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UAE Derby: Discreet Cat to get serious test
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-02-19 09:35:34 (First published: 2006-03-23 14:51:49 )

Nad Al Sheba Saturday: Discreet Cat… if he goes to post in the Kentucky Derby (G1) it will be as a horse with a highly unusual preparation.

Even by Godolphin’s standards. The ex-American has raced only twice in his career, for two facile wins over shorter trips, and he will be stepping in class and distance in the UAE Derby (G2) on World Cup night. English bookmakers make him the slight favourite, ahead of the South American import Simpatico Bribon. Have they got it right, or are they just scared of a big gamble on a horse running for the ‘boys in blue’?

Well, let’s see how the market moves on the day. Many will be siding with Simpatico Bribon, who looked so good in the Al Bastakiyia, winning over the Derby distance. His powerful and prominent presence, backed up by his late charging stable companion Gold For Sale, will combine for what Disceet Cat really needs if he is to go to Louisville. A serious racing test.

Simpatico Bribon outclassed Where’s That Tiger to win by 6 lengths in the Al Bastikiya, run over this course and distance, and gained his seventh straight win in the process. Perhaps more importantly, the ex-Chilean champion ran to an exceptional Globeform ratings (for such a young horse). He returned GF 119+, and that is a conservative estimate of his form... Where’s That Tiger is no star, European racing fans know that, but still… to brush him aside like he did, Simpatico Bribon must be something special. Where’s That Tiger was in good form – he had been second also in the UAE 2000 Guineas (G2) – but in that race only caught very late by Gold For Sale - a stable companion to Simpatico Bribon. Gold For Sale should love this step up in distance but it is impossible to see him matching strides with Simpatico Bribon.

Prior to the Al Bastakiyia, the son of Election Day gained two wins in at Janadiriyah in Saudi Arabia. The Chilen bred colt was high class in his native country, where he won the Clasico Tanteo de Potrillos (G1) and was voted Champion juvenile on dirt. He was a strong favourite in an 11-runner field and he came home by 7 lengths from Ramaje, with Noble Guerrero a distant third. It was Simpatico Bribon’s fourth win on the bounce at the dirt course at Hippodromo Chile. He’s on a different stage now – and holding his own very well!

Discreet Cat, a half-brother to Pretty Wild, is the only danger. He cantered home in a soft race over a mile here earlier in the month, beating Golden Acer by 4 lengths. He was hard held through the final furlong and the margin could have been double, perhaps even more. Also, though the opposition was ordinary, his time was good. He does not have the same experience as Simpatico Bribon but Discreet Cat is a very talented young horse. This will be his stamina test. If he is to progress to the Kentucky Derby (G1), he will have to gain fighting experience too – the South Americans will help him to gain that. Put it this way, if Disceet Cat wins this in style, he fully deserves to meet the best in the US. He ran to Globeform 109+ last time and is certainly capable of much better in due course.

He joined Godolphin from Stanley Hough last year – when he ran once and won a maiden in impressive style at Saratoga. Tackling 6 furlongs, Discreet Cat showed early speed and was soon in command. He came home 3 ½ lengths in front of Superfly, who was 11 lengths clear of the third placed Ivanovsky. Superfly, who had made one previous start (third), went on to win the non-graded Whirling Ash at Delaware Park at odds-on, before finishing third in the Champagne Stakes (G1), beaten 12 lengths behind First Samurai – and fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), beaten 8 ½ lengths behind Stevie Wonderboy.

Discreet Cat’s half-brother Pretty Wild (by Wild Again) raced for the same connections in the US in 2002 and 2003. He was a smart juvenile, running second in the Hopeful Stakes (G1) and Futurity Stakes (G1) and fourth in the Champagne Stakes (G1). Floowing surgery to remove a bone chip, Pretty Wild, was on the sidelines from November ’02 to August ’03, when he returned with an easy allowance win at Saratoga. The follwing month, he finished third to During in the Jerome Hcap (G2) at Belmont Park. Last year, Pretty Wild won two non-graded stakes at Monmouth Park, over 6 furlongs and a mile.

Is this a Kentucky Derby horse? Too soon to say but on breeding, Discreet Cat is not a typical contender for 1 ¼ miles at Churchill Downs in early May. His sire Forestry stayed well enough to land the Dwyer Stakes (G2) over 1 1/16 miles, and finish third to Menbifee in the Haskell Invitational (G1) over 1 1/8 miles, though his best performance came when he beat Five Star Day when conceding 10lbs in the King’s Bishop (G1) over 7 furlongs at Saratoga. His most talented runners to date have been Smokey Glacken and Forest Danger (both sprinters).

Gold for Sale is an unbeaten colt from Argentina, where he was an impressive winner of the Argentine 2000 Guineas (G1) – the Gran Premio Polla de Potrillos – in September. Racing over a fast track at Palermo, Gold for Sale quickened well to gain a 4-length win over Mr. Rod, with Scooby third, running the 1600 metres in 1:35.08. It was his fifth win from as many startsand he added a sixth in the UAE 2000 Guineas (G2), where he came form way off the pace to beat Where’s That Tiger by ¾ length.




7 Simpatico Bribon

2 EXACTAS: 7 and 8 reversed / boxed

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