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Saxon Warrior tipped to win Triple Crown

By: Vivek Jain   May 8 , 2018

On the heels of the closure of the Mumbai season, comes the first weekend of May, with the Kentucky Derby at Louisville, in the US and the two Guineas races back to back at Newmarket in the UK. This year had added interest, as ace Irishman Aidan O`Brien , had strong fancies in each of the three, and was bidding to saddle the first ever European trained horse to win the “Run for the Roses”, as the Kentucky Derby is popularly referred to, and one of the world`s most-watched sporting events.

The weekend started bang on for Aidan, now considered one of the best in his profession in the world. He made the Qipco English 2000 Guineas a family affair as his 19-year-old son, Donnacha, deputizing for Ryan Moore (who was flown to ride in the Kentucky Derby) won his first ever classic race. Aidan not only won a record ninth 2,000 in the UK, but it was also an unprecedented 300th Group 1 win for this now legendary schooler.

It was the Coolmore owned Saxon Warrior, who was undefeated as a two-year-old, who scored on the Rowley Mile turf, in such impressive fashion, that he is now quoted at about evens in the ante-post betting market for the Investec Epsom Derby on the first Saturday in June. He was surprisingly let off at 7-2 for the first classic of the season as the money rolled on to Masar, who could only finish third. Saxon, being called a “monster” of a horse because of his size, won with ease and is expected to be much stronger over a longer trip. Unless an unexpected threat comes in the next few weeks, he could take home the English Triple Crown (2000, Derby, St Leger). Coincidentally his older brother, Joseph had won this race in 2012 but had to give up his riding boots as he was too tall to do justice to his undoubted talent.

The Warrior, sired by the Japan-based stallion, Deep Impact, could well be the star every sport yearns for. It was a glorious day of sun as record crowds thronged both days of the weekend in a perfect advertisement for the sport, at its best. However, Aidan`s cup of glory could not overflow as his Mendelssohn finished dead last in the Kentucky Derby on a rain-soaked dirt track and his 3-1 favorite in the fillies` classic on Sunday, Happily, was only a fair third, with the 1,000 going to the 66-1 Billesdon Brook, one of the longest priced winners ever for an English classic. It proved the maxim “have horse, must run” for one never knows… It was a triumph for the lesser heralded and prevented what could have been an O`Brien clean sweep at the very start of the classic season.

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