Eclipse for Sea The Stars after rain sinks Irish Derby plan
Sunday 28 June 2009
Derby winner Sea The Stars will be aimed at Saturday's Eclipse at Sandown after rain, and the Curragh's watering policy, scuppered his chance of running in today's Irish Derby.
His trainer John Oxx said: "There is no way we will have the good, fast ground he likes so the Eclipse is now the plan." In the absence of Sea The Stars questions must be asked about clerks of the courses' keenness to water, and not only at the Curragh. Erroneously they think it is unacceptable to race on firm ground so turn on the taps and are then left with unseasonably soft ground when rain arrives.
Sea The Stars' jockey Mick Kinane will now ride Mourayan, also trained by Oxx and an 8-1 shot. Fame And Glory, beaten a length and three-quarters by Sea The Stars at Epsom, is the 11-10 favourite to go one better today and give trainer Aidan O'Brien, responsible for six of the now 11 runners, his seventh win in the Classic and his fourth on the trot.
For the first time since 1957 the Irish Derby is an all-home affair but their big race yesterday, the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes, went to a British-trained challenger in the shape of John Gosden's Dar Re Mi, who held off Beach Bunny by a short head.
At Newcastle, the Northumberland Plate, aka the Pitmen's Derby, was won by Som Tala who proved to be a goldmine for those punters who backed the Mick Channon-trained hope from 25-1 to 16-1.
Channon's Youmzain contests the Prix de Saint-Cloud in Paris today. It is his 15th consecutive Group One race and, although he has only won one of them, he has had a lot of close misses including going down a nose in Epsom's Coronation Cup last time.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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