By Steve Miller
English King to rule at Derby trip
THE Investec Derby is once more upon us, albeit pushed back a month to follow the Irish Derby and Royal Ascot and on the same card as the Oaks, for the first time. A fresh Classic generation prepares to lock horns at Epsom. The accompanying table, adjusted at the confirmation stage, shows the 17 that could still take part. They are arranged with those showing the most stamina potential at the top and the least at the bottom, ranked in order of the Dosage Index (DI).
Galileo appears in the pedigrees of four of the past 10 Derby winners and seven of the past 10 Oaks winners. The 10-year average DI for the Derby is showing at 0.78, supporting the assumption that a colt (or filly) with a DI of 1.0 or below and a centre of distribution (CD) of around zero has the right blend of speed and stamina to succeed in the Epsom classic.
Derby contenders 2020
Colt Sire/damsire Profile DI CD
Highland Chief Gleneagles/Montjeu 2-1-16-16-1 = 36 0.44 -0.36
Mohican Heights Australia/Shirley Heights 2-1-19-8-4 = 34 0.58 -0.32
English King Camelot/Zafonic 3-2-14-12-1 = 32 0.60 -0.19
Armory Galileo/Danehill Dancer 4-1-18-13-0 = 36 0.64 -0.11
Russian Emperor Galileo/Fastnet Rock 4-2-16-12-0 = 34 0.70 -0.06
Serpentine Galileo/Danehill Dancer 5-1-18-12-0 = 36 0.71 -0.03
Vatican City Galileo/Storm Cat 5-1-20-12-0 = 38 0.73 -0.03
Mogul Galileo/Danehill 4-2-22-12-0 = 40 0.74 -0.05
Khalifa Sat Free Eagle/Tenby 2-1-6-5-0 = 14 0.75 0.00
Amhran Na Bhfiann Galileo/Green Desert 4-3-19-12-0 = 38 0.77 -0.03
Gold Maze Golden Horn/Galileo 1-2-22-7-0 = 32 0.78 -0.09
Mythical Camelot/Cape Cross 3-1-20-8-0 = 32 0.78 -0.03
Max Vega Lope De Vega/Dalakhani 0-5-10-4-1 = 20 1.00 -0.05
Pyledriver Harbour Watch/Le Havre 1-0-2-1-0 = 4 1.00 0.25
Emissary Kingman/Sadler’s Wells 3-3-8-4-0 = 18 1.25 0.28
Worthily Point Of Entry/Diesis 4-2-14-1-1 = 22 1.44 0.32
Kameko Kitten’s Joy/Rock Of Gibraltar 5-6-7-2-0 = 20 2.64 0.70
Key to Profile: Left to right columns, ranging from speed to stamina: Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Solid, Professional. DI = Dosage index; CD = Centre of distribution.
The Centre of Distribution (CD) scale complements the DI. The CD covers the range from +2 to -2, where +2 corresponds to the Brilliant aptitudinal group in the Dosage profile (DP), +1 corresponds to Intermediate, 0 corresponds to Classic, -1 corresponds to Solid, and -2 corresponds to Professional. A low (close to zero) or negative CD indicates enhanced stamina potential.
2019: Anthony Van Dyke, DI = 0.77, CD = -0.03
Dosage of previous Derby winners
Year Colt DI
2019 Anthony Van Dyke 0.77*
2018 Masar 0.79*
2017 Wings Of Eagles 0.42
2016 Harzand 0.91
2015 Golden Horn 1.38
2014 Australia 0.67*
2013 Ruler Of The World 0.77*
2012 Camelot 0.68
2011 Pour Moi 0.43
2010 Workforce 1.00
Average = 0.78
* Adjusted for the inclusion of Galileo as a Classic/Solid chef-de-race.
Camelot – Platonic (Zafonic)
A comfortable winner of the Derby trial at Lingfield for trainer Ed Walker. A son of the 2,000 Guineas and Derby winner Camelot out of a Zafonic mare. With a negative CD and a DI of below 1 stamina will not be an issue. He appears close to the head of our stamina aptitude table and could well make up into a fine prospect for the St Leger. He looks a ready type for owner Bjorn Nielsen and should be in the shake-up here. Frankie Dettori, who has won the Derby on Authorized and Golden Horn, takes the ride from the colt’s Lingfield partner Tom Marquand.
Kitten’s Joy – Sweeter Still (Rock Of Gibraltar)
The 2,000 Guineas winner had solid two-year-old form, beaten a nose in a Group 3 and a neck in the Royal Lodge, before going on to land the Group 1 Futurity Trophy at Newcastle (rescheduled from Doncaster), beating three Aidan O’Brien contenders in second, third and fourth. Connections remain bullish about the chances of the Kitten’s Joy colt to progress further after working well in recent days at Kempton, where he was also prepped for his Guineas success. Out of the Rock of Gibraltar mare Sweeter Still, who won in the US over a mile, at up to Grade 3 level, the colt can be expected to get 10 furlongs but will come up against more resolute stayers over a mile-and-a-half in this.
Galileo – Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock)
Aidan O’Brien potentially has seven that could still line up in this year’s Derby spearheaded by Russian Emperor, who returned to action this term in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby trial at Leopardstown where he kept on half-a-length behind his stablemate Cormorant, before running out a good winner of the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot, also over 10 furlongs, just eight days later. The Galileo colt is a full brother to the 4-year-old maiden winner Pacific Ocean, he has hit form at the right time for this rescheduled event and has an ideal stamina profile for the race.
Galileo – You’resothrilling (Storm Cat)
Won his maiden in taking fashion from a field of 14 last term and chased an impressive Siskin home in the Irish 2,000 Guineas on his return to the track this season. A full brother to five Group winners – Gleneagles, Marvellous, Happily, Taj Mahal and Coolmore – effective at 8-10 furlongs. The colt receives stamina from his tail male line through Galileo and speed through the influence of his damsire Storm Cat. His sister Marvellous failed to get home in both the English and Irish Oaks, but Vatican City appears in the top half of our table and is entitled to attempt getting a mile-and-a-half where his siblings have failed. Nonetheless we cannot be confident of him fully seeing out the trip.
Galileo – Shastye (Danehill)
Disappointing when odds-on favourite and a one-paced fourth behind Pyledriver, on his reappearance this term, in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was good enough to win a Group 2 at Leopardstown last season before running fourth to Kameko in the rerouted Futurity Trophy. A brother to middle-distance winners, including Japan and Sir Isaac Newton and his dam is a half-sister to Arc winner Sagamix. On breeding the Derby trip is no problem and the Galileo colt’s Dosage index is in line with previous winners of this race. However, he would need to show a return to last season’s form, and then some, to take a hand here.
Free Eagle – Thermopylae (Tenby)
Winner of two of his three outings to date (both at Goodwood), including the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes over one-mile-three-furlongs on his reappearance, when making all and keeping on gamely to beat Emissary a neck. By Free Eagle out of a Tenby mare he is closely related to 12-furlong Group 3 winner and St Leger runner-up Unsung Heroine and is likely to outstay his better fancied stablemate Kameko, for his trainer Andrew Balding. He should not be ruled out of calculations.
Harbour Watch – La Pyle (Le Havre)
Trained by William Muir, the son of Harbour Watch was winner of a Listed race last season on soft going and was able to get his toe in again when taking the King Edward VII Stakes on the opening day of a rescheduled Royal Ascot. The low points total of his Dosage profile means his reading may prove unreliable, but he is already a Group 2 winner over 12 furlongs and if on the soft side should make a determined show here.
Galileo – After (Danehill Dancer)
Has won three of his eight starts and has finished in the first four in all of them. The son of Galileo won two Group races in Ireland last season before running into Pinatubo in the National Stakes. He kept on well when a respectable fourth to Siskin in the Irish 2,000 Guineas last time out. He is under consideration for the French Derby at Chantilly on Sunday, but his Dosage reading suggests he might be better off at a mile-and-a-half at Epsom.
Galileo – Remember When (Danehill Dancer)
Runaway nine-length winner of his maiden over one-mile-two-furlongs at the Curragh on Saturday. By Galileo out of Remember When (runner-up in the Oaks and closely related to Dylan Thomas) and a full brother to the like of Beacon Rock, Bye Bye Baby and Wedding Vow. Looks well placed in our table to get the trip here and could be interesting.
Camelot – Inchmina (Cape Cross)
Winner of a Gowran Park maiden when staying on strongly and subsequently tried three times at Group level, over 10 furlongs, without success. Even so the Camelot colt was a respectable third in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud. Subsequently he made no impression when well beaten by Crossfirehurricane at the Curragh. A half-brother to Johann Strauss, who was good enough to be placed in Group 1 company over 9 furlongs in Dubai. Not much evidence to suggest he can go in here. Stamina won’t be an issue, but in terms of ability he looks a bit below what is required.
Amhran Na Bhfiann
Galileo – Alluring Park (Green Desert)
It would be surprising to see this one line up for his all-powerful Ballydoyle yard. Unsuccessful in two attempts at his maiden. By Galileo out of a Green Desert mare. Presumably included here for pacemaking duties.
Gleneagles – Pink Symphony (Montjeu)
Big priced winner, staying on strongly, of the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot (off top weight) over 10 furlongs for Paul and Oliver Cole. By Gleneagles out of the 12-furlong Group 3-winning Montjeu mare, Pink Symphony. The colt could do even better over further as stamina looks to be his strong suit and he appears at the head of our stamina aptitude table.
Australia – Mohican Princess (Shirley Heights)
The David Simcock-trained son of Australia won a Listed race last season and finished third behind Pyledriver at Royal Ascot in the King Edward VII Stakes on his reappearance. Bred for stamina by Derby winner Australia out of a mare by the tried and tested stamina influence Shirley Heights. The trip here will prove no problem but he may find two or three too good.
Kingman – Soviet Moon (Sadler’s Wells)
The Hugo Palmer-trained son of Kingman, out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Soviet Moon, has done nothing wrong to date, winning a Novice Stakes event at Wolverhampton before going down by a neck to Andrew Balding’s Khalifa Sat at Goodwood. Nonetheless, a big step up is required.
Golden Horn – Astonishing (Galileo)
Yet to win a race of any description. Sixth behind Santiago in the Irish Derby on Saturday for trainer Jessica Harrington. The son of Golden Horn is okay in terms of stamina aptitude but several better prospects line up here.
Lope De Vega – Paraphernalia (Dalakhani)
Won a Group 3 Listed race at Newmarket over 10 furlongs last term but only fifth of nine in the Classic trial at Kempton on his reappearance behind the Andrew Balding-trained Berlin Tango. Should be suited by the trip but not good enough for this.
Point Of Entry – Vignette (Diesis)
Winner of his only race, a Newbury maiden, but is also John Gosden’s only confirmed runner. His position in our stamina aptitude table suggests others will get a true run mile-and-a-half more comfortably.
There are no stamina issues with English King and allied to a decisive turn of foot he ticks the most important boxes for a successful Derby type. He may prove an even better prospect for the St Leger but looks bound to be in the shake up here. Kameko is likely to be stretched at the trip and his own stablemate Khalifa Sat is better suited to the mile-and-a-half and could well finish in front of him. Russian Emperor looks a credible alternative to the likely favourite and Vatican City is entitled to take his chance, even though his breeding suggests he also might be stretched at the trip. Mogul would have to bounce back from Ascot form but may have fitness excuses for his first run of the season and has no stamina issues. If it come up on the soft side Pyledriver may be capable of a determined performance and Highland Chief should stay the trip well.
1) English King
2) Russian Emperor
3) Khalifa Sat
More on the Dosage system from the author and from Dr Steven Roman can be found on www.semiller5.wixsite.com/thedosagesystem and in the book Dosage: Pedigree and Performance, published by The Russell Meerdink Company, Ltd.