Tote Ireland Flat Power Rankings – April 2016

As the flat season swings into action Tote Ireland bring you a new feature to the betting blog. We have made our Power Ranking for the top flat horses in Ireland and the UK. The rankings are fluid and will be updated regularly after performances justify a move up, down or out of the rankings. It is for both colts and fillies trained in either Ireland or the UK but nothing official, just our opinion of how they rank throughout the season.

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1)  Air Force Blue – Aidan O’ Brien

Entries: Newmarket, Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (208th Running) (GB Champions Series) (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)

Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)

Champion two-year-old colt of 2015 and unbeaten in his last three runs, all a Group 1 level he looks a potential superstar this season. Currently heading the betting for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, he will be sent straight there by Aidan O’Brien. If he can justify the confidence that is behind him currently it will be a very exciting summer for supporters of Air Force Blue.

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2) Jack Hobbs – John Gosden

Entries:

Only found Golden Horn too good in last year’s Epsom Derby but made no mistake in the Irish equivalent slamming his rivals by 5 lengths. Rain softened ground was against him on his final start when tiring late in the Champion Stakes at Ascot behind Fascinating Rock but has the physique to suggest he could improve further as a four-year-old.

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 3) Order Of St George – Aidan O’Brien

Entries: York, Betway Yorkshire Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 2)          

Navan, Coolmore Vintage Crop Stakes (Group 3)

A smart staying three-year-old for the majority of last season, Order Of St George jumped into a different stratosphere after his demolition job of a Group 1 field in the Irish St Leger. He galloped to an easy 11 length success that day and looks to have the staying division at his mercy this season. Will be fascinating to see if he can back up the impression he left at the Curragh in September.

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4) Fascinating Rock – Dermot Weld

Entries:  Curragh, Camelot European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes (Group 3)     

Curragh, Tattersalls Gold Cup (Group 1)   

A horse that seems to be improving with age, Fascinating Rock ran the race of his career when wearing down both Found and Jack Hobbs in the Champion Stakes at Ascot on his final start. He seems to relish an ease in the ground so a wet summer would very much be in his favour but it is hard to imagine that Dermot Weld will not bag at least one more Group 1 with this son of Fastnet Rock this season.

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5) Minding – Aidan O’Brien

Newmarket, Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes (203rd Running) (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Fillies)               

Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Fillies)

Despite a promising start to her career Minding was a somewhat surprising winner of the Moyglare Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend under Seamus Heffernan but the impeccably bred daughter of Galileo show that performance was no fluke by bolting up in the Fillies Mile at Newmarket. She is now favourite for the opening fillies classic of the season at Newmarket and judging by the comments of pilot Ryan Moore after the Fillies Mile she should be a tough nut to crack.

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6) Postponed – Roger Varian

Entries:

A horse that has done nothing but improve in his career, five-year-old Postponed has run up an impressive sequence of four wins in a row which began last July in the King George at Ascot. That may not have been the greatest renewal of that race but it is hard to argue that the son of Dubawi has not bettered the performance since when winning the Sheema Classic at Meydan last time. It will be interesting to see if he can bring that level of form back with him to Europe and if he can carry on improving.

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7) Found – Aidan O’Brien

Entries: Curragh, Camelot European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes (Group 3)      

Naas, Irish National Stud European Breeders Fund Blue Wind Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies)               

Curragh, Tattersalls Gold Cup (Group 1)

Spend most of last season as a nearly horse finishing second in no less than four Group 1s but everything finally fell into place for Found in the Breeder’s Cup Turf at Keenland where she got the better of Golden Horn. That was only her second start over 12 furlongs and she enters her four-year-old season unexposed at that trip. She has a wide range of targets available to her this season but you would think defending her Breeders Cup crown will be high on the agenda. She made a perfectly acceptable start to the season at the Curragh when the very soft conditions were not in her favour.

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8) Emotionless – Charlie Appleby

Entires: Newmarket, Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (208th Running) (GB Champions Series) (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)               

York, Betfred Dante Stakes (Group 2)   

Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)             

Epsom, Investec Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)              

Curragh, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)

No getting away from the disappointing nature of his run in the Dewhurst but there were legitimate excuses for Charlie Appleby’s son of Shamardal as he chipped a bone in his knee early in the race. Ignoring that run he remains a highly promising colt after a runaway success in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. Has the potential to climb right to the top of this list moving forward but also could drop out completely by this time next month.

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9) Harzand – Dermot Weld

Epsom, Investec Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)              

Curragh, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)

Once raced at two, Harzand has been a revelation so far this season for Dermot Weld. A runaway winner of his maiden at Cork he handled the step up to Group 3 company with ease with an impressive performance to take the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown. A strong stayer who handles an ease in the ground well, he looks like the leading early contender for St Leger glory later in the year.

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10) US Army Ranger – Aidan O’Brien

Entries: York, Betfred Dante Stakes (Group 2)   

Curragh, Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)             

Epsom, Investec Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)              

Curragh, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)

The case for US Army Ranger to appear on this list is based on reputation rather than form but if you believe the whispers coming from Ballydoyle (and it often pays to) then this son of Galileo could be something special. Unraced at two there was significant support for him in Derby ante-post market prior to his recent debut at the Curragh. He won well that day despite the very heavy conditions and punters cannot get enough of US Army Ranger for the Derby. Only time will tell his true position on this list, if at all, but until then he can sit at number 10.

 

The Tote Power Rankings will be updated on a monthly basis.

Agree with our rankings? Let us know in the comments section below.

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