RACING: AL TO BITE BACK; after His Derby Flop Alberto Giacometti Has Perfect Chance to Shut the Critics Up
Byline: Peter O'Hehir
VODAFONE Derby flop Alberto Giacometti bids to redeem his reputation in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot today.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt was one of the leading fancies for Epsom glory but having tracked the leaders into the straight, dropped away tamely to finish a well-beaten 12th behind Kris Kin, about 15 lengths behind.
That run was too bad to be true, judged on his fine third behind crack French colts Dalakhani and Super Celebre in the Gorup 1 Prix Lupin at Longchamp, prior to their domination of the French Derby.
Earlier, ALBERTO GIACOMETTI had disappointed when third behind stable-companion Balestrini and Epsom Derby third Alamshar in the P W McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown.
A Group 1 winner last season, less than two weeks after recording a maiden success at the Curragh, Alberto Giacometti is reappearing less than two weeks after his Epsom exploits and has presumably recovered fully from that experience.
If that's the case, the O'Brien-trained Sadler's Wells should prove very difficult to beat, although he would prefer an easier surface.
If Alberto Giacometti fails to deliver, the John Dunlop-trained BIG BAD BOB, runner-up to subsequent Derby-winner Kris Kin in the Dee Stakes at Chester, looks most likely to take advantage.
Aidan O'Brien is one of three Irish trainers targetting the two-mile Queen's Vase, in which Godolphin's NEW SOUTH WALES, trained last year by John Oxx and sixth to Dalakhani in the Prix Lupin in his only start this year, looks a leading player.
ARUNDEL is Ballydoyle's representative in the Vase having his first run since landing a ten-furlong maiden at the Curragh back in early April.
That maiden has worked out particularly well, producing two subsequent listed-race winners in Maharib and Queen Astrid, plus maiden-winners Swiss Roll, Rayshan, Rainbow World and ICKLINGHAM (a rival again today).
An absence of 11 weeks, a dramatic step-up in trip and fast ground are all causes for concern. But Arundel looked a classy colt when winning at the Curragh and is expected to figure prominently.
John Oxx will be doubly-represented, by Icklingham, the mount of stable-jockey Johnny Murtagh and CRUZSPIEL (Fran Berry). …