Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Kronus surprises Cal’s Derby watchers

Published:Friday | May 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Jockey Richard Mairs aboard Lotto Classic winner KRONUS.

KRONUS galloped into the 2015 Cal's Derby picture last Saturday after a battling victory in the 75th running of the Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup over 2000 metres.

The Richard Azan-trained colt, going off at odds of 22-1, closed strongly in deep stretch to catch and beat 2-1 marginal favourite SEEKING MY DREAM from the Wayne DaCosta camp by a neck.

SEEKING MY DREAM, the 2000 Guineas runner-up, was once again brave in defeat and come derby day, Saturday, June 13, should still prove a tough opponent. His stable companion POKER STAR, who was highly fancied at 5-2 and 2-1 second favourite SIEMPRE BUENO from the Anthony 'Baba' Nunes camp, both exhibited stamina limitations.

Earlier on the programme, ALACRANN, the winter book favourite for the classics following his decisive victory over ALI BABA in the 1600 metres Supreme Ventures Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes on Boxing Day, was a big disappointment in his derby prep. Electing to go 1820 metres in overnight company the Nunes-trained three-year-old colt threw in a clinker as the howling 1-2 favourite to finish a well beaten fifth to TIMEFORARMS. He is proving difficult to train this season and could miss the derby.

The top contenders for the 2400 metres test of stamina now appear to be 2000 Guineas hero ALI BABA, SEEKING MY DREAM and the late bloomer KRONUS, a bay colt by Liquidity out of Surface To Air, bred by Y.S. (1955) Limited.

His running style suggests that KRONUS will stay forever and 20 years after the Azan-trained DORVAL won both the Governor's Cup and the derby, the trainer must have high hopes of repeating the feat.

ALI BABA, based on his close third to HOVER CRAFT and COMMANDING CHIEF over 1820 metres in open allowance recently, is a very classy colt and barring mishap will be the favourite on Cal's Derby day.

- O.C.