Rivet makes claims for 2017 Classics
Rivet has made his claims for the 2000 Guineas and Derby in 2017 following an impressive victory in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster where he beat Aidan O'Brien's favourite Yucatan by just under two lengths.
William Haggas' two-year old went into the final Group One of the flat season in the UK with a 50% strike-rate as he had won two of his four career starts in his opening campaign of his career. The colt finished a respectable second on his debut at Ascot where Ryan Moore partnered him over 6f. Richard Hannon's Eqtiraan was the only horse who could get the better of him on Good to Firm ground but connections were pleased with the start he made.
An improvement was evident at York on his second racecourse start in August. The two-year old had clearly learned a lot from the experience of his debut and that translated into the result as he scored by over three lengths in a comfortable victory on the Knavesmire. Rivet established himself as a contender for the Racing Post Trophy by scoring in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. He was able to step up in class over 7f and justify his favouritism tag at Town Moor.
A defeat in the Dewhurst followed as he could only finish fifth, however, that field was arguably the strongest seen for a two-year old contest anywhere in the UK and Ireland this season and was won by Churchill for O'Brien.
"029 Epsom Derby 2015 - Elm Park and Andr" (CC BY 2.0) by monkeywing
Rivet was ridden to victory by Andrea Atzeni at Doncaster who has now won the Racing Post Trophy four years running. He first scored in the Group One for two-year olds in 2013 on board Kingston Hill. 12 months later Elm Park gave him success, while in 2015 it was Marcel who came home fastest to prevail in Yorkshire.
Atzeni chose to ride Rivet prominently in this year's race. He set a steady pace but was still able to quicken with 2f to go. The horse kept on well inside the final furlong and he was able to hold off the final challenge of Yucatan who was unable to get to the winner despite a strong drive from Moore.
The way Rivet quickened inside the closing stages of the Racing Post Trophy provides connections confidence that he could fare well in the 2000 Guineas next season where he is now 20-1 with Betway bookmaker for the opening Classic of the year. Churchill is the 13-8 favourite to win the Newmarket contest, while Caravaggio is at the top end of the betting at 6-1.
It is yet to be established if connections of Rivet believe their horse will eventually step up the to the Derby trip of 1m4f. Bookmakers are quoting the son of Fastnet Rock at 25/1 in their betting for Epsom.
002 Epsom Derby 2015 - Frankie Dettori," (CC BY 2.0) by monkeywing
The Derby betting is also headed by Churchill at this very early stage. O'Brien's colt beat Rivet at Newmarket earlier this month and with him being a son of Galileo, is almost certain to be campaigned for the Epsom Classic in June of next year.
Churchill has only once tasted defeat in his six-race career so far. That came on his debut at the Curragh. He could only finish third on his opening racecourse start but since then has won five straight races, including two Group One contests.
Although we are a long way off the 2000 Guineas, the race is already turning out to be one of the strongest 1m Classics in recent years. Connections of Rivet and others will respect Churchill, however, they'll be hoping their horse comes back even stronger in 2017.
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