Have you informed your American cousins yet? Stand back and listen to the gasps of horror when you let them know that a sheik has just purchased Fort Knox. It is not very political correct (pc) but hey it gave me a good laugh! I am sure the irony is not lost on an intelligent man like Sheik Mohammed and to get a possible group 1 winner is a bonus. Ok, enough of stirring that already boiling pot.
The truth is Fort Knox looked a serious horse when running from last to first to win the guineas trial at Leopardstown last Month. The general consensus was the pace was too fast and the race was setup for a finisher but boy did he finish very well unlike some of the other horses that ran off the pace. The Irish 2000 guineas race at the Curragh is Fort Knox’s next target. Van Der Neer, third in the English 2000 guineas has the same race mapped out for him too. Fort Knox has form on ground with give in it and rest assured the chances of ground with give in it is most common at any time of the year in Ireland.
So why did Sheik Mohammed buy this Andrew Tinkler horse for a premium price no doubt. The answer may lie in the breeding. Fort Knox is a full brother to Dubawi Gold with both horses’ high class progeny of the Godolphin owned Sire Dubawi. Darley Studs top stallion is Dubawi costing £75,000 per service. The Sheik Mohammed owned Darley Stud team purchased to secure the Dubai Millennium/Dubawi line. The breeding paddocks are a while away and Fort Knox should enjoy a very good three year old campaign this year. If he can keep improving he could end up a star at next springs Dubai Carnival.
Eye Catchers Report for the Weekend 4th/5st May
Viztoria – Eddie Lynam – Johnny Murtagh
Eddie Lynam had a great weekend just gone winning two Group 3 races one with Sole Power & the other with Viztoria. All her form last year was on heavy ground so it was nice to see her upkeep the unbeaten record on yielding ground. She has trained on well and the Irish 1000 Guineas is the plan. If Johnny Murtagh takes the ride that day then we know she has a great chance if staying the extra furlong.
Struthan – Trainer Paul Deegan – Jockey – Chris Hayes
Struthan ran an impressive race to win the listed Tetrarch Stakes at the curragh snugly on good to yielding ground. The trainer expects him to improve more for better ground and might target the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot next. He may find it hard to win that group 3 race but is sure to win a couple of more races this summer and who knows he may keep on improving up the ranks. His sire Arakan is making a good name for himself as a stallion of flat (Trumpet Major/Dick Turpin) and National Hunt winners (Brigades Pet).
Alive Alive Oh – Trainer Tommy Stack – Jockey Fran Berry
Alive Alive Oh was heavily backed all day (5/1 –> 11/10) to win the listed Salsibil Stakes over 1m2f at Navan and did not disappoint. Fran Berry said after the race “She’s very, very good. I was worried about a lack of pace but they went a good gallop and she travelled well.” She will most likely be supplemented for the Epson Oaks and will be interesting if available at an each way price of 8/1 or higher. Oh by the way she is owned by Sue-Ann Foley daughter of JP McManus so I expect that will ruin any chance of a decent price in the Oaks.
The Job is Right – Trainer Michael Hourigan – Jockey Robbie McNamara
This gelding won the bumper over 2m2f at Limerick as he liked last Saturday. He travelled so well that he caught the eye before they rounded the final turn. He was eased to the front at the final furlong pole and pulled clear. It is obvious from his past races that this fella needs decent ground to be seen at his best. Trainer Michael Hourigan plans to start him off hurdling over three miles at Killarney this summer. The Jockey mentioned that “he is a fair horse and that he couldn’t pull him up”.
Burn and Turn – Trainer – Jessica Harrington – Jockey – Robbie Power
This 7 year old mare finally won her beginners chase at Limerick last Saturday. She was a good hurdler rated 128 and has a chase rating of 130. That rating is fine as she is open to plenty of improvement but must have good ground or summer soft at worse to be seen at her best. I like her chances of winning some Mares Chases on good ground this summer. She has had four chase starts and that experience will be a big help to her if she runs at the Galway Festival later this summer.
All the Best,