'Lazy' Recital hits winning if off-key note in Derby trial

it was easy to see why connections should have wanted a jockey who could also ride Recital in the Investec Derby; less obvious, however, was how some bookmakers could be persuaded to make the colt second favourite.

In winning the Derrinstown Derby Trial at Leopardstown yesterday, Recital looked a really awkward ride, and Kieren Fallon will be glad of this reconnaissance when they team up again at Epsom. On the face of it, indeed, some might hesitate before turning down Native Khan, third in the 2,000 Guineas eight days previously. But while Native Khan is dismissed at 16-1, Recital is now as short as 9-2 in places, and nowhere better than 7-1. And Fallon, regardless, will acknowledge a debt to Aidan O'Brien and his patrons at Ballydoyle, dating back to his troubled spell as their stable jockey. This was his first winner in their cause since Dylan Thomas in the 2007 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

O'Brien has dominated this trial over the years, and saddled the first three yesterday. Fallon closed down the pacemaker, Regent Street, turning for home and sent his mount into the lead two furlongs out. Once clear, however, the son of Montjeu began to hang into the rail, tilting his head either through resentment or inattention. It was only the similarly ambivalent demeanour of Memphis Tennessee, apparently unfancied at 25-1, that allowed the 1-2 favourite to preserve a lead of a length and a half.

The runner-up, perhaps still green, himself looked more inclined to go sideways than forwards. Still, the three stablemates managed to see off some plausible candidates from other yards, and it may well be that the extra distance and a bigger field will prompt Recital to finish his race in more convincing fashion at Epsom. Of his essential ability, there can be no doubt. He won a Group One race in France last autumn, after all, and carried a 3lb penalty here as a result. But the fact is that his sire's progeny do not always look disposed to run through a brick wall. "Recital is lazy once he hits the front," O'Brien explained. "I thought the pace came back on top of him in that race."

His patrons have another possible Epsom contender in Pour Moi, a stylish winner for André Fabre in Paris the previous evening. Their principal hope in Co Tipperary, meanwhile, could easily prove to be Seville, who meets Carlton House and World Domination in the Totesport Dante Stakes at York on Thursday. O'Brien suggested that Recital had greater speed than the "laid-back" Seville, last seen finishing second in the Racing Post Trophy.

A couple of lengths in third that day was his stablemate, Master Of Hounds, who ran a storming race to be fifth in the 137th Kentucky Derby on Saturday. In front of a record crowd of 164,858 at Churchill Downs, Master Of Hounds was well behind early under Garrett Gomez, but vindicated O'Brien's suspicion that he would adapt to the dirt, staying on to be beaten five and a half lengths behind Animal Kingdom – himself a horse with turf antecedents. It is likely that Master Of Hounds will be kept back for the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, where his stamina seems sure to make him competitive.

"It was a great run for his first time on dirt," Gomez said. "Down the backstretch they threw the brakes on, and it cost us. We were at the mercy of the pace, but he ran sensationally through the dirt. I'm really looking forward to the Belmont."

The winner is trained by Graham Motion, who was born in Cambridge but whose family emigrated 30 years ago, when he was 16. Previously a winner of two Breeders' Cup races, Motion is based in Maryland and had been devastated last week when a setback ruled out Toby's Corner, reckoned to be his best hope.

Animal Kingdom's jockey, John Velazquez, had originally been booked to ride Uncle Mo, the champion juvenile, who was scratched on the eve of the race. He then switched to replace Robby Alborado, who had broken his nose on Wednesday and did not ride for the next two afternoons.

In the event, however, Alborado proved fit to take his other mounts on Saturday and was devastated to miss out. Velazquez expressed due sympathy. "It had been such a disappointment to lose Uncle Mo," he said. "Then all of a sudden I get on this horse. But you definitely feel bad for Robby. This business is a rollercoaster – and I've been on the other end as well."

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Little Black Book (6.10 Windsor)

Has been given a feasible mark for his maiden success at Southwell and could do better again over this longer distance.



Next best

Emilio Lago (3.10 Brighton)

Has joined a powerful stable since showing promise in a sprint maiden at two and may improve for this longer trip.



One to watch

Dissent (Gerard Butler) raced freely on his debut at Ascot on Saturday, but can build considerably on the bare form.



Where the money's going

Wonder Of Wonders is now 13-2 from 8-1 for the Oaks with Totesport.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen and Bathroom Installers

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The infrastructure, support services and const...

Recruitment Genius: Personal Tax Senior

£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer and Markets Development Executive

£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border