Derby 2015: Zawraq expected to shake off injury scare ahead of Epsom Classic

Initial X-rays and scans suggest the injury is not serious and his leg has been iced

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The Independent Online

Zawraq is reported to have made “substantial improvement” in his race against time to be fit for the Derby at Epsom on Saturday.

Dermot Weld’s unbeaten colt is among the leading  fancies for the premier Classic, but after completing a satisfactory piece of work on Tuesday morning, he was found to have been slightly lame upon his return to the yard.

Initial X-rays and scans suggested the injury was not serious and his leg has been iced. Zawrag engaged in light exercise, although any decision on his Derby participation is unlikely to made until Thursday.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, said: “I have just spoken to Mr Weld and, in his words, the horse is 80 per cent better than he was this time yesterday.”

William Buick remains hopeful Jack Hobbs can at least close the gap on Golden Horn in the Derby, having been put in his place by his  stable companion in the Dante at York last month.

Buick was aboard Golden Horn at the Knavesmire, with Frankie Dettori riding Jack Hobbs, but the two leading jockeys switch places on Saturday with Jack Hobbs having been snapped up by Buick’s retaining owners Godolphin.

“I was very happy with Jack Hobbs at Epsom the other day at Breakfast With The Stars,” Buick said. “He’s a lovely horse, a lovely individual and I thought he handled the track pretty well.

“I’m very aware that Golden Horn is the main danger, but if I was riding Golden Horn, I would also say Jack Hobbs was the main danger.

“You’ve got to remember it’s come very thick and fast for him [Jack Hobbs]. He won his maiden in the winter at Wolverhampton, went to Sandown and then to the Dante, so it’s all happened very quick. He could just be a horse [with whom] the penny is just dropping.”