Mr. Hal Dane is a reader of this blog, a follower of Russian racing, and a frequent and contentious commentator here. In the two posts below this, Hal has made several comments about Russian racing, and I thought I’d take the opportunity here to use them as an excuse to show a video of the 2009 President of the Russian Federation Cup (President’s Cup), a 2400-meter Russian Group 1 race that has quickly become the premier event for older horses in Russia since Vladimir Putin established the race a few years back. In this video, you’ll get an excellent look at racing at its highest level in Russia at the Moscow Hippodrome, a dirt track.
First, some background on the 2009 edition of the President’s Cup. Monomakh, a Kentucky-bred son of Mineshaft owned by the Donskoi Stud, won the 2008 Russian Derby and the 2009 President’s Cup and by year’s end he was ranked the best horse in Russia (click here to see the rankings). Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, however, had tried to derail Monomakh’s ascent that sunny July 18th by running the ex-European multiple Group 2 winner Bronze Cannon in the race. Mr. Kadyrov had recently purchased the colt from A.E. Oppenheimer, and Bronze Cannon was trained for the race by John Gosden. The horse was ridden in Moscow by Jimmy Fortune, and he was the first British-trained runner in Russia since Paul Cole had sent Fine Silver to the 2005 edition of the race at the Kazan International Equestrian Complex in Tartarstan. The Kazan surface, by the way, is all weather.
Below is the 2009 President’s Cup, won by Monomakh (No. 8). European invader Bronze Cannon (one of two in Kadyrov silks of white and green sleeves, red body; No. 1), a turf horse, finished fourth on the choppy dirt.
See the video of the 2011 President’s Cup from the Kazan International Equestrian Complex by clicking here. It, too, was won by a Kentucky-bred colt. Mr. Kadyrov won the 2010 edition of the race.
Gainesway sire Afleet Alex is the sire of Korol, this year’s winner of the President of the Russian Federation Stakes, or the President’s Cup as it’s known in shorthand. The race is the most prestigious in Russia, and this year it was contested at the Kazan International Equestrian Complex on Friday night (June 24) instead of at the Central Moscow Hippodrome where the Russian Derby is contested and where the President’s Cup has been primarily held since it was founded by Vladimir Putin. Both races are on dirt at 2400 meters, but the race in Kazan was contested over an all-weather surface whereas racing in Moscow is on dirt. Last year Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov’s horses took both events, the Derby with North Stream in Moscow and the President of the Russian Federation Stakes at Rostov-on-Don with Khoresm. The controversial Mr. Kadyrov, who runs Chechnya with an iron hand, recently won the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji with the ex-Team Valor runner Gitano Hernando.
Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov won the biggest international prize of his career today when the ex-Team Valor International runner Gitano Hernando won the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji today. Click here for the chart.
Longtime readers of this blog who have followed the posts here on the assassination of Chechen Sulim Yamadayev in Dubai on World Cup Day 2009 (search using Ramzan Kadyrov, Sulim Yamadayev, Adam Delimkhanov) will be interested in this Huffington Post piece from today on the sentence reversals of the two men convicted in the murder. Click here for more posts.
North Stream, the same Giant’s Causeway colt who won the Russian Derby in Moscow last month in the red, green, and white colors of controversial Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, added the new Chechen Derby to his resume today for the Moscow-backed leader in his own backyard—literally. A new racetrack opened this year in Chechnya’s second-largest city, Gudermes, at the edge of Mr. Kadyrov’s presidential palace, and the Saturday race meeting today at the Gudermes racetrack—the Adam Delimkhanov Birthday Meeting—was named in honor of Mr. Kadyrov’s cousin and equally controversial right-hand man, whose own resume is peppered with accusations that run the gamut from civil rights violations to masterminding assassinations. Mr. Delimkhanov’s name most recently was at the center of the assassination of a Chechen opponent of Mr. Kadyrov’s in Dubai on World Cup Day in 2009. Mr. Kadyrov is a prominent international owner with a Dubai stable with South African Herman Brown.
US-bred North Stream, a son of Giant’s Causeway from the Sadler’s Wells mare Starbourne, was purchased at the 2008 Keeneland September sale for $45,000 by Raut LLC and won the classic for Mr. Kadyrov over 2400 meters on dirt—the same trip and surface over which he won in Moscow. Raut has been an active buyer at the current Keeneland September sale, purchasing more than 100 head to date.
Adam Delimkhanov is officially deputy head of the Russian State Duma Committee for Federal Affairs and Regional Policy. Below is a slideshow from the Gudermes racetrack from April. And below that is the video of the Russian Derby. North Stream is No. 4 and leads from the first bend on.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, had privately purchased from the Coolmore group the recent Group 3 Queen’s Vase winner at Ascot, Galileo’s Mikhail Glinka, for Sunday’s Russian Group 1 Russian Derbyat the Central Moscow Hippodrome, but his Keeneland auction grad with ties to Coolmore actually won the race while Mikhail Glinka finished 6th. US-bred North Stream, a son of Giant’s Causeway from the Sadler’s Wells mare Starbourne, was purchased at the 2008 Keeneland September sale for $45,000 by Raut Bloodstock Agency and won the classic for Mr. Kadyrov over 2400 meters on dirt. Though listed as unraced by The Jockey Club’s equineline.com report, North Stream is now a winner of three races from six starts.
North Stream was one of three winners on the day for jockey Mohammed Kapushev, who also won a supporting Russian Group 1 fixture on the Malibu Moon colt Static Memory, last year’s Russian Derby winner.
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.)