Royal patronage, Luxembourg wins European preparations for the KY derby


The European Road to the Kentucky Derby got off to a double start on September 25 with the first two rounds of the series taking place minutes apart on grass in England and Ireland.

It was also an exciting start with Royal Patronage find other equipment in the final stadium of the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) in Newmarket to catch the favorite and apparently sure winner, Coroebus , in the shadow of the wire and Luxembourg , a dominant last-to-first winner of the Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes (G2) at Curragh.

Each winner accumulated 10 points for a guaranteed place in the 148th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) on May 7, 2022, at Churchill Downs. However, they are more likely to head for next year’s QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (G1) in Newmarket or the first Cazoo Derby (G1) at Epsom Downs.

With a stadium to go in the one-mile Royal Lodge, victory seemed firmly in the hands of local Godolphin colt, Coroebus, and jockey William Buick. But Jason Hart, aboard Royal Patronage, had that one in sight, engulfed the terrain along the rail and was just in time to take the victory slightly upset by a neck.

Frankie Dettori got shot Invincible along the third place of the Royal Lodge as Royal Patronage led their three-way winning streak for coach Mark Johnston. The Wootton bassett foal out of the Dalakhani Mare Chalushka , was bred by Emma Capon Bloodstock in France and races for Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.

Coroebus seemed to be such a sure winner, Johnston said by Racing Post, “I had put down my binoculars at a time when the other horse was clear. But when it hit the rising ground, (Royal Patronage) found a other equipment. “

Royal Patronage also secured a place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) from November 5 to Del Mar, because the Royal Lodge is part of the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

At the Curragh, Luxembourg and jockey Seamie Heffernan started from the back of the five-horse field in the final Beresford stadium and quickly put things to rest. Surrounding rivals, the Camelot Colt was comfortable at 4 3/4 lengths ahead of his closest rival at the finish without ever asking for his best effort.

“He is very talented and I was very impressed,” Heffernan told the Racing Post. “It’s very simple, very fluid.”

It was his second win in as many starts for coach Aidan O’Brien and a partnership that included the “guys” from Coolmore. Bred by BV Sangster in Ireland, the foal is from the Danehill dancer Mare Outfit .

The series continues on the grass in the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (G1) on October 3 in ParisLongchamp in France and the Vertem Futurity Trophy (G1) on October 23 in Doncaster, England. Those grass races are more likely for youngsters with the following year’s Guineas or the Epsom Derby in their dreams than a potential trip to Louisville, Ky.

The Beresford was a springboard for Guineas and the glory of Epsom for Sea the stars in 2008-09. Benny the Dip got a double dive at the 1996 Royal Lodge and the 1997 Derby.

O’Brien won the Beresford for the 21st time. Its previous laureates include Japan , Saxon warrior , and Saint-Nicolas Abbey and UK bookmakers have dropped Luxembourg’s odds in the 2022 Epsom Derby as low as 10-1.

The most likely targets for the Kentucky Derby contenders are the three patented “Road” races for all-season tracks in England and Ireland in March and April. Nonetheless, the series has not produced a candidate for the rose race since its launch in 2018.

The European Road to the Kentucky Derby is separate from the main competition which includes the American races and the UAE Derby (G2) in Dubai. It is limited by the four Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby races which start on November 27 at the Tokyo racecourse.

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