Hazarder wins the Czech Derby from Tcheque King and Royal Word‎

The 101st Czech Derby was won comfortably enough by the favourite, Hazarder‎, owned by Jiří Charvát and trained by Pavel Tůma, with Václav Janáček in the saddle. The owner and trainer had won the Derby four years ago, with ‎Joseph‎, while Václav Janáček rode Laureate to victory in 2006 and Tullamore in 2008.

‎As usual for the Czech Derby, all 16 available starting gates were occupied, and there was a scramble at the beginning of the race. Most of the jockeys were clearly keen to follow orders to get their mount nicely settled into third or fourth place, on the inside rail, before or on the first bend. Janáček, drawn on the outside in gate 15, was one of several jockeys who had to take the first bend wider than was ideal. He did not compete for the inside line, but settled Hazarder into midfield, and judged that a few extra metres was a reasonable price to pay for an undisturbed run. Zoryman set the pace, and Locomotive had worked his way into second place by the time the horses entered the long finishing straight at Prague Velk
á Chuchle. Briefly, it looked as if Hazarder might have difficulty finding his way through a wall of horses ahead of him. However, Janáček knows that the straight at Velká Chuchle is long, wide and testing, and he took Hazarder down the middle of the finishing straight. Janáček has won many races following this route. ‎‎In the last 200 metres, Hazarder was not going to be caught. Daniel Vyhnálek gave Tcheque King exactly the ride that the connections had asked for, and took second place. Royal Word was brought with a late run, as ordered by the trainer, but he ran into a bit of traffic, and never got any closer than a well-beaten third place.


Hazarder‎‎ was purchased at Tattersalls' September Sale in Ireland for €22,000. His sire Harzand won the English Derby and also the Irish Derby. His dam, Kitoko, is by Montjeu.‎


Václav Janáček has been riding in Spain since 2011, where he is established as an excellent jockey. He makes big efforts to come home and ride in the Czech Republic and at Bratislava, several times each summer. In his winning ride on Grigri de Lancray in the Tipsport Gold Cup, the race before the Czech Derby, he took the horse to the front early in the race, stealing a few lengths from the rest of the field. Judging the pace perfectly and then riding a strong finish, Janáček got Grigri de Lancray to the winning line before any of the others could catch them. On Derby day, Václav Janáček reminded us yet again that he is an outstanding jockey, and is at his best at Prague Velká Chuchle racecourse.