Vodafone Derby ante-post favourite Authorized, now generally odds-on with bookmakers, heads the 19 three-year-old colts still going for glory in the premier Classic at 4.20pm on Saturday, June 2, on Epsom Downs.
The Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained colt gives Frankie Dettori his best chance of riding a Vodafone Derby winner after 14 previous attempts ended in defeat.
The jockey, given permission to partner Authorized by Sheikh Mohammed whose Godolphin Stable retains him, is out to overcome “the one glaring omission from my CV”.
Dettori said yesterday: “To win The Derby would fulfil all my dreams. I am 36 now and the years are running away from me. I have 10 more years definitely to achieve my aim.”
Authorized will be the hottest favourite in the Vodafone Derby, Europe’s richest race with £1,250,000 in prize money, since Entrepreneur finished fourth at 4/6 in 1997.
Others odds-on favourites in the Vodafone Derby since 1965 have been Tenby (finished 10th at 4/5 in 1993), El Gran Senor (second at 8/11 in 1984), Shergar (won at 10/11 in 1981) and Sir Ivor (won at 4/5 in 1968).
The 19 going forward for the Vodafone Derby include eight from champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien - Acapulco, Admiralofthefleet, Anton Chekhov, Archipenko, Eagle Mountain, Mahler, Soldier Of Fortune and Yellowstone - after he only withdrew Chinese Whisper at today’s confirmation stage.
O’Brien has had four Vodafone starters on three occasions and three runners twice but looks set to better those totals this year.
Godolphin, responsible for the only other two horses to come out of the Epsom Downs Classic today (Jalil and Mythical Kid), now only has outsider Eastern Anthem in the Vodafone Derby.
Aqaleem, second or third favourite, won the totesport Derby Trial at Lingfield and his trainer Marcus Tregoning is hopeful of an excellent performance from the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt.
Tregoning declared: “Aqaleem is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and he has got form on soft ground anyway so softish ground will not bother him.
“You must bear in mind that he did beat the favourite (Authorized) as a two-year-old. I know that was very early during their careers but it is slightly encouraging that he was able to do that.
“He ran a very solid race when winning at Lingfield and won very easily. He seems in very good form and we are hopeful of a huge run from him.
“The one thing about Aqaleem and Authorized is that it looks like both are going to stay very well. The Derby, on softish ground, is going to be about horses who have class and stamina.
“I asked Richard Hills if Aqaleem had the pace to hold his position in The Derby and he thought that the Lingfield experience had sharpened him up a lot and that the colt would be a lot better coming down a hill in The Derby. It should be a very exciting race.
“Sheikh Hamdan has been a wonderful and loyal supporter to me. Richard Hills has had some terrific Derby rides but, like Frankie, he has not cracked it yet.”
Tregoning won last year’s Vodafone Derby with Sir Percy and that colt is aiming to win Friday’s Group One Vodafone Coronation Cup at Epsom Downs.
The trainer revealed today:“Sir Percy is in good shape and the Dubai experience did him an awful lot of good and was a great prep race for the Vodafone Coronation Cup.
“He has grown up a lot since last year and he must have an excellent chance on Friday. There are no ifs and buts going into this race and he has taken his work really well. Temperament wise he is so much better.
“Sir Percy has not grown a lot - he is about 15.3 hands and his weight would be about the same as when he won the Vodafone Derby last year.”
Andrew Cooper, Clerk of the Course & Director of Racing at Epsom Downs, said today that going is currently soft, with a few good to soft patches, after 34 millimetres of rain have fallen since Saturday afternoon.
He explained: “We have had plenty of rain, with 20 millimetres coming last night. But we are hopeful that we have seen the worst of the rain.
“The forecast is for unsettled weather for the rest of the week, though with showers rather than a lot of rain.
“It looks like it is going be on the slow side for the start of the Vodafone Derby Meeting on Friday but the course dries well given the appropriate conditions.
“The number of horses still in the Vodafone Derby is very pleasing.”
Stephen Wallis, Managing Director of Epsom Downs, predicted two overwhelming themes as the two Classics, the Vodafone Derby and the Vodafone Oaks (Friday, June 1), approach.
He said: “This year’s Vodafone Derby is generating plenty of Frankie fever and that is going to be overwhelming by Saturday.
“The amount of publicity is good news for The Derby, while there is a groundswell of support for Henry Cecil who is after his eighth success in the Vodafone Oaks on Friday.
“Both themes are providing a sense of excitement worthy of Classics.”
THE 2007 VODAFONE DERBY
Class 1, Group 1, £1,250,000 Total Prize Fund. 4.20pm, Epsom Downs, Saturday, June 2, 2007. For three-year-olds only, entire colts & fillies, one mile & four furlongs. Entries closed December 7, 2005, (581 entries). First forfeit stage March 6 (165 remain), 2007, £8,000 second entry stage April 4, 2007 (5 second entries), second forfeit stage May 18, 2007 (22 remain), £75,000 supplementary entry and confirmation stage May 28, 2007 (19 remain), final declaration stage 10.00am, May 31, 2007. Form figures correct up to Sunday, May 27, 2007. May not include some overseas form. All-weather/dirt form in brackets.
Form Horse Owner Trainer
12 ACAPULCO (IRE) Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
0131-01 ADMIRALOFTHEFLEET (USA) Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier & Niarchos Family Aidan O’Brien IRE
31-51 ANTON CHEKHOV Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
32-1 AQALEEM Hamdan Al Maktoum Marcus Tregoning
0-12 ARABIAN GULF Khalid Abdulla Sir Michael Stoute
021-1 ARCHIPENKO (USA) Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
31- 1 AUTHORIZED (IRE) Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar Peter Chapple-Hyam
512214-5 EAGLE MOUNTAIN Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
1-32 EASTERN ANTHEM (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
(4)512-23 KID MAMBO (USA) Jeff Daniels Terry Mills
(4)2 LEANDER Kevin Tork Brett Johnson
2(1)1 LUCARNO (USA) George Strawbridge John Gosden
011 MAHLER Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
010-10 PETARA BAY (IRE) Slavica Ecclestone Terry Mills
4120-1 REGIME (IRE) Highclere Thoroughbred Racing XL Michael Bell
(2)-(1)21 SALFORD MILL (IRE) Tony Thompson David Elsworth
212-11 SOLDIER OF FORTUNE (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
15113-0 STRATEGIC PRINCE H R H Sultan Ahmad Shah Paul Cole
103-502 YELLOWSTONE (IRE) Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
19 entries remain after today’s five-day confirmation stage
Horses taken out today
4123-23 CHINESE WHISPER (IRE) Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
6-2 JALIL (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
12-5 MYTHICAL KID (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor
Frankie Dettori - Vodafone Derby record
1992-16 Pollen Count
1993-8 Wolf Prince
1994-10 Linney Head
1997-9 Bold Demand
1998-9 Cape Verdi
1999-9 Dubai Millennium
2004-7 Snow Ridge
2006-9 Linda’s Lad
Aidan O’Brien IRE - Vodafone Derby record
1998-8 Second Empire
1998-10 Saratoga Springs
1998-15 King Of Kings
1999-7 Saffron Walden
2002-1 HIGH CHAPARRAL
2002-2 Hawk Wing
2003-2 The Great Gatsby
2003-12 Alberto Giacometti
2003-16 Brian Boru
2005-5 Gypsy King
2005-9 Grand Central
2006-3 Dylan Thomas
2006-PU Horatio Nelson
HOW THE VODAFONE DERBY FAVOURITES HAVE FARED 1965-2006
Year Favourite SP Position
2006 Visindar 2/1 5th
2005 MOTIVATOR 3/1 WON
2004 NORTH LIGHT 7/2 jt WON
Snow Ridge 7/2 jt 7th
2003 Refuse To Bend 11/4 13th
2002 Hawk Wing 9/4 2nd
2001 GALILEO 11/4 jt WON
Golan 11/4 jt 2nd
2000 Beat Hollow 7/2 3rd
1999 Dubai Millennium 5/1 9th
1998 Cape Verdi 11/4 9th
1997 Entrepreneur 4/6 4th
1996 Dushyantor 9/2 2nd
1995 Pennekamp 11/8 11th
1994 ERHAAB 7/2 WON
1993 Tenby 4/5 10th
1992 Rodrigo de Triano 13/2 9th
1991 Corrupt 4/1 jt 6th
Toulon 4/1 jt 9th
1990 Razeen 9/2 14th
1989 NASHWAN 5/4 WON
1988 Red Glow 5/2 4th
1987 REFERENCE POINT 6/4 WON
1986 Dancing Brave 2/1 2nd
1985 SLIP ANCHOR 9/4 WON
1984 El Gran Senor 8/11 2nd
1983 TEENOSO 9/2 WON
1982 GOLDEN FLEECE 3/1 WON
1981 SHERGAR 10/11 WON
1980 Nikoli 4/1 8th
1979 Ela-Mana-Mou 9/2 4th
1978 Inkerman 4/1 21st
1977 Blushing Groom 9/4 3rd
1976 Wollow 11/10 5th
1975 Green Dancer 6/4 6th
1974 Nonoalco 9/4 7th
1973 Ksar 5/1 4th
1972 ROBERTO 3/1 WON
1971 MILL REEF 100/30 WON
1970 NIJINSKY 11/8 WON
1969 Ribofilio 7/2 5th
1968 SIR IVOR 4/5 WON
1967 ROYAL PALACE 7/4 WON
1966 Pretendre 9/2 jt 2nd
Right Noble 9/2 jt 9th
1965 SEA BIRD II 7/4 WON
AUTHORIZED (IRE) FACTFILE
b c Montjeu (IRE) - Funsie (FR) (Saumarez)
Form: 31-1 Owner: Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar
Trainer: Peter Chapple-Hyam Breeder: Marengo Investments, Knighton House Ltd & Mick Kinane
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Sold to Tony Nerses for 95,000 guineas as a foal at Tattersalls in November, 2004, Authorized again passed through the Park Paddocks sale ring 11 months later, by which time his value had appreciated considerably. Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam was required to go to 400,000 guineas to secure the son of Montjeu on behalf of Kuwaiti businessmen Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar. Montjeu, Authorized’s sire - brilliant winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes - proved a revelation with his first three-year-olds in 2005, with Motivator and Walk In The Park filling the first two berths in the Vodafone Derby, while Arc and Irish Derby winner Hurricane Run and St Leger hero Scorpion added to his Group One tally. Authorized is the first foal of his dam Funsie, who is herself a half-sister to the high-class mare Brooklyn’s Dance, from the family of Okawango and Green Dancer. Authorized began his career in the Haynes, Hanson & Clarke Conditions Stakes over a mile at Newbury on September 15, 2006. After breaking slowly from the stalls, the bay colt was soon on terms and was sent to the front with two furlongs remaining before relinquishing the lead to finish third behind Teslin. Faced with the daunting task of breaking his maiden in the Group One Racing Post Trophy, Authorized returned to the course and distance and belied his 25/1 starting price to emphatically reverse placings with his previous conqueror. The colt relished his first start on heavy going, and, after being held up in the early stages under Frankie Dettori, he quickened to lead at the furlong pole before drawing clear of his 13 rivals to register a length and a quarter verdict over Charlie Farnsbarns, with Teslin only ninth. This season, he made his return to action in the Group Two totesport Dante Stakes at York on May 17, when he took up the running approaching the final furlong and quickened right away to score by four lengths from Raincoat. This ensured that he became a short-priced favourite for the Vodafone Derby.
Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar
Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar are Kuwaiti businessmen whose dark green colours have become increasingly conspicuous in recent times. Their biggest successes to date came when the Jeremy Noseda-trained Araafa raced to victory in the 2006 Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Their annus mirabilis was capped with Authorized’s victory in the Group One Racing Post Trophy, while further big-race success in 2006 came courtesy of Hamoody in the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. Al Homaizi, chairman of the multi-faceted Al Homaizi Group, which employs 4,000 people, was introduced to European racing by Prince Yazid Saud, with whom he owned 1984 Cambridgeshire winner Leysh as well as Ile de Nisky, fourth to Nashwan in the 1989 Vodafone Derby. He also part-owned 1993 Irish 1,000 Guineas third Goodnight Kiss and the multiple Group Three winner Tropical. He owns Al Fanaar Stables in Kuwait. Al Sagar is chairman of the Kuwaiti shipbuilding and engineering company HEISCO and also has interests in the publishing and electronics industries. Al Homaizi and Al Sagar employ the services of Tony Nerses as their bloodstock advisor and he purchased eight yearlings for the pair at Keeneland in 2006. They have most of their 17 horses in training with Jeremy Noseda, Peter Chapple-Hyam and Brian Meehan in Britain, and Patrick Biancone in the US.
Vodafone Derby Record: No previous runners
Born April 2, 1963, in Leamington Spa, Peter Chapple-Hyam gained valuable experience working for Barry Hills, Fred Rimell and Lynda Ramsden before taking over the trainer’s licence from Hills at the late Robert Sangster’s Manton complex in 1991. With Sangster as his main patron, Chapple-Hyam hit the ground running, securing major two-year-old Group One victories in his first season, with Dr Devious winning the Dewhurst Stakes and the brilliant Rodrigo de Triano the Middle Park Stakes. The following year brought Vodafone Derby glory as he prepared Dr Devious to run seventh in the Kentucky Derby before taking the Epsom Classic by two lengths. Rodrigo de Triano meanwhile gave Lester Piggott his 30th and final Classic win in the 2000 Guineas and added a further three Group One successes that term - Irish 2,000 Guineas, Juddmonte International and Champion Stakes. Group One glory continued with the likes of top-class 1993 Italian Derby winner White Muzzle, Turtle Island and Spectrum, winners of the 1994 & 1995 Irish 2,000 Guineas respectively, Revoque, successful in the Prix de la Salamandre and Grand Criterium in 1996, the filly Carmine Lake, victorious in the 1997 Prix de l’Abbaye and 1998 Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Victory Note. Seeking a new challenge, he moved to Hong Kong in 1999 but found success hard to come by in the former British colony and returned to Britain ahead of the 2004 Flat season with a point to prove. With his string based at St Gatien Stables in Newmarket, Chapple-Hyam immediately silenced any doubters as he improved the three-year-old African Dream from lowly all-weather claiming class to four straight wins that included a brace of Group Three classic trials. Further big-race success followed that year as Captain Hurricane took the Group Two July Stakes at Newmarket and Montgomery’s Arch the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. Memories of the glory days of the 1990s were rekindled in 2006 as he saddled the top-class juvenile Dutch Art to four straight wins that included a brace of Group Ones (Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes), while Authorized collected the Group One Racing Post Trophy, a race the trainer won in 1998 with Commander Collins. In 2005, he separated from his wife Jane (now a fellow Newmarket trainer), daughter of Robert Sangster’s second wife, Susan. Vodafone Derby Record: 1992 DR DEVIOUS (WON), Rodrigo de Triano (9th); 1993 Cairo Prince (4th), Planetary Aspect (12th), Zind (16th); 1994 Colonel Collins (3rd), Pencander (6th); 1995 Court Of Honour (5th), Spectrum (13th); 1996 Chief Contender (9th); 1997 Romanov (3rd), Single Empire (11th); 1999 Brancaster (10th)
Born in Milan on December 15, 1970, the son of Gianfranco, a multiple champion jockey in Italy, Frankie Dettori arrived from his homeland to join Luca Cumani’s Newmarket yard as an apprentice in July, 1985. His first success came on Rif at Turin, Italy, on November 16, 1986, and he rode his first British winner on Lizzy Hare at Goodwood on June 9, 1987. He was champion British apprentice in 1989 and passed 100 winners for the first time in 1990 when recording 141 successes. He has since captured the hearts of racegoers with his flamboyant style, phenomenal riding successes, and charisma in and out of the saddle. Champion jockey in 1994, 1995 and 2004, Dettori created history when riding all seven winners on the first-day card at the Ascot Festival in September, 1996. His ground-breaking exertions brought recognition beyond racing’s own sphere when he was voted into third place in the 1996 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards and was a team captain on ‘A Question Of Sport’. While victory in the Vodafone Derby still eludes Dettori, Cape Verdi’s win in the 1998 1000 Guineas means that he has tasted success in all four other domestic Classics at least once (with 11 in total), as well as a host of high-profile international successes, including the 1995 and 2002 Arcs on Lammtarra and Marienbard respectively, the Japan Cup on Singspiel in 1996, Falbrav in 2002 and Alkaased in 2005, the Dubai World Cup on Dubai Millennium (2000), Moon Ballad (2003) and Electrocutionist (2006) and the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Daylami in 1999, Fantastic Light in 2001 and Red Rocks in 2006. Dettori, who is retained by the Godolphin team, survived an horrific plane crash at Newmarket in 2000 in which the pilot was killed. He is married to Catherine with five children, and his autobiography came out in 2004.
Vodafone Derby Record: 1992 Pollen Count (16th); 1993 Wolf Prince (8th); 1994 Linney Head (10th); 1995 Tamure (2nd); 1996 Shantou (3rd); 1997 Bold Demand (9th); 1998 Cape Verdi (9th); 1999 Dubai Millennium (9th); 2001 Tobougg (3rd); 2002 Naheef (7th); 2003 Graikos (8th); 2004 Snow Ridge (7th); 2005 Dubawi (3rd), 2006 Linda’s Lad (9th)