Treasure Beach last raced on his home soil in Ireland on 26 June last year, and a notable run it was, as he won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for trainer Aidan O’Brien. Since then, he’s had a further seven times, twice in France and America, and once each in Canada, Dubai and Hong Kong.
You can’t help but question whether it has all been worthwhile, as the only win in those seven races was the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington a year ago. Treasure Beach hasn’t sparkled at all in his three runs this year. He started off in March at the Dubai Carnival with a fourth place behind Cirrus Des Aigles and St Nicholas Abbey.
Jamie Spencer, who rode him there, was also on board for his most recent race, the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park last month. Treasure Beach went off favourite but finished well down the field.
Treasure Beach is on home turf tonight, lining up in the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown. He has run here before. He made his racecourse debut in May 2010 here, coming home second that day. This afternoon he’s reunited with Colm O’Donoghue, who was riding him for both the Secretariat Stakes and the Irish Derby.
That, and the drop in class for today’s race, has combined to make Treasure Beach favourite for his return home.
That’s nothing new, but the novelty for Treasure Beach is that he won’t be flying to the races; it’s just the horsebox tonight.