What a difference a month makes n the Tote Power Rankings! Last month’s number one Air Force Blue has dropped out of the rankings all together after his no show at Newmarket as has the second ranked Jack Hobbs. But there have been some new stars unearthed in the past few weeks so here are the Tote Flat Power Rankings for the month of May.
1) Minding – Aidan O’ Brien
April Ranking – 5th
The champion two-year-old filly of last season confirmed her superiority over her rivals with a dominant display in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. She travelled like a winner every step of the way and powered away from her rivals in the final furlong to record a 3 ½ length success. If anything she looks like she could be better stepping up in trip and the fact that she is current favourite for the Derby with a run speaks for the regard in which she is held.
2) The Gurkha – Aidan O’Brien
April Ranking – Not ranked
Incredible that The Gurkha was still a maiden when the last edition of these rankings were written last month but this three-year-old son of Galileo has made a major impression in the meantime. A 9 length winner of a maiden at Navan, he was supplemented for the French 2000 Guineas last time where he was a breath-taking 5 ½ length winner. Despite the impression he has made it is difficult to know how good a race the French Guineas was at this point with Newmarket 7th First Selection finishing 2nd. What is sure is that The Gurkha is a horse of immense potential and could prove a superstar by season’s end.
3) Found – Aidan O’Brien
April Ranking – 7th
Last year’s Breeders Cup Turf winner Found made an unspectacular return to action in early April finishing 3rd behind Zhukova on unsuitably heavy ground but her second start of the campaign showed that she retains all of last year’s ability. She was second favourite behind Fascinating Rock in the Mooresbridge Stakes but she produced an utterly dominant display over that rival to move her up the rankings. The Arc will be her target for the season and she can be considered a live contender if the ground comes up quick.
4) Galileo Gold – Hugo Palmer
April Ranking – Not Ranked
A winner of three of his five starts as a juvenile, Galileo Gold was a horse that slipped quietly under the radar for the 2000 Guineas. Reports of his homework suggested that he had improved for the winter break and they were proved correct when he produced a tough and classy display to take the opening classic of the season. There has been some toing and froing as to what his next target will be but at this point it appears that connections will be happy to stay around a mile which could set up a fascinating clash with The Gurkha at some point.
5) Order Of St George
April Ranking – 3rd
Unseated from his 3rd place position in the rankings due to his absence so far this season but 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.
6) Postponed – Roger Varian
April Ranking – 6th
Another that hasn’t been seen since last writing, he is 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.
7) Belardo – Roger Varian
April Ranking – Not ranked
Winner of the Dewhurst at two Belardo went all of last season without a win but looks right back to his best based on recent efforts. He was a winner a listed level on return before disappointing in a Grade 2 when receiving an ill-judged ride. He comprehensively reversed form with Toormore in the Lockinge last time and now looks like the leading older-miler in this part of the world.
8) US Army Ranger – Aidan O’Brien
April Ranking – 10th
US Army Ranger remains a colt of major potential this season and it still near the top of the Derby market despite struggling to win his trial at Chester. Connections seemed pleased with the performance though and it was just his second ever start. But he will need to find significant improvement if he is to justify his Derby hype. He must be respected though and still has the potential to rise near the top of these rankings by next month.
9) Wings Of Desire – John Gosden
April Ranking – Not ranked
A full-brother to Oaks third The Lark, Wings Of Desire entered the Dante with a rating of just 88 but belied his odds of 9/1 to take the traditionally strong Derby trial by a neck. Midterm was a disappointment back in the field and the proximity of Ballydoyle’s Deauville in second makes this race even harder to read. However John Gosden is a master with middle distance horses and he has to be a major contender for the Epsom Derby.
10) So Mi Dar – John Gosden
April ranking – Not ranked
A daughter of top-class middle distance filly Dar Re Mi, So Mi Dar looks every bit as good as her mother at this point. She beat the boys in the Derby trial at Epsom before demolishing her rivals in the Musidora at York. Unfortunately she has been ruled out of the Oaks due to lameness (which is why she is not higher on this list) but hopefully the much anticipated clash with Minding will still be on the cards later in the season.
The Tote Power Rankings will be updated on a monthly basis.
- Air Force Blue
- Jack Hobbs
- Order Of St George
- Fascinating Rock
- US Army Ranger
Agree with our rankings? Let us know in the comments section below.