Tag Archives: Del Mare

California Chrome romps home in Pacific Classic

California Chrome

Touted as “the best  ever”, the Pacific Classic didn’t turn into the thrilling three-way-battle everyone was hoping for. A let-down?

Nope. Certainly not! Well, at least not if you love to see great horses doing great things!

It wasn’t the supposed thriller because California Chrome demolished his classy rivals –  brilliant mare Beholder and gutsy Dortmund – in quite sensational style. In fact Chrome fans were able to count their chickens early –  the race was basically done and dusted already after the first couple of furlongs.

Why? Because the one big thing that could spell trouble for the reigning Dubai World Cup champion was pushed out of the way with ease. Drawn in barrier one can be tricky. But it doesn’t have to be.

From the inside gate, jockey Espinoza pressed on right from the moment the gates crashed open. Without much hassle he manoeuvred Chrome into the lead and let thimp settle into a nice rhythm.

And that was that. Case closed. No rival wanted to take him on for the lead; Chrome was allowed to dawdle along in front to set fractions that would suit him perfectly. Then from four furlongs out Espinoza started to go through the gears.

He was winding it up without any signs of trouble whatsoever. After an easy lead for the entire race, Chrome had still plenty in the tank and finished strongly despite being hand held, whereas his main rivals faded away.

What was thought to be a highly competitive race turned into a procession by a tactically smart rider and a classy equine superstar – which California Chrome undoubtedly is.

I’m not surprised and speculated beforehand that the draw would not be as big a deal as some made out of it. I also said California Chrome should be considered an odds-on chance in this field, despite all the hype around the depth of the field in “best ever Pacific Classic”.

Yes, it would have been interesting to see if either Dortmund or Beholder would have at least tried to make a race of it, if one would have pressed Chrome for the lead or would have made at least a big move at some point to apply some heat.

But then the five year old is simply in a different league to Beholder and Dortmund. He’s a battle hardened horse but more importantly a multiple Grade 1 winner on different surfaces at different continents. Breeders Cup Classic next?


Sunday Selections:

3.10 Chelmsford: Acclio @ 10/1 Bet365
3.40 Chelmsford: Gentlemen @ 4/1 Bet365
4.40 Chelmsford: Always Summer @ 7/2 Bet365

Photo: AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Pacific Classic: Clash of the Titans


What a race in prospect tonight: the clash of California Chrome vs. Beholder vs. Dortmund in the Pacific Classic! Should be an absolute cracker.

The mare Beholder tries to defend her crown, after romping home to an 8 lengths plus success in this race last year. It looks a tougher assignment this time, given main rivals Dortmund and California Chrome are sure to be primed.

Both locked horns in the San Diego Handicap most recently where they reappeared after a break. Despite giving weight away, California Chrome came out on top after a tough battle in the home straight.

Quite honestly it’s hard to see Dortmund turning the table today. I’m a big fan of this lad, he just such good looking boy! But he is not quite the class of Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome and is not necessarily appreciating the step up in trip.

No bother for Chrome, though. He has the stamina and class, however will have to overcome a tough draw on the inside – Espinoza has to make a tough call early on.

I believe he’ll keep it simple and will use Chrome’s early speed to make sure he’s not boxed in. And that will be that.

Beholder has tried this trip once before – when she turned last year’s Pacific Classic into a procession. However it was an odd race, with the leaders taking each other on and Bayern not performing on the day.

My feeling is that against tougher opposition, over this trip against a world class animal like California Chrome, who’s sure to stay every inch of the distance, she’s likely to fall short – despite a handy 5lb weight allowance.

Chrome is the class act and clearly the one to beat. He usually improves quite a bit from his first run after a break, so should be ready for a big performance today. In my book he is odds-on.

Selection: California Chrome @ 6/4 Ladbrokes


Saturday Selections:

3.05 Sandown: Majoris @ 7/1 Ladbrokes
3.25 York: Dream Of Dreams @  12/1 WH
4.50 Sandown: Philadelphia @13/2 Coral
7.50 Chelmsford: Dubawi Hundred @ 3/1 Ladbrokes

Photo: San Diego Tribune