Racing: Alamshar wins Derby trial but drifts in Epsom betting

There was a hall of mirrors application about Alamshar's victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial here yesterday.

There were those who thought he fitted the perfect profile of a Derby winner, a dogged victor who exhibited the courage which will be a primary requirement in four weeks' time. Others thought he was quite slow.

The unflattering, bent view of Alamshar's performance was one observed by the bookmakers. John Oxx's colt may have achieved where Sinndar, Galileo and High Chaparral had gone before in collecting this one-mile-and-two-furlongs Group Two contest, but his prospects of continuing their run into the Blue Riband has been marked down.

It is a bizzare notion that Alamshar was cut violently in Derby odds after losing here four weeks ago in the Ballysax Stakes. Now that he has actually won his price is out from a general 3-1 to 9-2 in places. Sense has been binned.

It was a confusing old addition to the Derby parts. Alamshar, and this was perhaps his greatest quality, will almost certainly stay the Epsom journey of a mile and a half. He was tucked in by Johnny Murtagh behind a searing early rhythm set by The Great Gatsby and the odds-on favourite's nominated pacemaker of Masandam.

Only in the straight did the former begin to show signs of weakness as Alamshar ranged alongside. There was, however, no burst of decisiveness, no eye-catching acceleration. The winner went just about a head clear of The Great Gatsby, who is not Ballydoyle's Derby horse. The one imagined to be so over the winter, Brian Boru, was another two and a half lengths back in third, giving 5lb in weight.

It seemed to suggest that these were potentially either the first three in the Derby or just a group of ordinary horses. Either way we do not have a beacon horse yet, certainly not a British-trained one as the top five in the betting all originate in Ireland.

Oxx was not crushed by Alamshar's display. Indeed, he thought the colt rather resolute to have overcome a hoof abscess which had afflicted him earlier in the week. "That wasn't a very spectacular performance and you certainly wouldn't say it was a Derby-winning performance," Oxx said later.

"But I did come here just half expecting he would get beaten because he's been through a bit during the week. I felt coming to the races that he'd do well to scramble in. He did scramble in and I'm happy enough with that. He has to improve a good deal on this but please God he'll have a better run for the next race than he had for the week leading up to this one."

The trainer went on: "He got pretty switched off and quickened up quite well, but then he idled a bit towards the end. He'd want to improve on that to win the Derby, but that's what they've all got to do if they're going to win at that level.

"Sinndar won this by a head or a short-head as well, and we'll have to see how this one is now. He was lucky to run in it even though he was able to do all his work. He was never lame, he just wasn't reaching. During the week he was down on himself and he wasn't well in himself. He was quiet.''

Aidan O'Brien refused to be downheartened by the performance of Brian Boru who, having headed the ante-post Derby betting through the winter, is now starting to plummet down the lists.

"I don't think he ran a bad race at all," he said. "He was fresh and keen and the pace was a bit slow for him. Obviously I am pleased with The Great Gatsby, and they will both be considered for Epsom," O'Brien said.

Oxx and Murtagh narrowly failed to add to Alamshar's win when Flamelet was touched off by Cat Belling in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial.

Hymn Of Love, trained by Dermot Weld, led on sufferance for the first two furlongs until Satine went on. Hymn Of Love regained the advantage one and a half furlongs out but faded timidly when challenged as Cat Belling, ridden by Pat Shanahan, went on.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained filly held Flamelet's late bid by a head with the 15-8 favourite, Rainbows For All, also trained by Prendergast, third.

The 11-2 winner would now probably head for the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh in two weeks' time, the trainer said. "She's a big filly and needs ease in the ground. The rain came just in time for her."

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?