Racing: Spencer keen on Odyssey
Saturday 03 June 2006
Jamie Spencer believes the extended mile and a quarter of the Prix du Jockey-Club should be ideal for Olympian Odyssey. The Barry Hills-trained colt bypasses the Derby over a mile and a half at Epsom for the shorter distance of the French equivalent at Chantilly tomorrow.
The champion jockey, who steered the Bill Gredley-owned colt into third place in the 2,000 Guineas, has high hopes of a good performance.
"The trip of the French Derby is just a nice step up for him. It's only an extra couple of furlongs rather than another half a mile like it would have been in our Derby," Spencer said. "He can travel and then he can quicken. The only reason I had him in the front in the Guineas was because there was no pace in the race."
Mick Channon sent out Rocamadour to finish third behind Shamardal 12 months ago and saddles Lingfield Derby Trial runner-up Hazeymm this time.
"He's a strange little horse. He wouldn't beat me at home but every time he has gone racing he just does enough," the West Ilsley trainer commented. "He stepped up to Group class last time and he got beat a head by Linda's Lad and it could easily have gone the other way."
The Dee Stakes winner, Art Deco, trained by Charles Egerton, completes a three-pronged British challenge, and attracts as a win and place bet on the Pari-Mutuel. Aidan O'Brien is double-handed with Aussie Rules and Hurricane Cat in a field of 15.
Another Derby takes place tonight: the greyhound version at Wimbledon with the brilliant Westmead Hawk as hot favourite.
Punters can back "the Hawk" at 33-1 - to finish last. This dog has grabbed the greyhound public's imagination but bookmakers fear his odds-on price (around 8-11) will dampen betting on the event. Most bookies have a "without the Hawk" market in which Amarillo Slim is 6-4 favourite.
William Hill Derby Final (10.12 tonight): Trap 1 Cleenas Lady; 2 Mineola Farloe; 3 Westmead Joe; 4 Westmead Hawk; 5 Amarillo Slim; 6 Clash Darby.
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