Sunday, June 05, 2011

After the Derby

French-trained colt Pour Moi took an enthralling renewal of the Derby. 19-year-old Mickael Barzalona, riding in the race for the first time, brought his mount from last to first to beat 25/1 chance Treasure Beach a head with the Queen's Carlton House threequarters of a length adrift in third. There were a few raised eyebrows immediately afterwards as Barzalona stood bolt upright in his irons to salute the victory before he'd actually passed the winning post. Connections of Carlton House were left to rue their luck but to this observer the better horse won on the day. The victory doesn't appear to have impressed official handicapper Phil Smith who has tentatively given Pour Moi a rating of 122, the lowest rating since Sir Percy won in 2006. On several occasions through the afternoon the BBC's coverage of the royal angle verged on the ridiculous while the Court of Appeal ruled that Kieren Fallon could not ride in the race, a decision the jockey likened to 'being knocked out in the first round at Wimbledon.'

Those disappointed Carlton House didn't oblige for the Queen may want to bid for a painting of Her Majesty instead. Sir Alfred James Munnings' A Study for HM The Queen and Aureole will be sold at Christie's on June 15th; the auctioneers place a £60,000-£80,000 price tag on the piece...

Whatever you think of Fred Done, you can't argue with the man's sense of timing. The day after it was announced Betfred's bid for the Tote had been successful, he appeared on the Morning Line and offered to refund all losing singles on the Derby (up to a maximum of £500) if the Queen's Carlton House won. A nice stunt, and in the event it didn't cost him a penny.

I wasn't paying full attention but I sensed Clare Balding nearly had another Liam Treadwell moment when she informed viewers before Friday's Oaks that one particular jockey, an Everton fan, had a tattoo on his back that had been unfortunately misspelt (reading Eeverton instead of Everton). Who was that jockey?

Finally, for those interested, Royal Ascot is a little over a week away; the Weekender / Raceform Update Royal Ascot Ultimate Guide 2011 went on sale Friday 3rd June.


GeeDee said...

I am informed the jockey sporting the misspelt Everton tattoo is... Sam Hitchcock.

GeeDee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GeeDee said...

Correction - my spelling error this time!

Jockey with Eeverton tattoo is Sam Hitchcott (not Sam Hitchcock).