Racing: Harbour fails to provide haven for Eddery: The champion could drift down the ranks after being cast off from his retainer with Abdullah

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The Independent Online
BAL HARBOUR dropped out of Derby contention yesterday with a moderate display on the Knavesmire. His jockey, Pat Eddery, is in danger of dropping out of the riding big time following the loss of his lucrative contract with the Saudi owner, Khalid Abdullah.

Eddery confirmed yesterday that perhaps the most successful partnership of the modern riding era would end when his current four-year agreement runs out at the end of the year.

It is the Abdullah camp which has broken the marriage, but Eddery was not about to rubbish his employers: 'The last eight years have been wonderful. But nothing lasts for ever. I'm not going to be retained by the Prince in future but that doesn't mean I won't ride for him at all.'

Nevertheless, the 10-time champion jockey now looks about to slip back into the morass of freelance jockeys for the 1995 season. 'You don't look for new retainers, they come to you, and if nothing comes along I'll just go freelance,' Eddery said.

Eddery's days in the pink and green colours have included glorious moments on board the likes of Dancing Brave, Zafonic and Quest For Fame. There is little chance of Bal Harbour jumping into their league on the evidence of his run in the Glasgow Stakes.

The former joint-favourite for the Derby joined the Gregorian chant of Newmarket talking horses when finishing fourth behind Foyer, Overbury and Darnay, all the property of Sheikh Mohammed.

With his wealth, the man from Dubai does not need much (he donated his prize- money yesterday to Quest Cancer Research), but he does need to satisfy his own mind with victory in the Derby. His words yesterday suggested Overbury would probably be contesting Classics on the Continent, while Foyer, and possibly John Gosden's Linney Head, would be in his red and white colours at Epsom.

Foyer's trainer, Michael Stoute, wonders whether his colt is far enough up the learning chart for the Classic. 'The Derby might be six weeks too soon,' he said. 'But I do like this horse.'

A surprise runner in the Derby may be Mark Johnston's Mister Baileys, who appeared to have forfeited his chance when wilting in the Dante Sakes on Wednesday. 'We've watched the video a couple of times and it hasn't changed my first impression that the horse didn't stay,' Johnston said. 'Immediately you think he must come back to a mile, but we're not ones for doing the predictable.

'At the moment, over the longer trip, we've only seen two horses who are better than him and anything could happen to those. He might just be the one that gets the luck.' Mister Baileys, and Pat Eddery, need it.

THE DERBY (Epsom, 1 June): Coral: 3-1 Erhaab, 5-1 Broadway Flyer, 8-1 Colonel Collins, 10-1 Weigh Anchor, 16-1 Foyer & Overbury, 20-1 Bal Harbour; Ladbrokes: 5- 2 Erhaab, 6-1 Broadway Flyer & Weigh Anchor, 8-1 Colonel Collins, 12-1 Linney Head, 16-1 Bal Harbour, Foyer & Overbury; William Hill: 9-4 Erhaab, 6-1 Broadway Flyer, 7-1 Weigh Anchor, 8-1 Colonel Collins.