The Gov – Royal Connections – 2012 Manitoba Derby Contenders

Aug 5, 2012 | Manitoba Derby

by George Williams

The Gov - 2012 Manitoba Derby Contenders

The Gov peers out over his hay net.

The Gov ~ Royal Connections

Pedigree: Joey Franco-Patricia Hall by Marcellini
Owner: Phillip and Robert Hall Trainer: Philip Hall Jockey: Adolfo Morales

The Gov has connections, and they’re about as close to Canadian racing royalty as you can get. He also has talent, although just how much remains a mystery due to wet track conditions at Hastings Park.

In his last three starts The Gov has raced over sloppy surfaces at Hastings Park. In his most recent start on July 2, The Gov finished third beaten 2 ¼-lengths in Chris Loseth Handicap going 1 1/16-miles. In his start previous to that on June 1, he finished second beaten 4 1/2-lengths going the same distance in the River Rock Casino Stakes.

As a measure of The Gov’s class, the winner of both the aforementioned stakes was Devil in Disguise, a marquee 3-year-old at Hastings Park who has the Canadian Derby (G3) in his sights. And the horse that finished second, a length in front of The Gov in the River Rock Casino Stakes, was Turf Paradise Derby winner Taylors Deal, who was considering the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2) for his next start.

The Gov has won twice, and both wins were accomplished in wire-to-wire fashion. His first victory came in an optional $30,000 maiden claimer going 7 ½-furlongs on the turf at Turf Paradise on March 25. His second victory came at 1 1/16-miles, again in the slop at Hastings Park in an allowance race just before his stakes tries.

Trainer Philip Hall is the son of co-owner Robert Hall, who was also half-owner of one of Canada’s best-ever horses, 1965 Canadian Horse of the Year George Royal, who won nine consecutive stakes including the 1964 BC Derby, while racing the shadow of the great Northern Dancer. George Royal recorded consecutive turf victories in both the Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine and the 1 ¾-mile San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita in 1965 and 1966. Hall of Famer Johnny Longden’s victorious final ride came aboard George Royal in the 1966 San Juan Capistrano.

Inducted to both the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the British Columbia Horse Racing Hall of Fame, George Royal won 21 of 45 starts. There is a life-sized statue of him at Hastings Park. He shows up as the broodmare sire of the second dam in the pedigree of The Gov, who was also bred by Robert Hall. According to his trainer, The Gov is a big strong horse who has only recently started to mature and grow into himself.

Natural speed, proven stamina, classy company lines, royal connections…

The sleeper.

2012 Manitoba Lotteries Derby Entries