Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Racing Roundup

Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II will take another chance Sunday to achieve classic ranking for Carlton House who will go to the post as the 6-5 morning line favorite of the $1.6 million Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1) at the Curragh Racecourse.

Earlier this month, Carlton House lost a shoe while running in the Investec Derby at Epsom Downs and finished third – barely beaten by three-quarters of a length by a fast closing Pour Moi. To view the Derby click here.

The last British-trained horse to win the Irish Derby was Balanchine in 1994. Sir Michael Stoute, the trainer of Carlton House, has won the Irish Derby three times with Shahrastani (1986), Shareef Dancer (1983) and Shergar (1981).

A win in the Irish Derby by Carlton House, a talented Street Cry colt and a descendant of Mr. Prospector, would be the first by a descendant of that sire line. Since Nijinsky won in 1970, the Northern Dancer sire line has dominated the Irish classic producing 26 Derby winners.

Other horses returning from the Epsom Derby for another chance at classic ranking include runner up Treasure Beach (3-1), fourth-place finisher Memphis Tennessee (12-1), fifth-place finisher Native Kahn (8-1) and Seville (6-1) who finished 10th.

Aidan P. O’Brien, who has won the Irish Derby a record eight times, will send four of the eight horses entered in the race to the post: Memphis Tennessee, Roderic O’Connor (10-1), Seville and Treasure Beach.

Memphis Tennessee was the pacesetter in the Epsom Derby and he most likely will repeat that performance which would set the race up nicely for a rallying run in the final strides by Carlton House and Treasure Beach who appear to be the class of the field.

Treasure Beach and Carlton House are two horses I like in this race and I will use them with 20-1morning line long shot Notable Graduate in my exotic wagers.

Treasure Beach was my long shot pick in the Epsom Derby and I used him with Pour Moi in my exotic wagers. Going into the race, Treasure Beach was the only horse that had raced 12-furlongs and he looked impressive winning his 3-year-old debut when he squeezed through horses to win by a head in the Chester Vase Stakes (G3) on May 5.You can watch video of Treasure Beach in the Chester Vase Stakes (G3) here.

Not only was I impressed by the performance of Treasure Beach in the Chester Vase Stakes (G3), but his breeding impressed me too.

The type of breeding pattern in the pedigree of Treasure Beach where all the stallions on the tail-female line, the damsire line, and the sire line forms what I refer to as a “W” pattern and it’s a powerful influence I look for in the pedigree.

His sire, Galileo, won the 2001 Epsom and Irish Derbies and sired the Irish Derby winner Soldier of Fortune (2007) and Cape Blanco (2010). Sadler’s Wells, the grandsire of Treasure Beach, won the Irish 2000 Guineas (G1) and sired six Irish Derby winners: Old Vic (1989), Salsabil (1990), Dream Well (1998), Montjeu (1999), Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002).

Northern Dancer, the great grandsire of Treasure Beach, won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) and sired four Irish Derby winners: Nijinsky (1970), The Minstrel (1977), Shareef Dancer (1983) and El Gran Senor (1984).

Mark Of Esteem, the damsire of Treasure Beach, won the 1996 edition of the English 2000 Guineas Stakes (G1) and he is the sire of Sir Percy winner of the 2006 Epsom Derby.

Darshaan, the second damsire of Treasure Beach, won the Prix Du Jockey Club Stakes (G1) and he is a descendant of one of the best sire lines of Nasrullah. Darshaan sired Dalakhani, winner of the 2003 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and he is the grandsire of Sir Percy, winner of the 2006 Epsom Derby.

Shirley Heights, the third damsire of Treasure Beach, won the 1978 Irish and Epsom Derbies and he sired Slip Anchor, winner of the 1985 Epsom Derby. Shirley Heights is also the grandsire of High Rise, winner of the 1998 Epsom Derby and he is the great grandsire of Sir Percy.

Mill Reef, the fourth damsire of Treasure Beach, won the 1971 Epsom Derby and he sired the Irish and Epsom Derby winner Shirley Heights.

In addition, the stallions Bering, Riverman and Blakeney on the tail-female line of the pedigree of Treasure Beach were all Classic Champion Thoroughbreds.

While the pedigree of Carlton House and Notable Graduate are not sterling like the pedigree of Treasure Beach, Carlton House is a proven classic contender and I believe that Notable Graduate has the potential to be competitive in the classic ranks.

The sire of Notable Graduate is Galileo who won the Irish Derby and sired Derby winner Soldier of Fortune and Cape Blanco. Gulch, the damsire of Notable Graduate, sired Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Thunder Gulch.

Notable Graduate has not run in a Group race but in five starts, he has never finished worse than second. While stepping up in class, Notable Graduate is trained by Dermot Weld who is one of the most successful trainers in Ireland.

Weld twice won the Irish Derby with Zagreb (1996) and Grey Swallow (2004). In 2008, Weld teamed up with Moyglare Stud Farm (the owner of Notable Graduate) to send Casual Conquest to a runner up performance in the Irish Derby.

So while Notable Graduate has not run in a Group race, Weld knows what it takes to be competitive at the classic level and I look for Notable Graduate to run a good race and, perhaps, upset at a nice price.


  1. Excellent analysis I completely agree and selected Treasure Beach and Notable Graduate as my 2 backs for the race, although this year everybody is raving about Frankel which is understandable my pick of the three year old colts are Treasure Beach (who I believe has been largely over looked) and Nathaniel, Nathaniel's win in the King Edward vii stakes boosts Treasure Beach's credentials when he pipped Nathaniel in the Chester Vase.

    Im thinking in the Irih Derby the result will be;

    1.) Treasure Beach
    2.) Carlton Houe
    3.) Notable Graduate

  2. tom23,

    I like Nathaniel too and was glad when they passed on the Epsom Derby because it helped me to narrow my picks.

    Thanks for following the blog and good luck!