Dr Massini ready to resume work

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The Independent Online
The full horrible injury news from Freemason Lodge, the home of the Derby favourite, Dr Massini, emerged yesterday. The yard's leading light had a cyst on a knee cartilage removed in an operation on Monday. Only on Tuesday was Michael Stoute allowed home from hospital.

It was far easier to collect information about the trainer's condition here yesterday than it was about Dr Massini, who was discovered lame on Monday morning. Stoute's representative, Coral Pritchard- Gordon, could not even be prodded into commenting on the statement of the horse's owner, Michael Tabor, who has said he is guardedly optimistic about getting his runner to Epsom. Tabor also has the 40-1 chance Grape Tree Road in the race.

Later, though, Stoute issued an upbeat bulletin from his stable: "Dr Massini has resumed his Derby preparation," he said. "Obviously, we now need a clear run up to the race and if there is any further hold-up I will inform the public immediately."

The state espionage department (the bookmakers) reflected this optimistic tone. Dr Massini remains head of the field with the major firms and Ladbrokes have removed the "with a run" proviso.

Dr Massini was one of 34 entries for the Derby at yesterday's forfeit stage, along with his stablemate Double Leaf. There is no place, however, for a third Stoute horse, Bonarelli, who had cost pounds 8,000 to supplement into the race last month.

Another animal who was supplemented, Clever Cliche, remains, although he is the least fancied of Henry Cecil's trio. Dushyantor and Storm Trooper have more chance.

A third Newmarket trainer, Clive Brittain, also has three representatives, which all fit snugly into the "no-hopers" category. Clive would fancy himself in an alligator wrestle and is not daunted now by each of his trio being priced at 200-1.

Group entries are still in place for Peter Chapple-Hyam, who has Nash House, Heron Island (who runs in the Italian Derby this Sunday) and Chief Contender (but no Astor Place or Legal Right), and Godolphin. Team Dubai have four considerations, including Russian Revival, who runs in the Irish 2,000 Guineas this Sunday.

Godolphin were sent for by the stewards here yesterday when one of their winter-sunkissed horses, Fatefully, finished 10th in the opener. The explanantion should have been that it was too bloody cold. Freezing rain and heavy mists visited the course, weather that was more suited to Dogger Bank. It did not stop Stoute's runner, Whitewater Affair, winning the Oaks trial, the Lupe Stakes. She is more likely to head for Royal Ascot, though rather than be supplemented for Epsom at a cost of pounds 15,000.

THE DERBY (Epsom, 8 June): acceptors at yesterday's second forfeit stage:

Acharne (trained by C Brittain), Alhaarth (W R Hern), Amfortas (C Brittain), Ashbal (K Prendergast, Irl), Busy Flight (B Hills), Chief Contender (P Chapple-Hyam), Classic Eagle (S Williams), Clever Cliche (H Cecil), Double Leaf (M Stoute), Dr Massini (M Stoute), Dushyantor (H Cecil), Even Top (M Tompkins), Glory Of Dancer (P Kelleway), Grape Tree Road (A Fabre, Fr), Heron Island (P Chapple-Hyam), Jack Jennings (B McMahon), Jiyush (T Jones), Kammtarra (Saeed bin Suroor), Mark Of Esteem (Saeed bin Suroor), Mick's Love (Saeed bin Suroor), Mystic Knight (R Charlton), Nash House (P Chapple-Hyam), Portuguese Lil (D Nicholls), Prince Of My Heart (B Hills), Russian Revival (Saeed bin Suroor), Shaamit (W Haggas), Shantou (J Gosden), Spartan Heartbeat (C Brittain), St Mawes (J Dunlop), Stereo Dancer (trainer unknown), Storm Trooper (H Cecil), Supreme Commander (A Fabre, Fr), Tasdid (K Prendergast, Irl), Zaforum (L Montague Hall).

BETTING - Coral: 9-2 (with a run) Dr Massini, 5-1 Glory Of Dancer, 11- 2 Even Top, 6-1 Dushyantor, 7-1 Alhaarth & Mark Of Esteem; Ladbrokes: 5-1 Dr Massini, Dushyantor & Glory Of Dancer, 6-1 Even Top, 7-1 Alhaarth & Mark Of Esteem; William Hill: 4-1 Dr Massini (with a run) & Glory Of Dancer, 11-2 Dushyantor, 6-1 Even Top, 7-1 Mark Of Esteem, 8-1 Alhaarth; Tote: 4-1 Glory Of Dancer, 9-2 Dr Massini, 5-1 Alhaarth, 6-1 Even Top, 7-1 Dushyantor, Mark Of Esteem.

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