Race Events > Condition Stakes
Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes
Condition Stakes Betting Synopsis
The £70,000 ‘Road To The Kentucky Derby’ Conditions Stakes on the all-weather surface at Kempton in Britain on Thursday revolves around #4 Gronkowski, a giant son of Australian sire Lonhro who is named after the New England Patriots tightend.
Much like his namesake, who is 6ft 5in and nearly 19st, Gronkowski is a big boy who has all the looks, having been bought for $US75,000 as a foal, and then for 300,000gns at the Tattersalls Breeze-Up sale as a juvenile in April.
He has won both of his starts on the all-weather in England this season for international conditioner Jeremy Noseda and looks sure to continue to improve.
He landed a novice event at Chelmsford City in November by four and a half lengths when he was close up from a wide draw under Sean Levey. He then built on that by setting the pace in another all-weather novice contest to defy a penalty three weeks ago when ridden by Jamie Spencer, who keeps the ride. Both times he sported blinkers.
He was entered in the UAE Derby, but trainer Jeremy Noseda has stated that owners Phoenix Thoroughbred Ltd want to campaign him in the US ahead of the Run For the Roses. Although Gronkowski looks the best horse in the eight-runner event over a mile, he will not have it all his own way up front from stall three.
On his inside in stall two is #8 Morning Has Broken, who has led the field in her last three starts and once again gets the benefit of Hollie Doyle on board.
Although the daughter of Derby winner Dawn Approach stays the mile, she does not look quite good enough, which brings in prolific winner #7 Ventura Knight out of stall five. The son of Casamento has won four of his 11 starts, and has finished in the frame a further three times and looks sure to take a hand in the finish.
Of the closing pack, the rapidly-improving #6 Three Weeks is a real contender, having won his past two starts. The grey son of leading US sire Tapit will break from gate four, and if Gronkowski and Spencer are persuaded to run too quickly by Morning Has Broken then Three Weeks can pick up the pieces with top all-weather rider Adam Kirby on board.
Others to consider are #3 Fortune’s Pearl, who is likely to be held up by Oisin Murphy from the inside draw in one, and the fly in the ointment could well be the lightly-raced #2 Bobby Biscuit, a son of US sire Scat Daddy, who showed a tenacious attitude when winning at the course in January and should be much better for that outing.
The highly-tried but capable #5 Jellmood and outsider #1 Ambient complete the field.