We don’t usually have to wait too long for the next superstar to come off the end of the Ballydoyle conveyor belt, and the newest horse off that may have just made his first really big impression on us. The horse in question is Sir Dragonet, a horse you will be hearing a lot about over the coming weeks, and one that may have actually slipped under the radar of his trainer Aidan O’Brien, which if anything makes him an even more fascinating prospect.
He made a nice impression when winning an Irish maiden on debut as a three-year-old, after not making the track last season. He has been described as a big baby, who needs time to learn the ropes and is a horse that will come on a lot as he gains more experience. However, on just the second start of his career, he took a huge leap forward to win the Chester Vase, a well-known Derby trial by a margin of eight lengths. Only top class horses can do that, and only the very best can do that on just the second start of their career.
The main reason for thinking this horse has slipped through the net is that surprisingly he has not yet been entered in the Derby, which would be his next logical step forward. That is something Aidan O’Brien will put right shortly, and despite that the latest Oddschecker odds show he is favourite to win the Derby with many bookmakers.
The twists and turns of Chester are not easy to handle, but certainly help a horse who is having a prep run ahead of the Derby, as Epsom can offer the same kind of challenge. Assuming he goes to the Derby, this will be just the third run of Sir Dragonet’s career, but while he still lacks race experience, he simply cannot be ignored.
That will hopefully set up a clash with Too Darn Hot, from the John Gosden yard who showed excellent form last season. However, we have yet to see him on a racecourse after he was ruled out of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. Time is running out for him to make the big race, but let’s hope he does and sets up a clash with Sir Dragonet, so we can really see how good this Ballydoyle runner is when he goes up against the very best.
Image “Packed Crowds at the Epsom Derby” by David Jones (CC BY-SA 2.0)