Racing: Beat All picks up rhythm

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ANTE-POST BACKERS of Beat All have not lost their money yet. Sir Michael Stoute's colt was still standing when the 21 six-day declarations for Saturday's Derby were made yesterday, but supporters of the winter favourite for the race, Commander Collins, and of the French colt Montjeu start the week in the red as both have now been withdrawn.

The message from Beat All's trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, was neither upbeat nor downbeat yesterday. "We have to take things stage by stage," the Newmarket-based Bajan said. "Beat All continues to make steady progress. He had a swim yesterday morning, was shod yesterday evening and ridden walking under saddle this morning."

Nevertheless, the colt, whose American rider, Gary Stevens, warms up for Epsom at Sandown tonight, has been friendless in the betting since the news broke last Friday that he had pricked a foot. He is now an 8- 1 shot with most firms. Godolphin's Dubai Millennium, almost certainly the mount of Frankie Dettori, is heading the opposite way and is clear market leader with two firms and a top-priced 6-1 with Coral, while his stable-companion Adair, who worked poorly at the weekend, is out to 12- 1.

Commander Collins, who failed to show his two-year-old brilliance when down the field in the 2,000 Guineas, is joined on the sidelines by his Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained stable Bienamado. The trainer relies solely on the 2,000 Guineas fourth, Brancaster.

John Hammond's Montjeu, a leading fancy since his Prix Greffulhe win at Longchamp in April is now heading for the Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly on Sunday instead. "I'm expecting him to run well," Hammond said. "On balance we felt he would be better suited by Chantilly rather than Epsom."

The only French colt left in the premier Classic is the unbeaten Val Royal from the stable of Andre Fabre - no other French trainer has had a runner in the Derby since 1991.

Housemaster (9-1 from 10-1 with William Hill) will complete his build- up on the all-weather gallops at Newmarket tomorrow. "I am not a fan of the watered gallops round Newmarket so we will give him one last spin on one of the all-weather surfaces," his trainer, Michael Bell, said. "Housemaster could not be in better shape - it's just a case of keeping him ticking over but you can't wrap them in cotton wool."

The Epsom trainer Terry Mills warned that continued wet weather could prevent his outsider All The Way from taking his chance. "I walked the course yesterday and in the dip round Tattenham Corner it is soft," he said."He must have good ground at the worst."

Tipsy Creek, who made all the running to hold Lochangel in Sandown's Temple Stakes, and Arctic Owl, who swooped on the line to win the Henry II Stakes, were the outstanding performers of the Bank Holiday programme yesterday but there were other significant contributions from some lesser lights around the country.

At Huntingdon, Scarlet Emperor gave Jenny Pitman a victory on the final day of her training career, although her other three runners pulled up.

Martin Pipe made certain of a ninth jumps trainers' championship - the season ends at Hexham tonight - when sending out eight winners. He started the day pounds 16,385 ahead of Paul Nicholls and had 26 entries against three from Nicholls.

n The South African jockey Piere Strydom escaped with nothing more than serious bruising when his mount Zilarator slipped on the bend into the straight at Chepstow.


Nap: Perfect Peach

(Redcar 3.30)

NB: Cloudy Sky

(Sandown 8.45)