This morning Philippe Sogorb’s Ninth Titan takes a step down in class and stretches out to 12 furlongs for the first time in the Listed Derby du Languedoc at Toulouse.
Although the Wootton Bassett colt floundered at the top of the home straight in the Prix du Jockey Club, he travelled through the race like a horse with above average ability and connections will be excited at the prospect of learning more about Ninth Titan today in a weaker grade.
Ninth Titan faces a field of colts and geldings today who are all rated in the low 90s and although the ground will be softer than ideal, I was expecting him to be put in by the bookmakers as a short-priced favourite here.
This imposing horse is 1.73m tall and has an amazing capacity to accelerate. Dubbed ‘El Monstro’ at home, Sogorb aimed him at the Prix du Jockey Club since his February debut and it may be that things have happened a bit too quick for him this spring, which included two prep races at Chantilly to build experience.
On his final start before the Prix du Jockey Club, Ninth Titan suffered from there being a lack of pace in the race and Pasquier was under orders to settle him and come through runners. He just failed to beat Diamantis, a colt touted for the German Derby and is currently rated 1kg superior to anything in this Toulouse race today. With a clearer run, there is no question that Ninth Titan would have won that contest and as a result be sent off even shorter than 19/1 locally for the Chantilly showpiece this month. Sogorb described the race to the press later as ‘catastrophic’.
Sa’ad, Silver Silk and The Famous Five take each other on again after meeting recently at Compiegne, but I think they are a rung below Ninth Titan in terms of ability. Sa’ad was held up at home before that run and has been a big talking horse this spring, but he hasn’t put it in on the track to suggest he should be only a half a point longer than Ninth Titan in the betting.
Finally, the step up in trip for Ninth Titan bodes extremely well and may explain why they are turning out so soon. Sogorb said before the Prix du Jockey Club:
I haven’t tried him over 2400m (12 furlongs) yet because it can often be too hard at the start of a three-year-old season. But I know he will be even better over that trip.
His dam Yoga is by stamina influence Monsun and is a half-sister to the sire Saddex, himself a Group One winner over 2400m. At 11/2 or 4-1, I think there is plenty of juice in the price this morning and I hope he is ridden positively from his plum draw.
11.45am Toulouse – 1pt win Ninth Titan @ 11/2 (bet365, or 4-1 with William Hill, Sky Bet, Mansion Bet, Sporting Index)