ANTHONY VAN DYCK showed a determined streak when taking the Futurity at The Curragh on Sunday but we’ll know more about him after the National Stakes back at Headquarters next month.
This was a business like performance but nothing spectacular, and Paddy Power cutting him from 16/1 to “tens” for the Derby looks a bit of an over reaction.
Possibly the slower ground took the edge off him and we at least now know that he will battle when required. As regards the Derby though I would very much hold fire for the moment.
Skitter Scatter defied the ground in the Debutante, and she’s a cracking filly and no mistake.
One note of caution must be that possibly the Ballydoyle trio of Zagitova, Hermosa and Peach Tree were still slightly feeling the effects of the bug that has plagued the stable this summer.
For a daughter of Scat Daddy, 7/1 chance Skitter Scatter handled the yielding to soft ground fine, though clearly she’d much prefer better.
Verbal Dexterity made a satisfactory belated seasonal debut when a close up fourth to Beautiful Morning in the Royal Whip.
He’ll come on a ton for it, Jim Bolger reports him in great form this week, and 25/1 each way looks a tempting price for the Irish Champion Stakes in two weeks time.
Remember last year Bolger described him as the best two year old he ever trained, fair praise indeed from the man who handled household names like St Jovite, New Approach and Teofilo.
Sheila Lavery, after a very quiet first half of the season, has been on a roll since Galway.
And she gave the bookies a dream start to the day when her home bred Breaking Story took the opener at 33/1.
Mind you he had been nibbled at in the overnight markets with 50/1 taken on the exchanges.
Lavery said: “He’s been ready to run for a while but I thought he looked a bit shelly and gave him plenty of time.”
“I wasn’t brave enough to give him big entries, but I suppose I should have a look now.”
“Robbie (Colgan) said when he hit the front he had loads more horse but he kind of pulled himself up but then when he heard the others coming he ran on again” she added.
Ballydoyle juvenile Circus Maximus was an uneasy favourite – 3/1 to “fives” – and was in the firing line until impeded about a furlong and a half out.
Ryan Moore then had to switch him out and he finished fifth, and the Galileo colt will know a lot more next time.
Looking at York, Poets Word didn’t get the clearest of runs in the Juddmonte but he does look very much a mile and a half horse.
In contrast Laurens clearly didn’t get the trip in the Yorkshire Oaks. And while Frankie Dettori made excuses for him, Without Parole has become disappointing.
Stratum, at a crazy 3/1, may have been the big Irish gamble in the Ebor, but Declan’s Irish Racing Service looked elsewhere with Sea The Lion 18/1 each way (3rd 9/1) and Mustajeer 33/1 each way (4th 33/1).
Other gems this week were Stella d’Oro 14/1; Power Down 8/1; Mount Everest 4/1 (won 6/4); Astronomer 3/1 (w 6/4); Present In Court 9/4; Nitro Boost 7/4 (w 4/5) and Caltex 4/5 (w 8/11).