 2013


David Ashforth at the Derby Awards 6.12.10
David Ashforth:
Twice voted journalist of the year
PICTURE: Dan Abraham

18. 05. 2013

"My Derby trip will give us all plenty to smile about."

Investec Derby Festival 2013
Friday 31st May and Saturday June 1st 2013

 Investec Ladies' Day
 Combines high style stakes with some of the best flat races in the world. Elegant, fashionable racegoers gather for a classic day's racing at Epsom.


 Investec Derby Day 
 Saturday 1st June 2013
The Derby dates back to 1780, and is still ranked the greatest flat race in the world. With winnings of £1.25m, the Investec Derby has one of the biggest prize in money in UK racing,
Derby Racecard

Pic: Smiles all round: Richie McLernon joins a happy group of children visiting Market Rasen as part of the excellent Racing to School scheme.
"CONSIDER the children's faces in the picture on this page . These are the faces of people who have never suffered the agony of the final leg of a yankie sunk in a photo-finish, a winning passage cruelly blocked, the sight of a jockey making a complete balls-up of things. They are in other words, happy smiling faces. No one has told them what can happen in a seller at Brighton, or in life. It's best to keep quiet about both.


"Richie McLernon (The old bloke in the centre) is also smiling. That is partly because he has just won on Coffee, thereby pleasing owner JP McManus, trainer Jonjo O'Neill and jockey RP McLernon . He may or may not have pleased AP McCoy, who would  probably have ridden the winner if his ribs hadn't been broken. McLernon may or may not have comforted McCoy with the thought that it was probably just as well, because McCoy might not have won on Coffee anyway.


"But that is only part of the reason why McLernon is smiling. There is something infectious about the children's smiles, and enthusiasm, and energy. I almost smiled myself. The children were loving it, and they were at Market Rasen thanks to the wonderful Racing to School scheme run by the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust. It's a great initiative and well done to everyone involved.


"The National Curriculum probably doesn't yet make it compulsory for children to work out what's going to win the Derby, so I'll have to do it for you. It's only fair to warn you that, after my latest tip, two weeks ago,, friends rang to tell me "you're The Boss", which was the name of the horse. It lost, at 4-7. If you read on, you've only yourself to blame. On the other hand, I did back Libertarian in the Dante at 45-1. I bet you didn't.


"Libertarian will relish the Derby trip but probably not the track, will probably get too far behind and is probably not good enough.


"All the other recent Derby trials have had small fields and, in winning one at Leopardstown, Battle Os Marengo was not poetry in motion, displayed a rather high head carriage and made fairly hard work of a fairly straightforward task. If he's the best of the Coolmore collection, it doesn't say much for the others and I'm surprised he's still second favourite at 9-2.


"But is he Aidan O'Brien's best? In the end, both Ruler Of The World, in the Chester Vase, and Magician, in the Dee Stakes, won quite impressively and Ruler Of The World didn't race like a horse obviously in need of the cheekpieces he wore. His attitude looked fine, he was well balanced, travelled well, quickened and stayed. I'd rather him than Battle Of Marengo, especially at almost twice the odds.


"IT WILL be interesting to see the riding arrangements and, if Telescope's setback rules him out of the Derby, Ryan Moore will presumably be available.


"There has been nothing this week to disturb trainer Jim Bolger's calm, apart from Dawn Approach's pedigree, which hasn't changed and waves an enormous red flag over the favourite's prospects of staying the trip.


"Dawn Approach is the best horse in the field and there is comfort in his ability to relax and settle well, and in the way in which he stayed on at the end of the 2,000 Guineas, but this is a very different test. It is four furlongs further than Dawn Approach has raced before and virtually everything on the dam's side signals - well, screams - insufficient stamina. To win, Dawn Approach must outrun his pedigree.


"I don't subscribe to the belief that against lesser Derby rivals class will overcome a shortage of stamina.


"Horses who don't truly stay the Derby trip don't win the Derby. Can you name any who have? These are early season three-year-olds and they have to stay.


"If Telescope runs, stamina is one thing that will not cause his downfall, being by Galileo out of a Darshaan mare. He is one of the most interesting contenders and, if he wins, it will be a a fine training feat and a cracking fillip for Sir Michael Stoute.


"Ocovango merits respect, largely because he is trained by Andre Fabre. Ocovango will need to improve and Epsom will be a test for jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot, whose only previous appearance in Btitain was when third on Brigantin in the 2011 Ascot Gold Cup'


"I think that covers most things. It doesn't look a great Derby but the Derby is often a beginning as much as an end. Really, it's a piece of proverbial cake (coffee and wallnut, perhaps). If Dawn Approach stays he will win, but he probably won't stay, in which Ruler Of The World will win. Easy."

David, please tell Paddy, (Power and Rory) not to let his tired horse go to war, we don't want any more wars, we have had far too many of those already. M

J Margaret Clarke Turfcall Comment

Punters Zone Focus
David takes a closer look at the 2013 Derby field to bring your horseracing adventure to life for Derby Day 2013 

Equus Zone Focus
 British Derby Challengers 2013

These two know each other well KEVIN partnered this colt throughout his two year old racing career in 2012. They have both joined up most day's at exercise at home in Ireland over the last 17 months or so. Both preparing together for competition on the racetrack's, both needing to be as athletically fit and as in-tune with each other as it is possible to be, if they are to be able to compete to win the British Epsom Derby.
Every single race pans out to be different. Depending upon how much interference occurs.  There are four kinds of interference. Accidental, Careless, On Purpose. (dirty riding) All are highly Dangerous,  Riding the Derby track amongst 16 to 20 runners or more, the more dangerous this race or any race becomes. One needs to be ace accurate in tune with your own colt, and he with you, and acutely aware of what is going on around you, all at the same time, if you are to keep out of trouble.


DAWN APPROACH will have already learned to concentrate and to pay attention to respect, what KEVIN asks him, whilst asking him to work on the bridle, he will have learned to lead left hand (near fore) or right hand (off fore), he will have learned how to balance at racing pace down hill,  he will have learned how to keep his balance galloping around downhill bends at racing pace, he has learned to concentrate when racing with many other horses all around him.   All this work KEVIN  has guided this colt to learn and to achieve daily. A very fine work of art that can never be allowed to fade out.
The Derby a left handed track, the distance 1m4f, with a gradual downhill camber from the starting stalls with two steeper downhill bends to be tackled, the last bend being Tattenham Corner which  after, levels out taking the runners into the level straight and the final furlongs to the finishing line in front of the stands.
 Equus Zone Focus
The Life and Times of Kevin Manning and Dawn Approach

Jim Bolger - Nationwide Interview
Uploaded on 13 Aug 2009

Coventry Stakes G2 - Dawn Approach - ROYAL ASCOT 2012.
Published on 3 Jul 2012
Jim Bolger talks about Dawn Approach
Published on 5 Oct 2012
Kevin Manning on Dawn Approach
Published on 13 Oct 2012
2012 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes - Dawn Approach
Published on 13 Oct 2012

Newsboy On Track -- Wednesday 27 March
Published on 26 Mar 2013
2013 Qipco 2000 Guineas - Dawn Approach
Published on 4 May 2013
Jim Bolger: The man (part 1)
Published on 7 May 2013
Jim Bolger: The man (part 2)
Published on 7 May 2013



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