Savill takes a stroll but Darley is at the gallop

Peter Savill described yesterday how he went for a late-night stroll on Epsom Downs on Sunday to test the going for Celtic Swing, but it is early-morning activity on the gallops today that provides a far better indicator of the chances of the Prix du Jockey-Club winner attempting to follow up on Saturday.

Savill made his check on the state of the Epsom turf just hours after the Chantilly success. After celebrating at Lady Herries's home near Arundel on Sunday night, the owner and his travelling companions made an impromptu stop at Epsom.

"After the party at Arundel we drove back past Epsom and decided to take a check on the going," he said. "It was between 1am and 1.30am on Monday when we climbed over the fence and got chased by the security dogs.

"They had been putting plenty of water on the course but I can promise you we didn't put any more on ourselves. I don't know whether we were in a fit state to judge, but the going didn't seem any different than the week before.

"As it stands, Celtic Swing is very unlikely to go unless there is a lot of rain."

The colt is in good shape after his exertions in France. "He was back in his box at 8.30 on Sunday night. He looked terrific and he didn't look like he had had a race," Savill said.

Nevertheless, mindful of the fact that Celtic Swing is almost certainly an absentee, his jockey, Kevin Darley, will travel to Paul Cole's Whatcombe base this morning to give a work-out to his probable replacement mount in the race, Riyadian. Richard Quinn is likely to be on Cole's first string, Salmon Ladder, a spectacular home-worker who has yet to demonstrate the same brilliance on the track.

While the ground at Epsom is not soft enough to tempt Celtic Swing's connections, it remains too moist for John Gosden, who wants fast going for Presenting. Prior to defeat on loose ground in the Dante Stakes, Presenting had won his previous four starts on quick ground and Gosden will monitor the condition of the track from today.

"I will be walking the course tomorrow to look at the ground," he said yesterday. "There is a 48-hour declaration stage this year and the report I have heard is for good ground with good to soft patches. There is more rain forecast and we will have to make the decision on Thurday morning whether to leave Presenting in. If he runs, Cash Asmussen will ride.

"He did a piece of work on Saturday and worked nicely. We will give him another gallop tomorrow, but that will be a quiet piece - it may even be on his own."

Gosden will be heartened to hear the prediction of the Epsom trainer Simon Dow who believes the going will be fast by Saturday. Dow said yesterday: "This morning the ground had dried up between the time my first lot went out and when the third and final lot galloped. It is getting quick now."

On a generally quiet day's trading, Pennekamp was shortened to 5-4 favourite (from 11-8) with William Hill, who eased Spectrum from 11-4 to 3-1.

Ladbrokes reported support for Humbel and cut the price of the Dermot Weld-trained, Michael Kinane-ridden colt from 40-1 in to 33-1 at 10.45am and then in to 25-1 at noon.

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