Oppenheimer optimistic about Cracksman’s performance in the season ahead
After Cracksman’s amazing reappearance at the Paris Long champ on Sunday, owner Anthony Oppenheimer is very excited to see the horse’s performance in the rest of the season. Cracksman is trainer John Gosden’s star colt and is known for his three-year campaign as Eurpoe’s highest rated horse. He has been a hot favourite and made a successful return in the hands of Frankie Dettori at the Prix Ganay. Cracksman’s next appearance is supposed to be for the Tattersalls Gold Cup at Curragh on May 27th and he is also expected at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. His main target, reportedly, is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes to take place at Ascot in July. Speculation has already started among flat racing fans about the nail-biting competition at Cracksman and stablemate Enable, who won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomph as well as Kind George last season. Oppenheimer says he is optimistic about both the ventures and his only concern is the ground as Cracksman can handle good to firm or soft ground but does not perform well on firm ground.
All about Kentucky Derby contender Free Drop Billy
There is an intriguing group of horses involved in the 144th Kentucky Derby, Free Drop Billy belongs to that group. The 2-year-old secured a spot in the race with the current rank of 15 in the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 44 points. Billy has a good reputation of running well in every career start, except for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, when he put up a clunker that could not be explained by even his trainer, Dale Romans. Free Drop Billy is said to much more battle-tested, having run against classy horses like Enticed, Flameaway, Audible, Good Magic and Firenze Fire. He defeated Derby contenders Lone Sailor and Bravazo to win the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity last October at Keeneland. On analysis, Free Drop Billy is expected to deliver a good performance at the Kentucky Derby, the first reason being his breeding, which should give him advantage on the Derby’s 1 and ¼ mile distance. Also, Billy’s victory over the Churchill Downs main track last June serves as good experience over the track for him.
Katie Walsh retires after Punchestown victory
Celebrated jump jockey, Katie Walsh surprised the festival crowd by declaring her retirement, moments after winning riding the winner at Punchestown. She drove Antey past Barry Geraghty to win the race by a nose. In knowledge of only her immediate family, the 34-year-old had been planning for a fortnight to announce her retirement when she next rode a winning horse, irrespective of the place and time. She says that it should happen in the brilliant closing week of the Irish season, was by pure luck. As a part of her successful career as jump jockey, Walsh has participated in six Grand Nationals and won an Irish Grand National during her tenure.