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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence