Eltish falls to Gulch

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Neither Eltish nor Citadeed figured in the prize list for Saturday's 121st Kentucky Derby, but both acquitted themselves with honour and had more horses behind them than in front at the wire, writes our correspondent in Louisville.

Although the winner, Thunder Gulch, overcame an unfavourable draw, Citadeed ran from the worst possible stall and was on the heels of pacemaker Serena's Song for three quarters of the race until his stamina ran out on the final turn. Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt finished ninth, beaten less than eight lengths.

Eltish, from Henry Cecil's stable, was slowly away and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye had to sit and suffer round the first turn until moving up easily along the back straight and seemed to have a chance as he raced wide towards the turn for home.

But, first a smack in the face from another rider's whip, and then a hefty bump from Jumron proved too much and Eltish was sixth, still four lengths adrift of Thunder Gulch, at the place that counts.

A crowd of 144,000, the second highest recorded, watched the English- owned winner give trainer D Wayne Lukas his second Kentucky Derby success.

Lukas had saddled the filly Winning Colors to score in 1988 and when jockey Mike Smith preferred to ride Talkin' Man in the Derby, that filly's usual rider, Gary Stevens, now based in Hong Kong, was called in for Thunder Gulch.

Michael Tabor, the winner's owner, lives in Monaco, but has betting shops throughout Britain. He managed to back his horse in England at 12-1 - only to see it returned at more than double those odds.

KENTUCKY DERBY (Churchill Downs, Louisville): 1. THUNDER GULCH (Gary Stevens) 24.5-1; 2. Tejano Run 8-1; 3. Timber Country 7-2.19 ran. (winner trained by D Wayne Lukas).