The embarrassment of the Coolmore partners in trying to come up with a credible successor to Pour Moi, Camelot, Ruler Of The World and Australia as their next anointed Derby winner has not gone unnoticed among their newest and most moneyed rivals. The unbeaten pair Karpino, winner of the German 2,000 Guineas on Monday, and Sumbal, who won the traditional French trial of the Prix Greffulhe earlier this month, have emerged as late candidates for supplementary entry for the Classic, run at Epsom on Saturday week. Both are in Qatari ownership.
In addition, Criquette Head-Maarek’s highly strung Epicuris will now run in the Derby, for which he retains an entry, rather than Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club, because he has been denied the assistance of the Head family’s favoured horse whisperer Nicolas Blondeau at the start in France.
Epicuris, a Group One winner at two, refused to enter the stalls for the Greffulhe, leaving Sumbal to run out a six-length winner from two rivals. Since then, the Danehill Dancer colt has impressed in his work for jockey Andrea Atzeni, who has the same ownership’s Elm Park, on whom he won the Racing Post Trophy and finished third in the Dante Stakes, as a yardstick.
Karpino, trained by Andreas Wohler, beat Fanciful Angel, a Listed winner at Lingfield last month, by four and a half lengths at Cologne. The Cape Cross colt, out of a full-sister to the 2001 St Leger winner Milan, would be in his element over the extra four furlongs at Epsom. After satisfactory workouts at the track today the leading hopes Golden Horn, Jack Hobbs, as well as Elm Park, remain on course to meet him there, should he take up the challenge.