Henrythenavigator Suffers Unfortunate Defeat
Up until now Henrythenavigator has run some exciting first place finishes. But his ability to turn up the turf at top speeds does not translate so well to mud, so when he left the starting gates at the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp, he found himself struggling the whole way. In the end his turmoil left him laboring across the finish line in fifth place.
The outcome of the race was disappointing since Aidan O’Brien looked set to capture his 19th top-flight win. In fact O’Brien was showcasing his three biggest horses of a particularly excellent season at Longchamp and most people were sure of a victory. Yet neither Duke of Marmalade, Halfway To Heaven or Henrythenavigator managed to bring home the spoils. Duke Of Marmalade was withdrawn at Leopardstown, leaving his compatriots to struggle with the mud on their own in a somewhat embarrassing defeat at the Prix du Moulin.
Many racing fans felt utterly devastated at seeing the usually enthusiastic colt Henrythenavigator stripped of his trademark acceleration as he struggled with the mud. The horse, who usually dazzles fans with his incredible bursts of speed, ended up trailing near the back of the eleven-strong field until the final straight. It was clear from the beginning that there wasn’t much hope of him catching up to Goldikova who was leading the field. Goldikova managed to keep her place at the head of the field despite stiff competition from Darjina who was also struggling with the race conditions. In the end Darjina finished second while Paco Boy, guided quietly by jockey Richard Hannon, managed to cruise in and claim third place.
Since the race, Henrythenavigator has been withdrawn from the Ladbrokes Breeder’s Cup Classic and entered in the Mile as a 4-1 favorite. Duke of Marmalade has been introduced to the Classic as a 3-1 favorite. There is a good chance that neither horse will race again until the Breeder’s Cup. O’Brien has stated that Duke of Marmalade will not be expected to tackle soft ground again this season since he has had a hard ground season. That means there is a good chance that neither horse will appear at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Goldikova will rejoin O’Brien’s horses at the Breeder’s Cup next month together with stablemate Tamayuz. In the meantime she will be tackling her stiffest completion, Zarkava, at the Prix Vermeille in France next weekend.