Racing: Norse Dancer may join Derby line-up

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Big decisions involving big money will have to be made in advance of next Monday, the final supplementary stage for this year's Derby. It will now cost £90,000 to participate, but Jeff Smith is leaning towards a run for his 2,000 Guineas third, Norse Dancer, whom he believes may be the best horse he has ever owned.

"He is still in the French Derby, but even though it will only cost us about another £200 to run him there, it is hard not to be tempted to pay the £90,000 and let him go to Epsom," Smith said yesterday. "We will have a look at the French entries when they are released this week and then make our minds up."

Smith went on: "Epsom looks so open this year and Norse Dancer really is a very good horse. Some of the work he has done [at David Elsworth's stables] has been pretty amazing. He works with Group horses and he has beaten them with his head in his chest, giving them a stone.

"Aidan O'Brien says he could run all of his at Epsom and that tells you everything. Godolphin haven't got anything obvious for the race. It looks like it could just be one of those years where everybody is going to have a chance. The jury is still out, but he is possibly the best horse I have ever owned."

Connections of Sir Michael Stoute's Kris Kin will also look at the French Derby declarations before making a decision. But one certain supplementary will be Dutch Gold, whose trainer, Clive Brittain, will take the Chester Vase winner for a racecourse gallop at Yarmouth tomorrow.