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Emotionless and Sentiero Italia may give Godolphin a Group I double - By Tom Krish

Posted on - 10 Oct 2015

 
Emotionless and Sentiero Italia may give Godolphin a Group I double
 
By Tom Krish
 
Let me begin with my thoughts on the Derby at Pune on Sunday. The race is being billed as a duel between Continental and Rigoletto.  It is not prudent to make that assertion. The door is open to a few others but on paper, Continental and Rigoletto stand apart from the other eight runners.
 
Continental made a winning debut in Mumbai. He took a walk in the park and  gained an encore in Pune.  Next time out, the Pesi Shroff trainee, carrying the public purse, was sent on a make-it-all mission by Suraj Narredu. I do not know what the sectional times were but Continental was caught in the waning yards by Jeffferson.  The fact that should cause a pauseis that Continental had a pressure-free lead and was not able to find more when challenged. Suraj Narredu, whose intellectual prowess I greatly admire, will, I am sure, come up with a strategy that will put his mount in the best light.
 
Rigoletto, also from trainer Shroff’s yard, was successful in his first start. In his Pune debut, he was an odds on favorite and failed to deliverin an excuse-laden effort.  Rigoletto, next time out, put daylight between himself and his non-descript rivals in a 2000-metre contest.
 
This is how I set the table. I am taking Rigoletto. He has won over the Pune Derby distance of 2000 metres. His only loss, given the circumstances that afternoon, is pardonable. There is no question that he is a progressive sort.
 
Minding came up with a stunning performance in the Dubai Fillies’ Mile on Friday at Newmarket. She was held up until the last 400 metres. When Ryan Moore letMinding loose, the 5/4 favorite shot to the front to win going away. The winning margin was four and one half lengths.
 
Jockey Moore does not talk a lot. He showered praise on Minding. “She is truly exceptional. She travelled very well. As soon as I pulled her out, the race was over in seconds.”
 
Minding, by Galileo, was giving trainer Aidan O’Brien his fourth win in the Dubai Fillies’ Mile. Minding is now the 3/1 favorite for the (2016) 1000 Guineas.
 
Newmarket has seven races on Saturday. The first race is at 2 P M and the final race is at 5 35 P M. The feature, to be run at 3 10 P M, is the Group I Dewhurst Stakes for two year-olds over 1400 metres.
 
The Dewhurst is the most prestigious event for freshmen in the British racing calendar. I believe that this race is a three-way contest. Heading the market at 11/10 is Air Force Blue, an Aidan O’Brien trainee. The War Front colt has won three of his four starts. On August 9, Air Force Blue, a War Front colt, won the Group I Phoenix Stakes ( 1200metres) at the Curragh. Another Group I success came in the 1400-metre Vincent O’Brien Stakes also at the Curragh. Air Force Blue dwelt at the start and yet won by three. Ryan Moore will ride.
 
Emotionless, by Shamardal, is the 11/8 second favorite. After a winning debut, Emotionless won the Group II Champagne Stakes by three and one half lengths at Doncaster on September 12. This is a case of a Group II winner taking on a dual Group I winner. Is it a mismatch? Not in my opinion. Emotionless was ultra impressive in the Champagne. A flood of money is coming for Emotionless in the past 48 hours. Shamardal, sire of Emotionless, won the Dewhurst in 2004 in Godolphin’s colors. William Buck will be aboard Emotionless hailing from Charles Appleby’s stable.
 
Then there is Massaat. A Teofilo colt, Massaat made a successful debut at Leicester on September 21. On July 22nd, Massaat was beaten a head by Cymric. The point to make is that Cymric lost in a photo to Ultra in the 1600-metre Jean Lagardere on Arc day at Longchamp. That is a clear advertisement to Massaat’s chances.
 
My choice is Emotionless. The Shamardal colt may have to find some on Air Force Blue but he has made considerable progress since the Champagne if his work is any indication. Two great two year-olds, two smart trainers and two super jocks and what an exciting race this promises to be! Many a time, picks are not cerebral. My visceral pick is Emotionless.
 
The BetfredCesarewitch, over 3600 metres, has 34 runners. I may be able to find a needle in a haystack much easier. Low Key, trained by David Pipe and ridden by Tom Marquand, is the 6/1 favorite. Low Key goes for four wins in a row. It is a great race to watch.
 
At Keeneland, the feature on Saturday is the $500,000 Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup. It is over 1800 metres on turf. There is a clear cut favorite in this race and that is Sentiero Italia. The sophomore filly has won four times from six starts. She has run three times over 1800  metres and won every time. She has won on firm and soft turf. To be ridden by Joel Rosario, Sentiero Italia, a Medagliad’Oro filly, comes off an easy win in the Grade II Sands Point Stakes. Kiaran McLaughlin trains. She is my pick.
 
Sentiero Italia is owned by the Godolphin establishment. There is every possibility that Godolphin may have two Group I winners in two continents on Saturday.
 
I took a look at the prices for the top two Breeders’ Cup Classic contenders. American Pharoah can be backed at 5/2. Beholder is a 3/1 chance.
 
There is a horse called Sans Peur in Pune’s first race on Sunday. In 1958-60, the Hindu group owned a horse with the same name. On Friday at Greyville( South Africa) I wagered two pounds on Kolkata who was beaten in a photo. My other two-pound bet was on Chennai Babe who finished in the rear.
 
I am not going to Newmarket. It will be an extremely demanding physical deal. I will conserve my energy for next Saturday’s Champions’ Day at Ascot.
 
Here is Saturday’s European menu. York has seven races with a 1 45 PM start and ends at 5 10 P M. Chepstow will have seven races starting at 2 10 P M and ending at 5 40 P M. Hexham has a jumps card with seven races from 1 50 P M until 5 20 P M. Chelmsford has a twilight card with eight races from 5 30 P M until 9 10 P M.
 
In Ireland, Fairyhouse has a jumps card. The first race is at 2 20 P M and the seventh race is at 5 50 P M. Limerick has flat racing from 1 35 P M until 5 30 P M with eight events.
 
In addition, there are races from the US, Latin America, South Africa and France.
 
Why would anyone need more action?
 
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are the author's personal views.)

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