Mick Kinane: Zawraq is my pick to earn Epsom joy
I find this time of year very exciting as all the trials take place for the respective Classic races and I suppose it’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle trying to put it altogether but there’s definitely a few pieces that haven’t just fitted snugly yet.
Yesterday’s Dante was certainly the most conclusive Derby trial yet and you had to be very impressed with the winner Golden Horn and I suspect that connections will have to have a serious rethink about supplementing him for the Derby.
It was interesting to hear John Gosden speak afterwards about the owners feelings that he’s a horse with a mile and a quarter pedigree – the Dante is a mile and a quarter and 100 yards and I have yet to see a horse hit the line as well as he did and not get a mile and a half, so I wouldn’t see the Derby posing a problem for him.
There’s only one Epsom Derby and I know Chantilly and the French Derby is there and it was a route that proved very successful for The Grey Gatsby last year but the way the Derby picture is looking this year I think you’d have to take your chance at Epsom.
Gosden certainly would have gone home very happy as his second horse Jack Hobbs ran a very sound race in defeat. Frankie Dettori probably didn’t have the best passage of the race but with a step up in trip he’s entitled to be there or thereabouts.
Yet again the Ballydoyle two were very disappointing and for some reason they have just struggled this season. Hans Holbein has been the most impressive so far but the horses behind him would suggest he has to step up a good bit to get close at Epsom, but maybe he can.
I do feel the horses are running too bad to be true, especially the likes of the horses in York yesterday, and I would think there must be some underlying issue that they just haven’t put their finger on yet.
If I was to have a bet on the Derby right now, though, I think I’d have to be backing Dermot Weld’s horse Zawraq.
He looks to be a very exciting horse and he is very much in the equation and you’d have to have been very impressed with the manner of his victory at Leopardstown in the 2,000 Guineas Trial.
It’s one race that Dermot Weld would love to get on the CV and it would be fantastic to see it as he’s got almost everything else covered.
Looking at the start of the season so far and one horse I wouldn’t mind owning ahead of Irish Guineas weekend is Jessica Harrington’s filly Bocca Baciata. The form of her Navan win is up there with the strongest of the year.