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Monday, May 28, 2012



A dozen colts have been left in the Investec Derby at today’s five-day confirmation stage headed by the unbeaten Camelot. The 12-furlong Classic, run for the 233rd time, is due off at 4pm at Epsom Downs this Saturday, June 2, and offers a prize fund of £1,325,000, the richest in Britain.


Camelot, who is trained at the famous Ballydoyle Stables in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, is unbeaten in three starts and comes into the Investec Derby on the back of victory in the opening Classic of the season, the QIPCO 2000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket on May 5. If successful at Epsom Downs on Saturday, Camelot would become the 37th horse to win both Classics and the first since Sea The Stars in 2009.


The son of Montjeu is currently the red-hot 4/6 favourite with William Hill, Official Betting Partner of the 2012 Investec Derby Festival. The last horse to win the Derby at odds-on was Shergar, who stormed home by a record 10 lengths when successful at 10/11 in 1981. However, the three odds-on favourites in the intervening period - El Gran Senor (8/11, 1984), Tenby (4/5, 1993) and Entrepreneur (4/6, 1997) - were all beaten.


Joseph O’Brien, the 19-year-old eldest son of Aidan O’Brien, takes the ride on Camelot. Michael Church, the official historian of the Derby, revealed today if Camelot wins on Saturday, then it would be the first time in the race’s illustrious history that a father/son combination of trainer/jockey had succeeded.


O’Brien, who saddled Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002) to win the Derby, has four other possible starters in the 2012 renewal. They are Astrology, the impressive 11-length winner of the Group Three Dee Stakes at Chester, Imperial Monarch, successful in the Group Three bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown Park, Group Two Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial runner-up Tower Rock and Father Of Science, who landed a maiden at the Chester May Meeting in good style.


Trainer Marcus Tregoning is happy with his Investec Derby outsider Cavaleiro after the three-year-old colt worked over six and a half furlongs at Lingfield under his big race pilot Hayley Turner, who will become only the second female jockey to ride in the premier Classic.


Cavaleiro, a son of Tregoning’s 2006 Derby hero Sir Percy, won twice as a juvenile before finishing third to Main Sequence on his seasonal reappearance in the Group Three Betfred Derby Trial over a mile and a half on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on May 12.


Tregoning, based at Kingwood House Stables in Lambourn, said: “The piece of work Cavaleiro did at Lingfield on Saturday was the best bit of work he has done all year and we were very happy with that.


“I really do like him - he will stay very well and hopefully he will be able to go the pace. We can do what we want with him as he is a very straightforward ride and I imagine we will be tracking the pace - they don’t normally hang around in the Investec Derby.


“It’s extraordinary having such a small field, possibly because people are scared of taking on Camelot, but it’s a strange year.


“It’s a huge opportunity for Hayley Turner and for everyone. I think she is very good for racing and she will give Cavaleiro a very good ride.”


The strongest opposition to the Ballydoyle challenge could come from the Andrew Balding-trained Bonfire, the 9/2 second favourite with William Hill. The Manduro colt landed the Group Two Betfred Dante Stakes at York on May 17, one of the leading trials for the Investec Derby. Since the turn of the century, North Light (2004), Motivator (2005) and Authorized (2007) have completed the Dante/Derby double, while Workforce (2010) was successful at Epsom Downs after finishing runner-up at York.


Bonfire is set to be the first runner in the Investec Derby for Andrew Balding, whose father Ian trained Mill Reef to success in 1971. Bonfire is set to be joined by stable companion Minimise Risk who won a maiden at Newbury in April before finishing last of five in the Group Three Chester Vase on May 10 on ground that did not suit.


Main Sequence, the 11/1 third favourite with William Hill, is set to be trainer David Lanigan’s first runner in the Investec Derby and comes into the race unbeaten in four starts. The Niarchos Family’s colt registered his most recent success in the Group Three Betfred Derby Trial over a mile and a half on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on May 12.


Another trainer set to saddle his first Investec Derby runner is Richard Fahey, who has left in the well-travelled Mickdaam. The son of Dubawi finished fourth in the UAE Derby at Meydan, Dubai, in March and entered the picture for the Investec Derby when battling his way to success in the Group Three Chester Vase earlier this month.


John Gosden enjoyed Derby success with Benny The Dip in 1997 and his runner this year is set to be Thought Worthy, who won the Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket on May 19 when Rugged Cross was a length back in third. Rugged Cross is trained by Henry Candy, who sent out the 1980 runner-up Master Willie.


The final declarations for the 2012 Investec Derby will be known shortly after 10.00am on Thursday, May 31.





Investec Derby: 4/6 Camelot, 9/2 Bonfire, 11/1 Main Sequence, 12/1 Astrology, Imperial Monarch, 25/1 Thought Worthy, 33/1 Mickdaam, 50/1 Father Of Science, Rugged Cross, 66/1 Minimise Risk, Tower Rock, 100/1 Cavaleiro (EW ¼ 1,2,3)


William Hill spokeswoman Lucy Rhodes said: “Naturally Camelot continues to be all the rage for Epsom and looks set to jump away the shortest-priced Derby favourite seen in some time, although it’s not unknown to see a big run from an O’Brien second-string and there has been plenty of interest in Astrology this week.”


Aidan O’Brien to train the winner of the Investec Derby: 2/5


Highclere Thoroughbred Racing enhanced place double – both Vow and Bonfire to be placed in their respective Classics: 4/1


Camelot to win by less than 2 lengths: 9/4, Camelot to win by 2 lengths or more: 9/4


Camelot to win the British Triple Crown: 5/2




There is a strong supporting card at Epsom Downs on Investec Derby Day, Saturday, June 2, headed by the £300,000 Group One Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (2.40pm) which takes place over the same mile and a half course as the Investec Derby for four-year-olds and upwards.


A total of nine confirmations go forward today for the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (sponsored by Investec) headed by last year’s winner St Nicholas Abbey. St Leger hero Masked Marvel, Dubai World Cup victor Monterosso, last year’s Investec Derby runner-up Treasure Beach and recent Yorkshire Cup scorer Red Cadeaux are all engaged and a cracking contest is in prospect.


Investec Derby Day is the first event of the Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations and Her Majesty The Queen will be presenting the trophy to the winning connections of the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup (sponsored by Investec).

The Tim Easterby-trained pair of Captain Dunne and Confessional head the 37 entries going forward for the £75,000 Investec Specialist Bank ‘Dash’ (3.15pm), run over the fastest five furlongs in the world. The pair fought out the finish in 2011, with Captain Dunne prevailing by a neck.


Investec Dash - Latest odds from William Hill: 10/1 Ballesteros, Catfish, Confessional, 12/1 Dickie's Lad, Long Awaited, York Glory, 14/1 Arctic Feeling, Bear Behind, Captain Dunne, 16/1 Cadeaux Pearl, Courageous, Jamesway, Lui Rei, Steps, Taajub, 20/1 Desert Law, Fitz Flyer, Judge N Jury, Living It Large, Partner, Sohraab, Tax Free, 25/1 Fair Value, Oor Jock, Stone Of Folca, Taurus Twins, Vocational, 33/1 Bertoliver, Crimea, Diamond Charlie, Noverre To Go, Perfect Blossom, Swilly Ferry, 50/1 Church Music, Indian Trail, 66/1 Estonia, Lupo d'Oro (EW ¼ 1,2,3,4)




The going at Epsom Downs is currently:


Derby Course - Good, Good to Firm in places


5f Course - Good to Firm, Good in Places


The outlook is for conditions to stay warm up to Wednesday. There is a chance of showers on Monday evening and on Tuesday evening. Cooler, cloudier conditions with possible showers could follow thereafter.


Friday and Saturday are currently forecast to be dry.


Six millimetres of water will be applied to the Hill by the end of today.




Black Caviar, the great unbeaten Australian sprinter, will not be among the entries for the QIPCO Sussex Stakes when the Group One mile race closes at noon tomorrow (Tuesday, May 29).


This is despite QIPCO increasing the prize money of Goodwood’s top race from £300,000 to an amazing £1 million if both Black Caviar and Frankel, the world’s two highest-rated horses and unbeaten in 31 outings between them, met in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes on the second day of Glorious Goodwood, Wednesday, August 1.


Black Caviar, trained by Peter Moody in Australia, is due to come to Britain in early June and run at Royal Ascot (June 19 to 23).


Moody Racing’s Jeff O’Connor explained: “Moody Racing does not intend running Black Caviar at a mile in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes, Frankel or no Frankel, as we are looking at getting her back to Melbourne for racing later in the year if she comes through Ascot as well as she can.


“Therefore, we are not planning to nominate her for the QIPCO Sussex Stakes at tomorrow’s nomination stage as we feel it would not be the right thing by the racing industry worldwide, giving false hope that the race may happen.


“We understand it would have been a great selling point for Glorious Goodwood and we appreciate the more than generous offer from QIPCO in getting the conditions of the race to where they are but we will have to decline on this occasion.”


Black Caviar’s British campaign needs to finish by mid-July, taking quarantine into account, if she is to return home in time to be prepared for the Spring Carnival in Melbourne.


Goodwood will announce the entries for QIPCO Sussex Stakes, won last year in tremendous style by Frankel, at noon on Wednesday, May 30. The QIPCO Sussex Stakes is one of the 35 races which make up the 2012 QIPCO British Champions Series.


Adam Waterworth, managing director of Goodwood Racecourse, commented: “We are obviously disappointed that Black Caviar will not be entered in the QIPCO Sussex Stakes but fully understand her connections’ viewpoint.


“It was always going to be a long shot to have world’s top two horses race against each other because of their different distance requirements but we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to facilitate such a contest.


“Therefore, we are very grateful to QIPCO for increasing the prize money so much if Black Caviar and Frankel had met.


“The QIPCO Sussex Stakes, of course, remains a very significant Group One contest and we look forward to this year’s renewal, which may feature Frankel for a second year in succession. He would meet the current crop of three-year-old milers for the first time in the race.”


Rod Street, chief executive officer of the British Champions Series and Racing for Change, pointed out that Britain is lucky to have Black Caviar racing here.


He said: “We cannot underestimate the efforts it took to entice Black Caviar’s connections to travel across the globe to race in the UK in the first place. We should celebrate the fact that she is coming and adding another dimension to what could be the most memorable of Flat seasons.


“It’s natural that racing fans wanted to see a clash between Black Caviar and Frankel and it had all the makings of something very special. Nonetheless, it was always going to be difficult to find the right conditions for a sprinter to meet a miler, who has learned to settle and is likely to step up to beyond a mile.


“From a RfC point of view, our glass is much more than half full. The two best horses in the world, unbeaten in 31 races between them, will be racing in the UK this summer over the distances at which they excel. Come and see them!”


Black Caviar, a six-year-old mare trained by Peter Moody in Australia, owned by Gary & Kerryn Wilkie, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Colin & Jannene Madden, Pam Hawkes, David & Jill Taylor and mostly partnered by Luke Nolen, has been successful on all her 21 starts from five to seven furlongs.


Frankel, a four-year-old colt trained by Sir Henry Cecil in Newmarket, owned by Khalid Abdulla and ridden by Tom Queally, has won 10 from 10 over seven furlongs and a mile.


Glorious Goodwood happens at the world’s most beautiful racecourse over five days, from Tuesday, July 31 through to Saturday, August 4, 2012


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