Racing: Tenby fortifies Cecil's Epsom offensive

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The Independent Online
A VITAL week of trials started well for Henry Cecil here yesterday as Tenby, one of three potential Derby horses at Warren Place, maintained his unbeaten record. Commander In Chief in today's Culford Stakes at Headquarters and Armiger in the Chester Vase on Tuesday will be the next subjects of the trainer's attention, writes Richard Edmondson.

Tenby's victory in the Newmarket Stakes from the race-fit Planetary Aspect was short on flamboyance but loaded with courage as he knuckled down in the final furlong before establishing a half-length margin of victory over Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt.

Trainer and jockey, Pat Eddery, were satisfied with a display which further promoted the view that the Classic journey of 12 furlongs will see Tenby in his element.

'I didn't want to go on too early as we were conceding weight,' Eddery reported. 'We really sprinted from the four and I know that when this horse goes a mile and a half he is going to come on quite a bit.'

Tenby's relaxed movements behind the pacemaking Desert Team persuaded the Irishman that the colt will be suited by the demands of the Derby. 'You can put him anywhere in a race and that means that Epsom will really suit him,' he said.

Cecil was content and relieved to have nudged another Classic career further along the road. 'He's blowing more than normal because he has had to use his lungs like a sprinter,' he said. 'And he's not a sprinter, he's a mile-and-a-half horse.

'He's still quite fat even though he was ready for a race, but I haven't been training him for the Newmarket Stakes, have I?'

Tenby is now generally a 4-1 chance for the race Cecil is training him for, at Epsom on 2 June, and he will next attempt to further his claims in the Dante Stakes at York on 12 May.

Lyric Fantasy, last year's leading juvenile filly who failed to stay in Thursday's 1,000 Guineas, will be aimed at the season's top sprints. 'Her next race will be the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and then it'll be the July Cup,' her trainer, Richard Hannon, said yesterday.