Q&A: Fall of Snow Knight fall

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Q. Entrepreneur was yet another short-priced favourite for the Derby at Epsom this year. When was the last horse to win the Derby at odds of, say, 33-1 or bigger?

A. The last long-priced winner of the Derby was Snow Knight in 1974 at 50-1, trained by Peter Nelson and ridden by Brian Taylor. The odds were somewhat generous as Snow Knight was not a complete outsider, having come third in the Lingfield Derby trial and won a maiden and a reasonable class race as a two-year-old. He did, however, prove to be one of the least distinguished Epsom winners, failing to win again both in Britain and when he moved to North America.

The previous year the race was also won by a long shot, Morston at 25- 1. This horse had modest form, unraced as a two-year-old and one win from his only race, but did have the breeding, being a half-brother to the 1969 winner, Blakeney. I seem to recall that Richard Baerlein of the Guardian tipped it.

An interesting point about the Derby is that although there may only be inches between the winner and the placed horses, the winner usually proves itself to be a good, or possibly, great horse while the others fade into obscurity. There are exceptions to this, of course, including Rheingold, the filly Nobiliary and various 2,000 Guineas winners who did not quite stay. In general, however, over the past 25 years to be placed in the Derby is not a good pointer to the future - Peter Fleming, Dunstable.

A. I enclose a list of all Derby winners this century priced 33-1 or longer: 1908 Signorinetta 100-1; 1913 Aboyeur 100-1; 1919 Grand Parade 33-1; 1928 Felstead 33-1; 1929 Trigo 33-1; 1946 Airborne 50-1; 1947 Pearl Diver 40-1; 1954 Never Say Die 33-1; Psidium 66-1; 1974 Snow Knight 50-1. - Peter Radcliffe, Tyldesley


Q. Yorkshire CCC have played first-class cricket at the following grounds: Headingley, Holbeck, Horsforth, Hinslet, Hull, Huddersfield and Harrogate. Has any other county played at grounds beginning with the same letter? - Kevin Maguire, Batley

If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a sporting question of your own, write to Q&A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171-293 2894