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Thursday, May 31, 2007


Today’s 48-hour stage for the Vodafone Derby, the premier Classic, saw all 19 three-year-old colts from Monday’s conformation stage declared to run in Saturday’s £1,250,000 race over 12 furlongs at Epsom Downs.

Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien has declared a record eight horses for the Vodafone Derby - Acapulco, Admiralofthefleet, Anton Chekhov, Archipenko, Eagle Mountain, Mahler, Soldier Of Fortune and Yellowstone.

Since 1965, no trainer has saddled more than four horses in the Vodafone Derby. Three trainers have had four runners - O’Brien three times (2003, 2005 & 2006), Barry Hills (2001) and Ryan Price (1975).

O’Brien is going for a third success in the Vodafone Derby after victories with Galileo in 2001 and High Chaparral the following year.

Authorized, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, victorious in 1992 with Dr Devious, is the hottest favourite for years and likely to start odds-on.

Previous odds-on favourites in the Vodafone Derby since 1965 have been Entrepreneur (finished fourth at 4/6 in 1997), Tenby (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).

Authorized reappeared in the totesport Dante Stakes at York earlier in the month and won convincingly under Frankie Dettori who is keen to break his Vodafone Derby duck - this being the charismatic jockey’s 15th ride in the premier Classic.

The going at Epsom Downs is officially soft, good to soft in places, with a GoingStick reading of 6.3, after being changed from soft. There has been no rain at the course since 4pm on Wednesday.

Andrew Cooper, Clerk of the Course & Director of Racing at Epsom Downs, said this afternoon: “The ground has improved after a sunny and breezy day and is back to where it was on Tuesday.

“There is nearly as much good to soft as soft and I am being cautious in describing the going as soft, good to soft in places.”

There could be showers tomorrow but Saturday is forecast to be dry.

The great racing tomorrow (Friday, June 1), Vodafone Ladies’ Day, featuring the Vodafone Oaks and the Vodafone Coronation Cup, will see the inside of the course dolled out to a width of four and five yards from the mile post to the winning line. This fresh ground will be utilised on Vodafone Derby Day (Saturday, June 2).

Cooper added: “We usually rail off a section of ground from the six-furlong marker to the winning post but have decided to extend the area back to the mile post for the first time.

“We are endeavouring to provide the best possible ground on both days of the meeting.”

Ladies Day will see the “Style on the Downs” competition and the judges will choose the most stylish lady who will win a brand new Jeep Compass.

The Vodafone Derby, already a worldwide event, is being broadcast for the first time in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean by Setanta Sports.


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 (19 declared). Form figures correct up to Wednesday, May 30, 2007. May not include some overseas form. All-weather/dirt form in brackets.

Form Horse Draw Owner Trainer Jockey
1) 12 ACAPULCO (IRE) 5 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE Fran Berry
2) 0131-01 ADMIRALOFTHEFLEET (USA) 15 Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier & Niarchos Family Aidan O’Brien IRE Seamus Heffernan
3) 31-51 ANTON CHEKHOV 4 Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE Declan McDonogh
4) 32-1 AQALEEM 2 Hamdan Al Maktoum Marcus Tregoning Richard Hills
5) 0-12 ARABIAN GULF 1 Khalid Abdulla Sir Michael Stoute Richard Hughes
6) 021-1 ARCHIPENKO (USA) 10 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE Michael Kinane
7) 31- 1 AUTHORIZED (IRE) 14 Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar Peter Chapple-Hyam Frankie Dettori
8) 512214-5 EAGLE MOUNTAIN 8 Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh
9) 1-32 EASTERN ANTHEM (IRE) 13 Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor Kerrin McEvoy
10) (4)512-23 KID MAMBO (USA) 19 Jeff Daniels Terry Mills Joe Fanning
11) (4)2 LEANDER 3 Kevin Tork Brett Johnson Mark Gallagher
12) 2(1)1 LUCARNO (USA) 17 George Strawbridge John Gosden Steve Drowne
13) 011 MAHLER 6 Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE Pat Smullen
14) 010-10 PETARA BAY (IRE) 12 Slavica Ecclestone Terry Mills Dane O’Neill
15) 4120-1 REGIME (IRE) 7 Highclere Thoroughbred Racing XL Michael Bell Martin Dwyer
16) (2)-(1)21 SALFORD MILL (IRE) 11 Tony Thompson David Elsworth Ted Durcan
17) 212-11 SOLDIER OF FORTUNE (IRE) 9 Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE Wayne Lordan
18) 15113-0 STRATEGIC PRINCE 18 H R H Sultan Ahmad Shah Paul Cole Eddie Ahern
19) 103-502 YELLOWSTONE (IRE) 16 Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier & Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE Colm O’Donoghue

19 declared to run at 48-hour stage
8 Irish-trained


Epsom Downs, home of the Vodafone Derby, will join the elite group of racecourses which hold the prestigious ROA Gold Standard Award, after a formal presentation on Friday, June 1. The award recognises overall excellence in the raceday experience for owners, their horses and stable staff.

The Surrey course is the sixth recipient of the accolade and is the first Classic venue to be recognised. The presentation of a commemorative plaque will be made formally to the racecourse executive by Steven Astaire of the ROA’s Gold Standard Committee, during racing at tomorrow’s Vodafone Oaks day. This high-profile setting is a fitting testament to the importance the course places upon the award.

Epsom Downs’ prize-money this year will be £3.2million. Their executive and sponsorship contributions for the past twelve months stand at an impressive 40% of their overall prize money pool. Their average prize money per fixture for the past twelve months, as listed in the Racing Post's statistical tables, is £292,400, putting them third among the Category A courses.

ROA Council member and Gold Standard Committee member, Steven Astaire, said: “I am delighted that we have seen fit to award a Gold Standard to Epsom. The management there, under Stephen Wallis, has always embraced the aims of the ROA regarding facilities for owners. They were one of the first courses to fully embrace the 'Perfect Day' campaign of a few years ago. I’m sure that owners with runners will enjoy first class hospitality at Epsom.”

Stephen Wallis, managing director at Epsom Downs, said: “Everyone here is proud to receive this accolade. The Gold Standard matters to us. As a leading racecourse, we are very committed to ensuring that owners, their horses and stable staff receive an experience that befits our place as the home of the most important flat race in the world, the Vodafone Derby.”

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