Racing: Three more colts join richest Derby yet


"The thoroughbred exists because its selection has not depended on experts, technicians or zoologists, but on a piece of wood - the winning post of the Epsom Derby. If you base your criteria on anything else you will get something else, not the thoroughbred"
Federico Tesio, the breeder of Ribot, the undefeated winner of 16 races in the 1950s.

"The thoroughbred exists because its selection has not depended on experts, technicians or zoologists, but on a piece of wood - the winning post of the Epsom Derby. If you base your criteria on anything else you will get something else, not the thoroughbred" Federico Tesio, the breeder of Ribot, the undefeated winner of 16 races in the 1950s.

It may not be the best Derby winner we see scuttling past Tesio's winning post on the Surrey Downs this Saturday, but it will certainly be the richest.

Indeed, in attempting to fulfil the Italian's assertion that the blue riband is at least the most prestigious contest in this part of the world the Epsom executive will now preside over the richest race ever staged in Europe. Following the addition of Dutch Gold, Kris Kin and Norse Dancer at yesterday's supplementary stage (at a cost of £90,000 each) the prize pot for the 224th Derby has swollen to £1.47 million.

Dutch Gold, who is trained in Newmarket by Clive Brittain for Sheikh Marwan Al Maktoum, won the Group Three Chester Vase last time out to earn a place in the premier Classic. "Dutch Gold is in very good form," the trainer said yesterday. "He'll be going there with a big chance."

Kris Kin, who lives just across the lane from Dutch Gold at Sir Michael Stoute's Freemason Lodge stable, was another to stamp his credentials at Chester, in the Group Three company of the Dee Stakes.

Norse Dancer belied odds of 100-1 to finish a close third to another Derby aspirant, Refuse To Bend, in the 2,000 Guineas. Jeff Smith, the owner of turf luminaries such as Chief Singer, Lochsong and Persian Punch, believes the David Elsworth-trained colt could be the best he has ever had.

Connections of Summerland, who was six lengths behind Dutch Gold in the Vase, are waiting to see if their colt makes the race. There are 24 runners still left in but there is a safety limit of 20, and if more than that number are around on Thursday at the final declaration stage, the lowest-rated will be balloted out. "He will be declared. We are keen to run him but he might not get in. He's on the borderline," John Gosden, Summerland's trainer, said yesterday. "The horse worked this morning and worked well. His [Saint-Cloud] form links in well with Alberto Giacometti. Our horses are firing at the moment but we need to get in."

Alberto Giacometti is one of five horses still in the race trained by Aidan O'Brien (Balestrini, Brian Boru, Handel and The Great Gatsby are the others). If O'Brien saddles all five, it would be unprecedented in the recent history of the Derby and take him ahead of the men who have had four runners in a single year since 1965, namely Ryan Price (1975), Sir Michael Stoute (1994), Saeed bin Suroor (2000) and Barry Hills (2001).

O'Brien, who also aims to make history by being the first trainer to saddle three consecutive winners of the Derby following the exploits of Galileo and High Chaparral, is represented principally by Brian Boru. The Sadler's Wells colt was only third on his Leopardstown reappearance but O'Brien is not downcast. "We were happy with his run," the trainer said yesterday. "It was obviously his first competitive race this year. It was a little bit slower than we would have liked but he came home well and we've been happy with him since."

This will not be a Derby with a short-priced favourite, as there is no Nijinksy, Shergar or Nashwan in the field. Indeed, the identity of the market leader come Saturday afternoon remains a wrestle between the Irish colts Brian Boru, Refuse To Bend and Alamshar.

With the ground riding good, with good to firm patches, Johnny Murtagh, the rider of the last-named, believes conditions have swung in his favour. "The ground is good at the moment and I hope it stays like that," the jockey said.

Murtagh has already won the Blue Riband twice, with Sinndar, trained like Alamshar by John Oxx, in 2000, and High Chaparral. He sees their likeness in this year's conveyance. "Alamshar's a good balanced horse and I think he saves the best for the track, so he has quite a few similarities to both Derby winners I've ridden," Murtagh added.

"They have to have everything at Epsom. They have to have speed, stamina and most of all they have to have attitude and the constitution for such a big day, because it's massive." Especially the money.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Financial Director / FD / Senior Finance Manager

Up to 70k DOE: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Financial Director ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company has been manufacturing high quali...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £35,000+

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is the fairest onl...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Production Planner is require...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen