28.06.2017 10:24

Outsiders dominate the Czech Derby: home-bred Joseph is the winner

 

The 97th running of the Czech Derby, Graded 3, 2400 metres, for 3-y-o colts and fillies, with prize money of CzK 2 500 000 (EUR 97 000), sponsored for the first time by Česká podnikatelská pojišťovna (a business insurance company), was run on a hot midsummer afternoon at Prague Velká Chuchle. It turned out to be a highly dramatic and unexpected race.

 

In retrospect, it is clear that the story of the race is told by the time intervals for each 400-metre section of the race: 27,46 - 23,13, - 25,09 -24,86, 24,33, and by the time of the race: 2 min, 29,19 sec., the second-fastest time in the history of the race. After a gentle start, most of the favoured horses competed like mad for the lead in the second 400 metres, in particular Nagano Gold, ridden by Bauyrzhan Murzabayev. The jockeys on the favoured horses must have looked around and decided that they had to go with their main rivals. However, by the time the horses entered the finishing straight with 600 metres to go, either the excessive pace or the distance of the race was beyond the capacity of each of the top horses. Two outsiders, Joseph and Felix, came through and contested an extremely hard-fought finish. Joseph won by a short head, with another outsider, George Boole, in third place. Joseph started at odds of 50:1, and Felix started at 27:1. Seven of the first eight finishers, in a field of 16, started at odds of 20:1 or more.

 

Jiří Palík and Jan Rája, the jockeys involved in the finish, both picked up a heavy penalty and a suspension for overuse of the whip in a race with big prize money, as did Tomás Lukášek, who finished sixth on Aeneas. It was certainly a full-blooded, hot-blooded and hot-headed race, and it is significant that the two most experienced jockeys in the race came out on top. 43-year-old Jiří Palík is one of the leading Czech jockeys of all time, and returned to the Czech Republic three year ago after a successful career in Germany. He had won the Czech Derby once before, on Ready for Life in 2006. 

 

Joseph was the first Czech-bred winner of the Czech Derby since Ready for Life. In fact, he was the only Czech-bred in the field this year. Joseph is by Lando (GER), out of Josselin (FR) Muhtathir (GB). That is to say that he is bred in the Czech Republic, by Charvát Group, s.r.o., but his bloodlines are far from exotic.

 

Dr Jiří Charvát, President of the Jockey Club of the Czech Republic has been investing heavily in bloodstock in order finally to add the Czech Derby to the more or less complete list of top races in Central Europe that he has won. His successes include the Velka Pardubicka, with Decent Fellow.

 

Most of Jiří Charvát’s horses are nowadays trained in North Moravia, by Pavel Tůma, who excused himself from the winners ceremony and the celebrations, as he had to saddle up Hessoesse, which won the Oaks trial in the Charvát colours half an hour after the Derby was run.

Seven of the runners in the Czech Derby are entered for the Slovak Derby, to be run at Bratislava on Sunday July 16th. Neither of the first two in our Derby is currently entered for Bratislava, but that can change. Slovakia is an important market for the Charvát Group, and Joseph’s owner might be tempted to take the horse there, as long as he is OK. However, Bratislava is a much smaller and tighter course, where 2 400 metres is one-and-a-half circuits. It will be a very different race, but Joseph might be good enough to win it, and to show that our Derby result was less crazy than most of us think it was.

 Source: www.dostihovy-svet.cz

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