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Visindar - Derby favourite in focus
by Geir Stabell / Globeform
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How good is he? Well, the bookmakers seem to think he virtually home already, as they have Visindar as a best priced 2-1 favourite for the Vodafone Derby (G1).

The son of Sinndar has yet to lose a race but he has yet to meet another Group winner too. His performances seem a big 'foggy' to most of us - but there are interesting clues and formlines to be found.

Geir Stabell has investigated the French trained colt's profile - and he comes up with some interesting pieces of evidence.

Visindar has impressed in France and, though he has yet to beat a high class horse, he ios as short as 2-1 to land this year’s Derby. The son of the 2000 Derby winner Sinndar has run three times and won three times. He made his debut in an 18-runner newcomers’ event over a mile at Saint-Cloud last November (heavy ground), when he cruised home for a 4-length win over Kouloulbali, with Sazoun third and Painted Sky fourth.

That’s an ordinary bunch but Visindar was toying with them and his two runs this year have shown that he belongs in much better company. He reappeared in the Prix du Champ de Mars over 9 furlongs at Longchamp in April. Racing on good ground, he beat Racinger by 2 ˝ lengths, with his stable companion Thomamix 5 lengths further adrift in third spot. Racinger was coming off a fourth placed finish in a Listed race, beaten 4 lengths by Gentlewave – who went on to win the Derby Italiano (G1) – and Racinger subsequently ran third in a G3, beaten 2 lengths behind Boris de Deauville – who was coming off a second in a maiden race in March.

These are decent, if not brilliant, formlines and we learnt a little bit more about Visindar when he stepped up to 10 furlongs in the Prix Greffulhe (G2) at Saint-Cloud in May. Again, the opposition was not great, and Visindar was a short priced favourite. He went off a 1-5 to beat his five rivals, something he did without much fuss. Though also without really quickening. He seemed to be lengthening rather than finding a turn of foot, as he went ahead for a no-nonsense 4-length win over Onerous, who beat Hello Sunday by a head for third. Onerous, trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, was making his third start – having won a Class F race at Angers and a Class D race at Toulous (both this spring). He was taken out of the Prix du Jockey Club (G1) this week, but holds entries in the Grand Prix de Paris (G1) and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) and is clearly seen as Group horse by his handler.

But we have no way of knowing exactly how good Onerous is. Until Visindar runs on Saturday, of course! The Prix Greffulhe third, Hello Sunday, was a Listed winner at two but had been last of six behind Gentlewave in the Prix Noailles (G2) on his prevous start (eased, beaten 7 lengths). Zatonic, who was fourth behind Visindar at Saint-Cloud, had been a close sixth to Barastraith in the Prix La Force (G3) in April and previously also run a good fourth to Best Name in a Listed event. Best Name was beaten only a nose when he met Linda’s Lad in the Prix de Conde (G3) last autumn. These formlines give only ‘mild boosts’ to Visindar’s form but the important factor to bear in mind; he sits high on our ranking after just three lifetime starts. In effect, he has had only one race – as the first two races were simply too soft for him. What he is lacking, of course, is experience.

The Derby favourite has yet to met another Group winner, let alone an established Group One performer, but Visindar is almost certainly something special. He may not be in the same class as his sire Sinndar or stable companion Hurricane Run, let alone Fabre’s brilliant 1997 Arc winner Peintre Celebre, but that may not be necessary to win this Derby. He earned a provisional Globeform 115+ at Saint-Cloud. Further improvement is virtually guaranteed, he promises to stay every yard of the Classic distance, and – despite of a skinny price – he is our Derby selection.

His dam, Visor - a daughter of Mr Prospector – was a sprinter but she has produced classy runners with stamina; Visorama (won Prix de Flore, G3, 11 furlongs), Visionnaire (3rd, French Oaks, G1, 10.5 furlongs) and Visionary (3rd, Prix Dollar, G2, 10 furlongs). His sire Sinndar beat Sakhee is the Derby six years ago – in what a was truly a vintage edition of the race – and he went on to add the Irish Derby (G1) and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) to his impressive CV.

Published: 2006-06-01 04:37:01

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