Racing: Sir Percy and Hala Bek may yet challenge Visindar at Epsom

The bookmakers seem to have got it into their heads that Visindar cannot be beaten in the Vodafone Derby, with one firm now as short as 11-8 about the French colt, but the home defence is rallying in heartening fashion. It now seems possible that Sir Percy and Hala Bek will make it to Epsom on Saturday, despite their troubled preparations.

In terms of experience, they could scarcely have less in common. Sir Percy was the most accomplished juvenile in Britain last year, and ran second to George Washington in the 2,000 Guineas on his reappearance, whereas Hala Bek has had only one start, winning a maiden at Newbury last month.

Michael Jarvis had to scratch him from the Dante Stakes at York last week after a dirty scope, but yesterday was able to gallop the colt for the first time since and afterwards kept the door to the Derby open. "He worked a mile and Philip [Robinson] was very happy with him," Jarvis said.

"He passed his lead horse but he's a horse that just does enough. He is inexperienced, and ideally we could have had another run somewhere, but when I saw the conditions for the Dante I wasn't too sorry we weren't there. We are all keen to go, as long as we feel the horse is A1 - you don't win Derbys half-cock. He has had a setback, but was pretty fit before those few days off."

Sir Percy was jarred up by the firm ground at Newmarket but Marcus Tregoning has been sounding increasingly positive over recent days. Exercised conservatively, the colt has apparently been moving with fluency but his trainer wants to give him a more searching test before committing him to Epsom. His gallops were too wet yesterday, but Tregoning is optimistic that he will be able to work Sir Percy this morning.

It would be a terrific boost to the Classic if Sir Percy were to line up. Certainly his form is more solid than Visindar's, and there is no way bookmakers would be offering 10-1 but for the doubts over his participation.

Morale in his stable was heightened by the debut success of Samorra at Goodwood yesterday, where listed races were won by Blue Monday and Sonny Red. Winner of a Newmarket maiden on his debut, the latter picked up again when menaced by Chief Editor and Richard Hannon may run him in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot granted easy ground.

Hannon said of Sonny Red: "He hit a bit of flat spot and had a look at the other horse, but picked up again and said 'Cheerio'."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Sport
Rodgers showered praise on Balotelli last week, which led to speculation he could sign the AC Milan front man
transfers
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music(who aren't Arctic Monkeys)
News
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
science
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Software Developer - Newcastle - £30,000 - £37,000 + benefits

£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Digital Project Manager/BA

£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home