Pennekamp sparkles to keep Swing off course

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The Independent Online
Celtic Swing was among the 17 acceptors yesterday for Saturday's Derby, but any lingering temptation to attempt a unique Classic double with Sunday's Prix du Jockey-Club winner will surely have been dispelled by reports from France. Pennekamp, Celtic Swing's 2,000 Guineas conqueror and a top-priced 11-8 favourite for Saturday, completed his preparations with a stunning final gallop at Chantilly yesterday morning.

Ridden by Sylvain Guillot, the unbeaten colt worked left-handed over 10 furlongs with two others on Les Aigles gallops and drew away impressively in the last 300 yards to go at least 12 lengths clear of his galloping companions.

Anthony Stroud, racing manager to Pennekamp's owner, Sheikh Mohammed, was present and was extremely pleased with the way things went. "He has shown that he is healthy and well; he couldn't have gone better." Stroud said.

Prior to Pennekamp's gallop, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, Carnegie, did a similar piece of work and he looked on good form for his tilt at the Coronation Cup on Friday.

Meanwhile, Peter Savill left open the possibility of Celtic Swing lining up at Epsom by leaving him among the big-race acceptors, although the chances of him appearing on the Downs are remote.

Savill's racing manager, Nick Babbington, explained: "He's been left in the race purely as a precaution and it is very unlikely that he will run. Something would have to happen to Pennekamp and the ground turn bottomless before it would be seriously considered. Celtic Swing has been in the race a long time and it seemed pointless to pull him out at this stage.

"The horse has come back from France very well but any decision to run at Epsom wouldn't be taken purely on the ground, but a combination of factors."

The next target for Celtic Swing is the Irish Derby on 2 July, granted good or softer ground, where he could face a re-match with Pennekamp were the French colt to triumph on Saturday.

The final field for the Classic is virtually complete with only Presenting uncertain to run. His trainer, John Gosden, will inspect the track tomorrow afternoon before committing the colt who must have a sound surface to produce his best. Significantly, perhaps, Presenting was one of the best- backed outsiders yesterday, moving from 25-1 to 20-1 with William Hill. The official going is good with a forecast of mainly dry weather with sunny spells for the rest of the week.

Gosden said: "If it's still good with soft patches then that wouldn't be ideal. But there are a lot of things to discuss with the owner [George Strawbridge]."

Court Of Honour, the mount of Brent Thomson, will join stablemate Spectrum as Peter Chapple-Hyam's second string, while Michael Bell and his stable jockey, Michael Fenton, will have their first Derby runner in the 150- 1 chance Maralinga.

"On his Chester Vase running behind Luso he will, hopefully, be scrapping for the minor honours," Bell said.

Richard Hills will partner Fahal while the Hamdan Al Maktoum team have yet to decide whether to run Daffaq as a pacemaker for their chief hope, Munwar. After his first Classic success on Sunday, Kevin Darley will attempt to double his haul on board whichever of Paul Cole's two runners, Riyadian or Salmon Ladder, is rejected by Richard Quinn.

Missing from the final 17 is Poly Amanshaa, the gelding who was left in by mistake at the previous acceptance stage. His former owners have been let off the pounds 2,750 forfeit fee they were originally required to pay. The British Horseracing Board yesterday waived the fee due to the unique circumstances surrounding the horse's entry, a decision which naturally pleased his previous owner, Frank Adams.

"Common sense has partially prevailed," Adams said. "Although we have lost the original pounds 750."

That is small beer to the Pennekamp team who have a pounds 850,000 prize in their sights.

Vodafone Derby Stakes (Class A) (Group 1) pounds 850,000 added 3YO 1m 4f

111-121 CELTIC SWING (6) Lady Herries 9 0 Doubtful

6131-22 COURT OF HONOUR (13) P Chapple-Hyam 9 0 B Thomson

42-503 DAFFAQ (12) P Walwyn 9 0 __

43146-3 FAHAL (USA) (18) D Morley 9 0 R Hills

11-11 HUMBEL (USA) (28) D Weld (Irl) 9 0 M J Kinane

00-641 KORAMBI (21) C Brittain 9 0 __

1- LAMMTARRA (USA) (302) Saeed bin Suroor 9 0 W R Swinburn

013-132 MARALINGA (25) M Bell 9 0 M Fenton

31-11 MUNWAR (28) P Walwyn 9 0 W Carson

111-11 PENNEKAMP (USA) (35) A Fabre (Fr) 9 0 T Jarnet

11-113 PRESENTING (24) J Gosden 9 0 __

312 RIYADIAN (28) P Cole 9 0 __

31-6 SALMON LADDER (USA) (24) P Cole 9 0 __

121 SEBASTIAN (23) H Cecil 9 0 Pat Eddery

1-11 SPECTRUM (20) P Chapple-Hyam 9 0 J Reid

111 TAMURE (23) J Gosden 9 0 L Dettori

41-1 VETTORI (27) Saeed bin Suroor 9 0 R Cochrane

- 17 declared -


CORAL: 11-10 Pennekamp, 3-1 Spectrum, 5-1 Sebastian, 12-1 Munwar, Tamure, 20-1 Lammtarra, 25-1 Presenting, Riyadian, Vettori, 33-1 Humbel, 50-1 Court Of Honour, Fahal, Salmon Ladder, 100-1 Maralinga, 150-1 Korambi, 500-1 Daffaq

LADBROKES: 5-4 Pennekamp, 3-1 Spectrum, 6-1 Sebastian, 10-1 Munwar, Tamure, 20-1 Lammtarra, Presenting, 25-1 Salmon Ladder, Vettori, 33-1 Humbel, Riyadian, 40-1 Court Of Honour, 66-1 Fahal, 100-1 Maralinga, 150-1 Korambi, 500-1 Daffaq

WILLIAM HILL: 11-8 Pennekamp, 11-4 Spectrum, 9-2 Sebastian, 10-1 Munwar, Tamure, 20-1 Lammtarra, Presenting, Vettori, 25-1 Humbel, 40-1 Riyadian, Salmon Ladder, 50-1 Court Of Honour, 66-1 Fahal, 200-1 Korambi, Maralinga, 500-1 Daffaq

1994: Erhaab 9 0 W Carson 7-2 (J Dunlop) 25 ran