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Passion for Gold wins Criterium Saint Cloud for Freshmen

By Tom Krish | 14 Nov 2009 |

Summer Bird

Summer Bird is going to Japan. The triple Grade I winner ran fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Summer Bird will take his chances in the Japan Cup (Dirt) to be run at Hanshin Racecourse in early December. Hanshin is a right-handed course and Summer Bird has all done all his US racing on left-handed tracks.

Trainer Tim Ice confirned the Japan plan. “Summer Bird came out of the Classic in good shape. We will go to Japan. I am taking care of my paper work. Kent (Desormeaux) will be doing his soon.”

Trainer Aidan O’Brien has spoken about Rip Van Winkle’s 2010 campaign. “He’ll stay in training. He has had a long, hard season. Fame And Glory will also race next year. Mastercraftsman, however, will be retired, “ O’Brien stated.

Mastercraftsman, winner of four Group I races, will stand at Coolmore Stud in Ireland. A beaten favourite in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Mastercraftsman was pinched back at the start and never found his stride.

O’Brien had this to say about using Lasix: “Man of Iron, our only Breeders’ Cup winner, was on Lasix because he had just recovered from a cold. We took the view that our horses did not need Lasix at home and we would run them the natural way over in the US. Perhaps, there’s a case for doing what the Romans do when in Rome. We will think about it at home.”

After 28 runners over six years in Breeders’ Cup races, Man of Iron clicked for Ballydoyle. Other and better-fancied stablemates failed in subsequent races. Lasix is an anti-bleeding medication.

Dar Re Mi was third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf behind Conduit and Presious Passion. The John Gosden-trained mare will race next year. In 2009, Dar Re Mi beat Look Here, the 2008 Epsom Oaks runner, in Curragh’s Pretty Polly Stakes. In the Yorkshire Oaks at York, Sariska, the 2009 Epsom Oaks winner, was Dar Re Mi’s victim. In the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp, Dar Re Mi beat Stacelita, the French Oaks winner, but was disqualified. Dar Re Mi’s sire is Singspiel.

Sea The Stars continues to occupy the top spot in the latest world thoroughbred rankings. The son of Cape Cross is at 135, five better than Goldikova. Rip Van Winkle comes next with 129. Zenyatta and Fame And Glory share fourth place with 128 apiece. Sea The Stars and Zenyatta are off to the breeding shed.

Conduit is headed to Japan. The Dalakhani colt, who successfully defended his BC Turf title, will be in the Japan Cup (Grass) at Tokyo Racecourse in late November. Tokyo is a left-handed course. Conduit, now in England, will leave for Japan on Wednesday. The Sir Stoute trainee was bought by Shigeyuki Okada’s Big Red Farm before last Saturday’s Turf win. After the Japan Cup, Conduit will stand stud at Big Red Farm.

Richard Hannon’s Scintillo will join Conduit in Tokyo for a tilt at the Grass Japan Cup, a 5.65 million-dollar race over 2,400 metres. Richard Hughes will ride.

Sir Stoute’s Spanish Moon was fourth in the BC Turf. The dual Group I winner in France will go to Hong Kong. He will race in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase on December 13 at Sha Tin. Confront, another Stoute-trained runner will race in the Hong Kong Mile.

There are four Group I races at Sha Tin (Hong Kong) on Sunday. December 13. It is a racing extravaganza that climaxes an exciting year.

Jockey Darren Williams rode, if my memory serves me right, in India. Jockey Williams has been refused a licence by the British Horseracing Authority. Williams, after serving a suspension, was expecting to be reinstated. The BHA suggested that jockey Williams could reapply in the spring of 2010. Williams has vowed to fight the decision. He has hired a high-power legal team headed by Christopher Stewart Moore, a well-known attorney who has handled many a racing matter. Williams made a statement: “I don’t want to wait for four months. I want to get it sorted out now.”

Here is news about Quality Road. The 2009 Florida Derby winner refused to go into the stall in the BC Classic. The Todd Pletcher trainee was withdrawn after a veterinary examination. Chris Baker, representing E P Evans, Quality Road’s owner, said, “Quality Road has stitches, big bruise over one eye, haematoma on his left leg and other problems. He has been mentally affected too.”

Quality Road refused to board a plane for the trip back to New York. The plane trip has been abandoned. Quality Road will now go on a ‘van trip’ to Churchill Downs. After a 48-hour break, the journey to New York will resume.

Kip Deville has been retired. The Kipling-Klondike Kaytie by Encino won the 2007 BC Turf at Monmouth Park. The six year-old is suffering from problems associated with colic. Richard Dutro Jr trained Kip Deville for the IEAH Stables. In 2008, Kip Deville was second to Goldikova in the Turf Mile. At the time of retirement, Kip Deville’s earnings stood at $3,325,489.

The 2000-metre Criterium de Saint-Cloud, the final Group I in the French racing calendar, was run on Saturday at Saint Cloud. The ground was heavy and nine freshmen ran. Passion for Gold, Frankie Dettori aboard, won going away by six lengths. Mikhail Glinka, from Aidan O’Brien’s yard, ran second. The time was 2:19.1.

Fame And Glory won the Criterium in 2008 and went on to win the 2009 Irish Derby. Passion for Gold, third to St Nicholas Abbey in the Beresford Stakes, was the 6-4 favourite. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor was impressed with the son of Medaglia d’Oro and said this, “He’ll be better as a three year-old. He is improving and will be a nice prospect next season.”

Trainer Suroor has been on fire in recent weeks. His Mastery won the St Leger at Doncaster. Vale of York got him a BC win at Santa Anita. Passion of Gold made his haul bigger and richer. Suroor has been relying on Ted Durcan and they have been winning races at a frenetic pace. In October, Suroor had 40 wins. In November, he’s clicking at a better than 50% rate.

Jockey Dettori, fresh from a BC win on Pounced, expressed delight. “He (Passion for Gold) is one of the best two year-olds I have sat on this year. He was very impressive. He liked the distance and acted on the ground. He has got a lot of scope.”

Paddy Power, the Irish betting behemoth, reacted. Passion for Gold was made a 10-1 chance for the Epsom Derby next June. St Nicholas Abbey, a stunning winner of Doncaster’s Racing Post Trophy, is now the 5-2 choice for the Epsom showpiece.

In New York, Aqueduct has taken the baton from Belmont Park. Hollywood Park is racing in California. In Louisiana, Fair Grounds is racing. Churchill Downs, in Kentucky, is holding the fall meeting. The focus is on Japan when we get to month’s end. Hong Kong will hold centre stage in mid-December.

I have applied for the press package deal and I am awaiting a decision from the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Hong Kong is a missing link in my resume. I am hoping I will be approved.