Bill Oppenheim
Last week, Shamardal; this week, Teofilo, from Darley’s Irish base at Kildangan Stud, grabbed the headlines. The European racing season is now in full swing, and last weekend’s Irish Guineas meeting at The Curragh featured, besides a vintage Ryan Moore ride to extricate Gleneagles from a serious pocket just in time to get home in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas, a massive double for Teofilo, the unbeaten champion European 2-year-old of 2006, from Galileo’s second crop, and more or less introducing the powerful Galileo-Danehill cross.
— Bill Oppenheim / Thoroughbred Daily News

Teofilo was bred, owned, and trained by the legendary Jim Bolger until his sale to Darley, and the sire's stellar weekend began when the 2-year-old colt Round Two, bred and trained by Bolger but owned by Godolphin, scored an impressive two-length win over Coolmore's Washington D.C., from the first crop by their exciting son of Dansili, Zoffany, in the five-furlong Marble Hill Stakes, in the bargain making himself favorite for Royal Ascot's G2 Coventry Stakes, run at six furlongs, at Royal Ascot next month. Washington D.C. himself could be among the favorites for the five-furlong G2 Norfolk Stakes at the world's single greatest race meeting. But Round Two's win was just the warm-up act.

Pleascach / Irish 1000 Guineas (G1)

On Sunday, in what looked like the deepest edition of the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas run in years, the Teofilo filly Pleascach (not pronounced "please catch", more something like "Plea-shack"), bred and trained by Bolger and running in the colors of his wife, Jackie, scored a decisive half-length win over Coolmore's favored Found (Galileo), with outsider Devonshire, from the first crop by Rathasker Stud's Fast Company and trained by Willie McCreery for Godolphin, a gritty third, and the Jessie-Harrington trained pair of Jack Naylor (Champs Elysees) and Bocca Baciata (Big Bad Bob), close up in fourth and fifth.

Interestingly, four of the first five look sure to go up in distance from this race. Oddly, Jack Naylor is the only one definitely heading for next weekend's G1 Epsom Oaks. Pleascach would be just about co-favorite with Coolmore's G1 English 1000 Guineas winner, Legatissimo (Danehill Dancer), but Bolger is instead eyeing an ambitious G1 Irish Derby/G1 Irish Oaks double. Found, who remember won last season's key G1 Marcel Boussac (subsequent G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches/French 1000 Guineas winner Ervedya [Siyouni] second, Jack Naylor third), is one of four Coolmore-owned fillies among the top five in the Oaks betting (along with Legatissimo, Cheshire Oaks winner Diamondsandrubies [Fastnet Rock], and G3 Musidora Stakes second Together Forever [Galileo]).

Consequently there is speculation that, lacking a prospective star colt to extend his G1 Epsom Derby-winning sequence to four in a row (well, unless they run Gleneagles, which the trainer clearly isn't too keen on), the Ballydoyle team might yet supplement Found to run in the Derby. One thing for sure: if Found wins the Derby and Pleascach wins the Irish Derby, we'll all be calling it a fillies' year. As for the Derby, confusion still pretty much reigns. One thing for sure: G2 Dante Stakes winner Golden Horn is the favorite. He is from the 12th crop of 3-year-olds by another Darley Kildangan sire, Cape Cross, who would be described as a useful journeyman sire who has nonetheless enshrined his name in racing annals through Ouija Board (now also dam of Australia) and Sea The Stars. There is an interesting jockey switch for the Derby: William Buick, now a Godolphin retained rider, rode Golden Horn in the Dante, with Frankie Dettori on the second that day, Jack Hobbs (Halling). Subsequently Godolphin stepped in to take a share in Jack Hobbs, so Buick is likely to be on him, with Dettori, Goldolphin's long-time retained jockey, 'inheriting' the ride on Golden Horn. The Derby picture is extremely fluid, and there could be a line out the door of people queuing up to pay the small £75,000 supplement to run, beginning with Golden Horn and (possibly) Found. Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, who already has the Derby third choice in Dante third Elm Park (Phoenix Reach), could be reaching for his checkbook to supplement two: another Cape Cross colt, Karpino, trained by the world-class Andreas Wohler in Germany, made it three-for-three lifetime with an impressive 4 1/2-length win in Monday's G2 German 2000 Guineas; he races under Sheikh Fahad's original Pearl Bloodstock banner. Elm Park and Sumbal (Danehill Dancer), winner of France's G2 Prix Greffulhe earlier this month for trainer Francis Graffard, run under Qatar Racing. Personally, I'd be supplementing: Golden Horn's owner Anthony Oppenheimer (no relation) originally did not nominate the Dante winner for the Derby because he didn't think he'd get a mile and a half; if he was right about that, boy does it look (right now, anyway) an open race. No doubt the composition of the field will be clarified over the next few days; well, it will have to be, won't it? Stay tuned.

Earlier this month the Haras de Bonneval's Siyouni and the Haras de Bonneval's Makfi sired the French Guineas winners, and last weekend Europe's leading 2014 Freshman Sire, Ballylinch Stud's Lope de Vega, had the two-four behind Gleneagles in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas. The top 14 on the combined NA/EU TDN Year-to-Date Second Crop Sire List are all still North American sires, but the Europeans are now getting going.

Less than $30,000 separates Siyouni (15th), Lope de Vega (16th), and Makfi (17th) at this point of proceedings; Lope de Vega and Siyouni were one-two on last year's European Freshman Sire List, so it is Makfi, who was 11th last year, who has made the biggest move in the last couple of months, with good-quality winners up to a mile and a half. Tally Ho Stud's Zebedee already has 24 winners this year and ranks fourth among European 2015 second-crop sires, and not even a winner yet this year is his best horse, English and Irish 2000 Guineas third Ivawood. So that was 2-3-4 for second-crop sires in Saturday's Irish 2000.

Another horse moving up the ladder is Rathasker Stud's Fast Company, a son of Danehill Dancer who gave New Approach a scare in the 2007 G1 Dewhurst. He's up to seventh on the 2015 Euro second-crop list, with a strong handicap winner at Haydock on Saturday, Mutarakez, and the Irish 1000 Guineas third on Sunday, Devonshire. Both are heading for Royal Ascot, and Devonshire, in particular, will be carrying my hard-earned cash in whichever race she runs in. If she can overcome that burden on top of everything else, she'll have to be good.

Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News / Darley (p)