Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Championship Material; Falbrav Can Win Battle of the Giants

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Championship Material; Falbrav Can Win Battle of the Giants

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM CUNNINGHAM

ONE of them is guaranteed to start odds-on and the other will probably go off at around 5-4. Don't be surprised if both of them win, but Alamshar and Oasis Dream may not have things all their own way when they bid to cement their championship credentials at Leopardstown and Haydock tomorrow.

Those of us who backed Alamshar for the Derby are still wondering how he managed to finish only third behind Kris Kin and The Great Gatsby.

John Oxx's colt took his revenge on the latter with a battling defeat of the star French colt Dalakhani in the Irish Derby, and the score with Kris Kin was evened up in the King George when Alamshar put up a sparkling performance to surge three and a half lengths clear of an excellent field.

Now comes another acid test against the powerful Falbrav in the Ireland The Food Island Champion Stakes.

Some pundits have speculated that Alamshar might have been a shade flattered in racing close to a relatively steady pace at Ascot, while others feel the effort of beating a field which included Sulamani, Bollin Eric and Falbrav could have left a mark.

But take away the theories and it's clear the pivotal question here relates to whether Alamshar deserves to be such a short priced favourite back at 10 furlongs and against some cracking older horses.

The answer is probably not, and at more than double the price Falbrav is the clear value bet under conditions which look tailor-made for him.

Falbrav's below-par fifth in the King George is best ignored given that he raced alone in lane eight for over a mile on rain softened ground.

An overall record of six Group 1 wins in the last 14 months proves beyond doubt that Luca Cumani's five-year-old is at the peak of his powers, and Falbrav looked in tremendous-form at York last month when making some good horses look second rate in the International Stakes. …

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