WOW, what can you say about Frankel’s demolition job in Saturday’s Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and the horse just seems to be miles better than anything else that he comes up against.
While the winner, Sir Henry Cecil and Tom Queally all fully deserve the plaudits, I also thought that Ian Mongan executed his duties beautifully on stable companion and pacemaker Bullet Train and the role that he played ended up making Frankel’s eventual success a mere formality.
Most of you will have read the superlatives in Sunday’s papers and there’s not really a lot that I can add.But I will say that this could be the best racehorse that I will ever witness during my lifetime and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
That evening Chelsea secured an unlikely win in the Champions League and I’m amazed but this match may even have surpassed the Blues’ magnificent effort against Barcelona in the Nou Camp for excitement. When Mata missed their first penalty I feared the worst, but Didier Drogba, whose equalising header seemed faster than Frankel if that’s possible, kept his nerve to tuck in the winner. Fantastic theatre!
This weekend it’s the Irish Guineas at The Curragh and I expect Parish Hall to win Saturday’s 2,000 Guineas. Connections were extremely bullish about his chance in the English Guineas but their plans were scuppered by the prevailing good to soft ground at Newmarket. This seems to be a wise decision as the Teofilo colt was beaten four lengths in a Group 3 event last year on soft ground and then put in an even worse effort on good to yielding ground at The Curragh in August.
But my selection showed those performances to be wrong when winning England’s top two-year-old race, the Dewhurst Stakes, at Newmarket on his last juvenile start in October, when putting Power to the sword by half a length.
His Carlow trainer Jim Bolger has been very confident this spring and was even quoted recently as saying that there is nothing around to give him a tough race in the Guineas so he will be untroubled by running in the English Derby the following weekend.
He said after that Dewhurst victory that he was closely matched with the best that he has trained including New Approach and lately added that while there aren’t that many similarities between that one and my fancy, one thing they do have in common is ability.
I think Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas will go the way of Dermot Weld’s Yellow Rosebud, who really impressed me when landing the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown earlier in the month when mastering Devotion by a length. The master of Rosewell House managed this big race double a couple of years ago with Bethrah and I think he has the ideal candidate here to emulate her.
Like Parish Hall her form as a two-year-old is solid, especially a fine second to Maybe in the Keeneland Debutante Stakes at The Curragh, and the only real disappointment was a fourth of five on her last start in the Prix Marcel Boussac in France, but sometimes fillies can go over the top at the end of the season.
Also Weld opined that the ground may have been a bit quick for her that day in France so there could be reasons for putting a line through that effort. Many of you know that I enjoy my Formula 1 and it’s the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
I’m opting for Sebastien Vettel who could be a bit of value at a current 9-2. He won the race last year and seems the ideal man for this tight circuit where there is absolutely no room for any errors.
Saturday 3.45pm The Curragh Parish Hall
Sunday 1pm Sebastien Vettel to win the Monaco Grand Prix
Sunday 4.15pm The Curragh Yellow Rosebud