Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

The Punter: Pour Moi is magnifique

A shed load of nonsense has been spouted about Carlton House being unlucky in the Derby.

It was reflex action from those who understandably wanted the Queen's horse to win, but while Carlton did not have the perfect passage, the door opened in the closing stages and he simply could not go through it.

The slight training setback would not have helped and he also lost a shoe in the last 100 yards, but he had no answer to the explosive finish of Pour Moi. Don't forget he was four lengths ahead of the winner with less than two furlongs to run.

Carlton and the second, Treasure Beach, were beaten by a display of sectional speed that was magnifique. That will be confirmed if Beach or indeed Carlton House win the Irish Derby at the end of this month.

One thing I'm certain of — and that's Pour Moi will always beat Carlton House over a mile and a half.

Carlton's jockey Ryan Moore, who is 4-5 to be top jock at Royal Ascot next week, wailed and moaned about having to come from a long way back and being forced wide. But he forgets to say he had first run on the eventual winner who too had to come on the outside.

The difference was that Pour Moi, given a great ride by 19-year-old rising star Mickael Barzalona, showed incredible acceleration.

At one point, the horse was off balance before the teenager quickly straightened him up and then pressed the turbo charge button to produce a burst of pace that was dynamic, impressive and instant — the hallmark of a very good horse.

He had to hit top gear to catch up and then quickened again for a victory that few could have achieved in the circumstances.

Some may crib the Derby form because of the proximity of the first five, separated only by two and a half lengths which is why the winner has been given a rating of only 122, the lowest since Sir Percy in 2006.

Workforce, last year's winner, was rated 128, subsequently landed the Arc and is likely to be back at Longchamp in October. He's 5-1 co-favourite with Pour Moi and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Aussie star So You Think. If the new Derby king beats those two, his mark of 122 will rise to the high 130s.

The big question is how much of a mark Epsom will leave on Pour Moi who had to give everything, and maybe more, to triumph. The way he won the race was magnifique — as was the ebullience of his young pilot.

Take the 5-1 about Pour Moi and have an each-way saver at 14-1 on Baraan, who flew home for third in the French Derby after giving away acres of ground at the start.

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