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A Devastating Derby Day
The Investec Derby is still the Prestige race of the season and this year had the added excitement of being such an open affair with it being 7/2 the field.
US Army Ranger had been the buzz horse all throughout the spring, but a hard fought success at Chester's May meeting in the Chester Vase meant that there was that little bit of uncertainty surrounding him. Would he improve for the experience?
On the day of the race the momentum seemed to be building behind Harzand, mainy based on the weather and the expectation of ground on the soft side, he had won a key trial impressively beating the solid Idaho in the Ballysax Stakes, but almost disaster had struck on the way over from Ireland in that he spread a plate and spent the morning with his foot in an ice bucket.....Would he run???
His team performed miracles and run he did.. Sitting in Midfield he tracked Idaho throughout and hit the front passing the 2 pole, US Army Ranger was motoring down the outside having been held up off of the furious early gallop set by stablemate Port Douglas and he ranged alongside approaching the climb to the line.
Pat Smullen said he saw his white face, but the two reminders he gave to Harzand woke him up, and the powerful Aga Khan stayer pulled out more when called upon drawing clear in the dying strides with US Army Ranger outbattling Idaho for second.
A spectacular !!
Also on the card possibly the best mile and a half horse in the world made his reapperance in the UK in the Coronation Cup. Postponed went to post having won on his seasonal debut in Dubai and was a short price favourite to master Found, the conqueror of Golden Horn in the Breeders Cup last season, Arabian Queen winner of the Juddmonte International at York and St Leger victor Simple Verse.
The race was a muddling gallop with Jack Mithcell on pacemaker Roseburg setting a stop start gallop before kicking on and giving Postponed a target down to the two pole. After this though it was race over as Andre Atzeni asked Postponed to stretch and in full cry he was irresistible and powered 4 lengths clear by the line with Found almost nowhere to be Found back in second.
Cant wait for the matchup at Ascot in late July ?!?!?!