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2011 Irish Derby: All Signs Point to Treasure Beach Gamble


The two place horses from the 2011 Investec Derby at Epsom are facing off as the top fancies in the 2011 Irish Derby which unfolds this weekend. The Queen's Carlton House (Street Cry) was sent off as the betting choice in the English derby but was bested not just by Pour Moi (Montjeu) and Mickael Barzalona, but by the 25/1 outside shot Treasure Beach (Galileo) who was just headed on the line and was much closer than what Barzalona's emphatic celebrations might have had punters believe.

The Group 3 Chester Vase winner Treasure Beach will retain Ryan Moore for this one as he heads out at what is now a 3/1 price tag. He's rated 107 and we know he can stay the distance so many getting involved in this run on Treasure Beach seem to be thinking that just a slight change in tactics will get the job done here.

Carlton House continues to retain his position at around 13/8 with most major bookmakers and his price should hold unless any negative news emerges about his form or fitness heading into the contest. The early predictions have the going listed as good for the Curragh on Sunday and there shouldn't be too much weather coming in to soften up the grounds.

The withdrawal of Roderic O'Connor (Galileo) definitely opens things up for the top pair of contenders. We may have seen a bit of the gloss come off in that disappointing run in the Prix De Jockey Club, a Group 1 event at Chantilly, but it also means that his undefeated record at the Curragh won't be working against anybody's wagers. His form indicates that he's likely poised to score in his next outing with many expecting a big bounce off that poor effort in France.

Native Khan (Azamour) has been an ever-present in many of the top races this year but his fifth place finish in the derby indicates that he might have maxed out in distance at 1m4f. His Craven victory showed that he can excel at a mile against a large field and he was able to acquit himself well with a show in the 2000 Guineas at 16/1 but he just couldn't find an extra gear when he needed it. One wonders whether he's a tired horse at this point with three progressively tougher efforts under his belt this season. The derby at Epsom was only three weeks ago and back to back 1m4f battles amongst Group 1 competition might be a bit too much.

Regardless, Native Khan is backed at around 8/1 with a number of punters seemingly convinced that he's poised for a breakout run. Connections would likely do better to move him back to a mile.

Treasure Beach will likely take money over the next few days and if positive news emerges from the gallops or the barns, then we could see a run in the ante post and at the windows on the day. Look for him to continue this incredible run of classics that his father Galileo is having this year.  

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