Racing: Bin Ajwaad out of Derby after injury: Misfortune for Hanbury's Classic contender sees the Epsom odds about Tenby tumble still further

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The Independent Online
A CELEBRITY - according to Andy Warhol's description - was removed from Derby calculations yesterday. Bin Ajwaad, whose second to Kingmambo in the Prix d'Essai des Poulains (French 2,000 Guineas) on Sunday propelled him to second favourite for the Classic in one book, is injured and may be out for the rest of the season.

Ben Hanbury's colt, who finished third to Zafonic in the 2,000 Guineas when a 66-1 chance, was as low as 6-1 for Epsom behind Tenby.

'Bin Ajwaad sustained a small fracture of his sesamoid bone on his left hind leg,' the Newmarket trainer said yesterday. 'He comes back at 10 o'clock tonight, and it'll be four or five days at least before we know the extent of the problem. But the Derby is out, and so probably is the rest of the season.'

The season for Hanbury himself may now be less propitious. His yard has regularly pumped out 40 winners a season in recent years, and along the way Group winners such as Kala Dancer (1984 Dewhurst Stakes), Midway Lady (1986 1,000 Guineas and Oaks) and Batshoof (1990 Rogers Gold Cup and Prince Of Wales's Stakes) have been around to keep the profile high.

Bin Ajwaad's injury was doubly disappointing because, as well as removing him from the racecourse this year, it may have cost him the length and a half he was beaten by on Sunday.

'It happened some time in the last furlong,' Hanbury said. 'I'm not saying he would have beaten the winner, but it obviously must have affected what happened. It's awful.'

The value about Tenby is now awful as well. Henry Cecil's colt, along with Barathea, was cut by all three of the major firms yesterday and is a best-priced 7-4 for the Derby. Barathea, who runs in Saturday's Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh, is as low as 6-1 joint second favourite in one book.

Tenby may now face two of his possible Epsom rivals in the Dante Stakes at York on Wednesday, following rain on the Knavesmire which changed the going to good to soft. Planetary Aspect, half a length behind Tenby at Newmarket last month, is expected to reoppose and the easing ground may also persuade John Gosden to bring forward the seasonal debut of his unbeaten Taos, who has the alternative of Sunday's Prix Lupin at Longchamp.

While the future for Bin Ajwaad and Taos is as yet unclear, the career of yet another grandson of the globe's most influential sire of recent times, Northern Dancer, was mapped out yesterday.

Blazing Walker, one of jump racing's most exciting performers until suffering a leg injury, will stay in training after being bought outright by former joint- owner Peter Piller at a dispersal sale at the Bishop Auckland stables of the late Arthur Stephenson yesterday.

Blazing Walker, who was bought for 40,000 guineas by bloodstock agent Alain Storme, acting on behalf of Piller, is expected to remain in Co Durham to be prepared by Stephenson's nephew, Peter Cheesbrough.

'Mr Piller wants to keep Blazing Walker with Peter Cheesbrough if at all possible and hopefully the horse will stay in training at Crawleas,' Storme said. 'Mr Piller is confident that the team which nursed the horse will in due course be rewarded for their patience.'

Blazing Walker's price was bettered by two others at the sale of 129 horses. One Man, successful three times this season, was bought for 68,000 gns by Gordon Richards, while the highest figure was commanded by former Irish point-to-point winner Spanish Fair, purchased by another trainer, Sue Bramall, for 72,000 gns.

THE DERBY (Epsom, 2 June): Coral: 13-8 Tenby, 6-1 Commander In Chief, 7-1 Armiger, 8-1 Barathea, 12-1 Taos, 20-1 Planetary Aspect; Ladbrokes: 6-4 Tenby (from 2-1), 6-1 Commander In Chief, 7-1 (from 8-1) Barathea, 8-1 (from 10-1) Armiger, 10-1 Taos, 16-1 others.