Controversial Moscow-backed Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov has the ex-A.P. O’Brien-trained Mikhail Glinka entered in the Russian Group 1 Russian Derby in Moscow Sunday, with Jimmy Fortune scheduled to ride.
Mr. Kadyrov is an international racehorse owner whose silks have flown at tracks from Canada to Australia. His main operation is anchored by South African trainer Herman Brown each winter in Dubai. From there, the stable goes to Gary Moore for the summer in England. Last year Mourilyan won a stakes for the owner in England before shipping last fall to Australia for the Melbourne Cup, where he ran huge to finish third amidst political outcry.
Mr. Kadyrov has a burning desire, though, to win the Russian Derby and the President’s Cup in Moscow—the two most prestigious races in Russia—and over the last few years he’s employed the tactic of purchasing proven runners to win them. He bought Racecar Rhapsody from the US in 2008, Russian 2000 Guineas winner Indian Jameson in 2009 from local owners, and Mikhail Glinka, winner of the Group 3 Queen’s Vase at Ascot for Coolmore’s crew, for Sunday’s race. Additionally, he purchased Group 2 winner Bronze Cannon last year for the President’s Cup, and presumably he purchased 2009 Argentine Derby winner Storm Chispazo for this year’s Cup.
The Russian Derby is contested over 2400 meters on sand at the Central Moscow Hippodrome and has been won the last few years by US-bred runners bred for dirt. Mikhail Glinka is a Galileo colt bred for and raced on turf. Static Memory, a son of Malibu Moon, won the race in 2009, and the Mineshaft colt Monomakh took it in 2008. Both are grandsons of A.P. Indy, the favorite sire in Russia, and will square off on the Derby undercard in a supporting Russian Group 1 event.
Mr. Kadyrov owns three of the 11 starters in the Derby. Click here to see the field. Click here to see the field for the supporting Group 1 fixture that features that last two Russian Derby winners. (Special thanks to T. Brar for the Twitter tip that Mikhail Glinka had been sold to Mr. Kadyrov; search this site for many more posts on Mr. Kadyrov.)