All the news on Investec Ladies’ Day

STUNNING ONE-TWO FOR BECKETT IN INVESTEC OAKS

Hampshire trainer Ralph Beckett saddled 20/1 winner Talent plus the 3/1 runner-up Secret Gesture in today’s Investec Oaks.

The pair were separated by three and three-quarter lengths, with another three-quarters of a lengtack to third-placed The Lark. The 5/2 favourite Moth finished fourth. Talent became a second British Classic winner for champion jockey Richard Hughes just a few weeks after his initial win at the highest level on Sky Lantern in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

Beckett, who trains Talent for her breeders, James Rowsell’s Ashbrittle Stud in Somerset, and also for joint-owner Mark Dixon, said: “I looked at her when they were at the top of the hill and thought, ‘she can’t win from there’. I stopped watching her, and was just willing Jim [Crowley, who rode Secret Gesture] to get out from his position on the rail because he was going to have horses coming back on top of him.

“One thing I would say is I genuinely feel sorry for Jim. He had the choice of rides, but how could he have picked the winner? He couldn’t pick her on homework. Richard came and sat on her on Friday when she worked on the grass and I knew from his face when he pulled up that he was thinking, ‘Oh, no – this isn’t going to happen’.

“But Richard got the breaks today and that might have made the difference. Jim had to spend a lot of time trying to manoeuvre his filly out rather than getting her into a rhythm – he was forced to do that from his draw in box one.

“I couldn’t say what this means. To do it for the second time in five years [he trained 2008 winner Look Here] is very special.”

James Rowsell said: “I noticed she was pulling for her head early and it seemed quite a rough race, but then Hughesie got her balanced and she just went. For a moment I thought we might get third and then suddenly she was winning. It’s quite amazing, unreal.

Brendan Boyle, who is Rowsell’s manager at Ashbrittle Stud, said of Talent: “She was foaled and broken and has been holidayed at Ashbrittle Stud, so she is 100% Somerset bred. We plan to sell her yearling full sister at Tattersalls’ in October and we have a half-sister by Invincible Spirit in training with John Gosden called Much Promise, so we hope she lives up to her name.

“I’ve worked for the stud for nine years, joining when it was very small and just after it was founded by James Rowsell. [Bloodstock agent] Anthony Stroud recommended we purchase the dam of Talent, Prowess, privately from Barry Hills. This has really put us on the map. We have 26 mares on the place including boarders, amongthem the dam of Harbinger [winner of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes].”

HUGHES HAS GOT TALENT

A month ago champion jockey Richard Hughes had never won a British Classic but he has two to his name after winning the Investec Oaks aboard Talent, following on from Sky Lantern’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas triumph.

“She’s very talented! It’s absolutely great and I’ve had plenty of practice at not winning these races,” said Hughes. “But it was a bit of a surprise after I rode her at Ralph’s last week. To be honest I’d never been so disappointed after getting off a horse. Admittedly she’d only worked over five and a half furlongs, which isn’t her trip but they usually give you some sort of feeling and I got no feel at all.

“Today she had ear plugs in, which I pulled out at the start and she went down there nice and cool. Ralph didn’t tie me down to instructions and said to do what I wanted.

“I decided to drop her out because she is a bit small to get in a barging match and it was the right thing to do because they were going very quick to the top of the hill.

“I was stuck in by a big filly that (Tom) Queally was on and he let me out which was good of him, because he could have really nailed me. It shows there are some good guys in racing.

“She was very relaxed going to the top of the hill and then came on the bridle again on the descent. I knew I’d win five out. Joseph (O’Brien on Moth) came out at the three pole and I said to him to go first and I’d follow!”

Trainer Ralph Beckett, who also won the 2008 Investec Oaks with Look Here, said: “I’d never thought I’d win one Oaks but to win two is extraordinary, let alone have the first and second. It means everything, I’m not Aidan O’Brien and I’d probably only have two runners in Classics in a year.

“I feel for Jim (Crowley) and I think the last horse to win from stall one, where his mount Secret Gesture was drawn, was Bireme (Talent’s great granddam). How ironic is that?

“This filly showed a lot of speed at two but Secret Gesture’s homework has always been in a different league. I was delighted with her performance and Jim rode the race we planned, he was just not able to get off the fence. I think the two fillies will have to meet again in the Irish Oaks.”

Talent is the fourth successive generation of her family to run in the Investec Oaks. Her dam Prowess was ninth in 2009, her granddam Yawl was 12th in 1993 and her great granddam Bireme won the 1980 race in the colours of the late Dick Hollingsworth, whose nephew Mark Dixon jointly-bred and owns Talent.

“I was here 33 years ago for Bireme and I did have a feeling today and Ralph didn’t put me off,” said Dixon. “Bireme didn’t do much as a mare and Yawl has been pretty useless, she usually aborts her foals. Prowess is really the only one of any use I’ve had.

“I know nothing about horses and I’m only in it to try and keep the family going. I’m not big into it and we’re down to about half a dozen mares now. I have them with James (Rowsell at Ashbrittle Stud) and with Luke Lillingston at Mount Coote Stud in Ireland.

INVESTEC OAKS 2013 – INITIAL WINNING QUOTES

Richard Hughes, who rode his first British Classic winner on Sky Lantern in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas earlier this month, celebrated his second Classic victory on Talent in the Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs today.

The jockey said: “It’s like buses isn’t it! I rode her in work during the week and, to be honest, I wasn’t impressed – I said that she was skinnier than me!

“I felt that they were going very quick up the hill. Tom Queally was very good to me coming down the hill – I edged him out – and I said to him turning for home “can you believe how well I am going?”

“I thought that I would win five furlongs out, she was going that well.

“I would say that she would be even better on better ground.”

Ralph Beckett, who sent the 20/1 winner Talent and the second, 3/1 chance Secret Gesture, commented: “Richard came and rode her work on Friday and I knew by the look on his face that he didn’t fancy her much. As I said to him at the time, she is tough.

“I wasn’t watching her until she suddenly loomed up on the outside. He just put her in the race and she got keen and started tanking then.

“I would have to watch it again but what a day. Having the first two doesn’t happen, does it?

SECRET’S OUT FOR REVENGE

Connections of Secret Gesture were confident that their filly would have her day in the sun following a fine effort when chasing home stablemate Talent in the Investec Oaks.

The 3/1 second-favourite looked to have been given the perfect ride by Jim Crowley as the field flew round Tattenham Corner but Sheikh Fahad al Thani, who heads Qatar Racing Ltd, conceded that the horse may not have had the best passage throughout the race.

“She has run a very good race but maybe the rail wasn’t the place to be,” said Sheikh Fahad.

“The jockey had to hold on to her for a bit longer than we would have wanted and by the time he got out, the race was over.

“She has proven to us though that she is a very good filly and is Group One class. I’m confident she will win a good race and have her day in the sun.”

Trainer Ralph Beckett, who also trained the winner Talent, was also of the opinion that Secret Gesture would win a Group One at some point in the future.

“Secret Gesture was never going to have much help from stall one and Jim (Crowley) had to get her out smartly – he didn’t have much choice on that front,” said Beckett.

“As it was, she got shuffled back a bit and maybe that’s done it for her. I’m not saying the result would have been different but she’s a very good filly. I’d be surprised if she didn’t win a Group One at some point.”

Michael Bell was delighted with The Lark, who stayed on stoutly to snatch third from the 5/2 favourite Moth on the line. The Newmarket-based handler trained Sariska to win the Investec and Irish Oaks in 2009 and her close relation could aim to follow in her footsteps at The Curragh later this year.

“She’s has been lightly-raced and is improving all the time,” said Bell.

“We came into this race knowing she’d improve for the step up in trip and there’s probably a bit more to come.

“She’s not in the Irish Oaks but she could be supplemented although that decision will be left up to the owners.”

JOCKEYS’ THOUGHTS AFTER THE INVESTEC OAKS

Jim Crowley, rider of the second Secret Gesture, said: “I had to ride her like that because of the draw. I managed to get a nice position and got a breather into her before we turned. When the gap came I had to take it – if I had been drawn higher I would have ridden her more patiently. She has come there to win her race but we always knew the other horse (winner, Talent) would improve.”

Jamie Spencer, on board third-placed The Lark, said: “She ran well.

Joseph O’Brien, partner of the 5/2 favourite Moth who was placed fourth, said: “She ran very well.”

Ryan Moore, partner of fifth Liber Nauticus, said: “I will have to think about what happened.”

Ian Mongan, rider of sixth Miss You Too, said: “She was lovely.”

Kieren Fallon, on board seventh Banoffee, said: “The ground – soft ground didn’t suit her. She won on fast ground at Chester and showed a great turn of foot but today she never went a yard on that. You don’t usually see them going from firm to soft and getting away with it.”

William Buick, rider of eighth Gertrude Versed, said: “The ground might have been a bit slow for her.”

Johnny Murtagh, on board ninth Roz, said: “She ran ok – she was probably a little out of her depth. She would like better ground – a mile-and-a-quarter and probably fast ground.”

Tom Queally, jockey of eleventh Madame Defarge, said: “I didn’t play any part in the race really – I was never really going.”

4:00pm Investec Oaks (Group 1)

£426,500 total prize fund. For 3yo fillies, 1m 4f. Weights 9st. Penalty value 1st £241,726.37 2nd £91,643.74 3rd £45,864.50 4th £22,847.00 5th £11,466.13 6th £5,754.38

1) TALENT (James Rowsll & Mark Dixon) Ralph Beckett 3-9-00 Richard Hughes [3] 20/1

2) SECRET GESTURE (Qatar Racing Ltd & Newsells Park Stud) Ralph Beckett 3-9-00 Jim Crowley [1] 3/1

3) THE LARK (Lady Bamford) Michael Bell 3-9-00 Jamie Spencer [6] 16/1

4) MOTH (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Joseph O’Brien [2] 5/2 Fav

5) LIBER NAUTICUS (IRE) (Ballymacoll Stud) Sir Michael Stoute 3-9-00 Ryan Moore [7]

6) MISS YOU TOO (Andrew Whitlock) David Simcock h3-9-00 Ian Mongan [8]

7) BANOFFEE (IRE) (Michael Kerr-Dineen, Lord Hambleden & Partners) Hughie Morrison 3-9-00 Kieren Fallon [5]

8) GERTRUDE VERSED (Rachel Hood) John Gosden 3-9-00 William Buick [10]

9) ROZ (Mary-Anne Parker) Harry Dunlop 3-9-00 Johnny Murtagh [9]

10) SAY (IRE) (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Seamie Heffernan [4]

11) MADAME DEFARGE (IRE) (Bill Gredley) Michael Bell 3-9-00 Tom Queally [11]

12 ran

Time: 2m 42.00s Distances: 3¾, ¾, hd, 3½, 3¾, 2¼, 1½, ¾, 1¼, 9

Breeder: Ashbrittle Stud & Mark Dixon Breeding: New Approach (IRE) – Prowess (IRE) (Peintre Celebre (USA))

Tote Win £25.00 Place £4.70 £1.10 £4.90 Exacta £71.90

Winning traner:-Name: Ralph Beckett Born: June 24, 1971 Based: Kimpton Down Stables, Andover, Hampshire Background: Cousin of Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe. Has previously worked for Peter Walwyn, Martin Pipe, Arthur Moore, Jimmy FitzGerald, David Loder, Colin Hayes in Australia and Tom Skiffington in the USA British Classic Wins (2):Investec Oaks (2008 Look Here, 2013 Talent) Big Race Wins: Fred Darling Stakes (2005 Penkenna Princess, 2010 Puff), Oh So Sharp Stakes (2004 Penkenna Princess, 2012 Waterway Run), Lingfield Oaks Trial (2007 Kayah, 2013 Secret Gesture), Breeders’ Cup Marathon (2008 Muhannak), Tattersalls Timeform Million (2009 Oasis Dancer) Dubai Duty Free Stakes (2012 Moonstone Magic), German 1000 Guineas (2012 Elecrolane) Date of First Trainer’s Licence:November, 1999 Wins in a Year (1999-2012): 0; 8; 16; 13; 17; 17; 32; 31; 41; 42; 58; 69; 56; 64Wins This Year: 27

Winning jockey:-Name: Hughes, Richard David. Date of birth: 11/1/73 Background: Son of trainer Dessie, Richard began riding ponies aged five, and won his first pony race three years later. Apprenticed to his father, he rode six winners in his first season, when just 15. He continued to ride over the jumps during the winter, and won the 1997 Irish Champion Hurdle. In 2001 he became retained jockey for Prince Khalid Abdulla, until he left the post in November 2007, allowing him to take up jump racing and skiing once again. First winner: Viking Melody (Roscommon maiden, August 2, 1988) British Classics Wins (2): QIPCO 1000 Guineas (2013 Sky Lantern), Investec Oaks (2013 Talent) French Classic Wins (3): Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (2002 Zenda), Prix de Diane (2003 Nebraska Tornado), Poule d’Essai des Poulains (2004 American Post) Irish Classic Wins (1): Irish 2,000 Guineas (2010 Canford Cliffs) Other Big Race Wins Include: Cheveley Park Stakes (2006 Indian Ink), Falmouth Stakes (2010 Music Show), Haydock Sprint Cup (2004 Tante Rose), Darley July Cup (2003 Oasis Dream), Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (2003 Oasis Dream), Sussex Stakes (2010 Canford Cliffs), Criterium de Saint-Cloud (2006 Passage Of Time), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2008 Youmzain), Prix du Cadran (1998 Invermark), Prix d’Ispahan (2001 Observatory), Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (2003 American Post), Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (2003 Nebraska Tornado), Derby Italiano (1996 Bahamian Knight), Gran Premio d’Italia (1995 Posidonas), Premio Vittorio di Capua (1996 Mistle Cat), Lockinge Stakes (2010 Paco Boy, 2011 Canford Cliffs), Champagne Stakes (2011 Trumpet Major, 2012 Toronado), Nassau Stakes (2012 The Fugue) Royal Ascot Wins (26): St James’s Palace Stakes (2010 Canford Cliffs), Jersey Stakes (1995 Sergeyev, 1996 Lucayan Prince, 2011 Strong Suit), King’s Stand Stakes (1995, Piccolo), Wokingham Stakes (2000 Harmonic Way), Duke Of Edinburgh H’cap (2002, Thundering Surf), Norfolk Stakes (2002, Baron’s Pit), Wolferton Rated H’Cap (2002 Ulundi), Buckingham Palace Stakes (2002, Demonstrate), Coventry Stakes (2003 Three Valleys, 2009 Canford Cliffs, 2010 Strong Suit), Balmoral Handicap (2003 Deportivo), Ribblesdale Stakes (2003 Spanish Sun), Albany Stakes (2004 Jewel In The Sand, 2010 Memory), Queen Mary Stakes (2006 Gilded, 2011 Best Terms), Coronation Stakes (2007 Indian Ink), Royal Hunt Cup (2008 Mr Aviator), Chesham Stakes (2008 Free Agent, 2009 Big Audio), Queen Anne Stakes (2009 Paco Boy, 2011 Canford Cliffs), Ascot Stakes (2009 Judgethemoment) Wins in Britain (1994-2012): 19; 68; 62; 33; 55; 95; 102 91; 126; 121; 73; 124; 113; 139; 127; 144; 192; 130; 177* *champion jockey Wins in 2012: 66

TALENT (GB) FACTFILE – THE WINNER

Breeding: ch f New Approach (IRE) – Prowess (IRE) (Peintre Celebre (USA)

Breeder: Ashbrittle Stud & Mark Dixon

Born: February 25, 2010

Owner: James Rowsell & Mark Dixon

Trainer: Ralph Beckett

Jockey: Richard Hughes

Form: 31-11

*Won the 2013 Investec Oaks under Richard Hughes by three and three quarter lengths.

* Emulated her dam, granddam and great granddam by running in Investec Oaks.

*Made a winning return in the Listed Tweenhills Pretty Polly Stakes over 10 furlongs at Newmarket on May 5, staying on strongly to score by a half length.

*Third on debut at Newbury in August, 2012, before annexing a seven-furlong conditions race at Kempton on Polytrack the following month.

*From the first crop of 2008 Investec Derby winner New Approach. Dam, Prowess, scored over a mile and a half for Barry Hills and is from the family of Bireme, who won the Investec Oaks in 1980.

Starts: 4; Wins: 3; 2nd: -; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £270,686

James Rowsell and Mark Dixon

James Rowsell. Born: March, 1957. Background: Qualified barrister who became chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald Europe last year. Was previously CEO at Man Financial Global Securities. Racing interest: Longstanding racing fan who initially owned jumpers and bred Little Feat, a three-time bumper winner in 2000, out of Run On Stirling, who he raced. Bought a farm in Somerset in 2003, which he converted into Ashbrittle Stud. The stud has around 20 mares. Mark Dixon inherited Arches Hall Stud in Hertfordshire following the death of his uncle Dick Hollingsworth in 2001. Dixon has subsequently sold the stud put continues to use the crimson and gold braid silks that were used by Hollingsworth, an Old Etonian stockbroker who inherited them from his own father Sydney. Hollingsworth had great success breeding stayers including 1980 Oaks heroine Bireme, Gold Cup winner Longboat and 1974 Coronation Cup victor Buoy. Dixon boards mares at Ashbrittle Stud and sold a part-share in Talent’s dam Prowess to James Rowsell. Talent will be continuing a remarkable family record when lining up the Investec Oaks. Prowess finished ninth in the race in 2009, her dam Yawl came 12th in 1993 and she is a daughter of Bireme. Dixon’s sister Judy Maitland-Jones owned and bred the outstanding chaser The Tsarevich. Investec Oaks win – TALENT

Ralph Beckett (Kimpton Down, Hampshire)

He became the first trainer to send out the first two in the Investec Oaks since Sir Noel Murless sent out Altesse Royale beat Maina in 1971.

Born: June 24, 1971. Background: spent part of his childhood at Serlby near Doncaster and is a cousin of Prince Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Lord Grimthorpe. Formerly assistant to Peter Walwyn, he began training at his old boss’s Windsor House Stables, Lambourn, in November, 1999, and then moved to Whitsbury Manor Stables, Hampshire, in January, 2006. Moved to his current base, Kimpton Down Stables, prior to the 2011 season. Previously worked for Bart Cummings plus Martin Pipe, Arthur Moore, Jimmy FitzGerald, David Loder, Australian trainer Colin Hayes and Tommy Skiffington in the US. British Classic Wins (2): Investec Oaks (2008 Look Here; 2013 Talent). Other major wins include: Breeders’ Cup Marathon (2008 Muhannak). Investec Oaks Record: 2007-9 Kayah; 2008-1 LOOK HERE; 2010-13 Ceilidh House; 2012-9 Colima; 2013-1 TALENT, 2013-2 Secret Gesture.

Richard Hughes

Born: January 11, 1973. Background: Served apprenticeship with father Dessie, a former top-class National Hunt rider who trains in Co Kildare and won the 2004 and 2005 Champion Hurdles at Cheltenham with Hardy Eustace. Had first win on Viking Melody at Fairyhouse on April 6, 1988, a month after his first win. He moved to Britain in 1994. He was Prince Khalid Abdullah’s retained jockey from 2001 to the end of 2007. He rides regularly for Richard Hannon, to whose daughter Lizzie he is married. The 5ft 9in Hughes has, like his father, also ridden winners over jumps but concentrates on the Flat. At Windsor on October 15, 2012, he rode seven winners from a possible eight and became only the second jockey after Frankie Dettori to ride seven winners at a single meeting (Dettori had seven wins from seven rides at Ascot in 1996). Writes a weekly column in Racing Post and his autobiography “A Weight Off My Mind” was published in May last year, when he admitted to being a former alcoholic. Banned for 50 days when riding in India in February last year, delaying his return to action in 2012. Accolades: British champion jockey 2012. Has ridden 28 Royal Ascot winners. British Classic Wins (2): QIPCO 1000 Guineas (2013 Sky Lantern) Investec Oaks (2013 Talent). Other major wins include: Irish 2,000 Guineas (2010 Canford Cliffs), Poule d’Essai des Poulains (2004 American Post), Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (2002 Zenda), Prix de Diane (2003 Nebraska Tornado), Derby Italiano (1996 Bahamian Knight), July Cup (2003 Oasis Dream), Coronation Stakes (2007 Indian Ink), Queen Anne Stakes (2009 Paco Boy, 2011 Canford Cliffs), St James’s Palace Stakes (2010 Canford Cliffs), Sussex Stakes (2010 Canford Cliffs), Haydock Sprint Cup (2004 Tante Rose), King’s Stand Stakes (1995 Piccolo), Lockinge Stakes (2010 Paco Boy, 2011 Canford Cliffs), Prix Jean Part (2010 Dick Turpin), Cheveley Park Stakes (2006 Indian Ink), Falmouth Stakes (2010 Music Show), Nassau Stakes (2012 The Fugue), Nunthorpe Stakes (2003 Oasis Dream), Moyglare Stud Stakes (2012 Sky Lantern), Matron Stakes (1998 Tadwiga), Prix du Moulin (2003 Nebraska Tornado), Critérium de Saint-Cloud (2006 Passage of Time), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2008 Youmzain), Prix du Cadran (1998 Invermark), Prix d’Ispahan (2001 Observatory), Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (2003 American Post, 2012 Olympic Glory), Gran Premio d’Italia (1995 Posidonas), Premio Vittorio di Capua (1996 Mistle Cat). Investec Oaks Record: 2000 Bluebell Wood (12th); 2001 Mot Juste (4th); 2002 Maryinsky (12th); 2003 High Praise (12th); 2007 Passage Of Time (8th); 2008 Moonstone (2nd); 2009 Maryinsky (5th); 2012 Devotion (10th); 2013-TALENT (WON).

CROWD

There was a paid attendance of 18,237 today at Epsom, up from 17,836 on the same day last year.

Rupert Trevelyan, Regional Director, London, for Jockey Club Racecourses commented: “It’s been a lovely day and I thought there was a great story to the Investec Oaks in particular.

“There has been a nice, friendly, young crowd here today, which is good for racing. We look forward to what promises to be an exciting Investec Derby day tomorrow.”

MONGAN BANNED FOR FOUR DAY

Jockey Ian Mongan was suspended for a total of four days following the Investec Oaks.

The stewards enquired into the late arrival at the start of Mongan’s mountMiss You Too, leading to the race being late off.

The stewards interviewed the starter, manager of the scales, starters and judge. Having heard their evidence, Mongan was found guilty of improper conduct towards an official and suspended him for three days (June 14-16).

Mongan received an additional day’s ban (June 17) for arriving late at the start.

THIRD INTERFERED WITH SIXTH IN INVESTEC OAKS

The stewards of Epsom Downs Racecourse found that The Lark, ridden by Jamie Spencer, had interfered with the sixth Miss You Too approaching the final furlong in the Investec Oaks but, after viewing a recording of the incident, they decided it did not involve a riding offence or improve The Lark’s placing.

CORAL HAPPY AFTER TALENT COMES TO THE FORE

David Stevens, PR Manager for Coral, the official betting partner at the Investec Derby Festival, commented after Investec Ladies’ Day: “The result of the Investec Oaks couldn’t have been better. Obviously Secret Gesture has been very well backed since she won at Lingfield and although she was replaced by Moth as favourite before the off, who was also very well backed, we were saved when the 20/1 outsider, Talent, pipped her stable-mate. A teriffic result for Ralph Beckett and a terrific result for the bookmakers.

“Other results today have been pretty good. Punters started well with Thistle Bird but we have no complaints about the rest and we will come back tomorrow and I am sure we will be keen to lay Dawn Approach. He will be even money or bigger in the morning – there are doubts about him staying although he is a magnificent horse with an unbeaten record – I think bookmakers will want to lay him.

“We have three or four running for us who will get the trip and we will want to take on the favourite in the Investec Derby.

“The Investec Derby is the second or third biggest betting race in the UK after the Grand National, vying for second with the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with a turnover of some £10 million.”

Investec Derby Betting

Dawn Approach 10/11, Battle Of Marengo 5/1, Ocovango 8/1, Ruler Of The World 8/1, Chopin 10/1, Mars 14/1, Libertarian 16/1, Festive Cheer 20/1, Galileo Rock 25/1, Flying The Flag 50/1, Mirsaale 100/1, Ocean Applause 500/1.

GOING CHANGE AHEAD OF INVESTEC DERBY DAY

The going at Epsom ahead of Investec Derby day is Good to Soft, Good in places after Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course, issued an update on the ground this evening.

The ground had been Good to Soft this morning but a dry day on the Downs, coupled with some warm sunshine, has seen a change in the going.

“The going is now Good to Soft, Good in places following a dry day and the sunshine has seen the ground dry out a bit but not alarmingly,” said Cooper.

“To put this into context, the GoingStick gave a reading of 6.7 this morning but it’s now showing 7.1 so it’s drying out slowly and should just be on the easy side of Good tomorrow morning.”

The inside rail will be moved back in for tomorrow’s Investec Derby day to provide a fresh strip of ground and Cooper believes the going will be perfect for the Classic.

“It’s been dry today and we’re due another dry day tomorrow, although it may not be as warm as today so the ground should be near perfect come the off-time for the Investec Derby.”

FAHEY LEAVES IT LATE TO GET ONE ON THE BOARD

Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey had endured a couple of near misses on Investec Ladies’ Day, but he came good in the finale when Heaven’s Guest, ridden by Freddie Tylicki, scored a narrow victory.

The son of sprinter Dark Angel was stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time in this handicap – which was restricted to three-year-olds – and the victory should mean Heaven’s Guest can now tackle a similar race at York. He won by a neck from Intrigo, with You Da One back in third

Fahey said: “It’s nice to get a winner and it’s been a bit of a frustrating day. We might have gone home with more, but that’s racing, especially round here.

“He stayed the trip, but the big race at York [the £100,000 Charity Sprint Trophy on June 15] is now the target. He needed to win this to have any chance of getting in, and hopefully he will now. We picked this race out as an opportunity with York in mind.

“His best form seems to be on ground with a bit of juice in it, but that’s the only surface he’s had a chance to run on, and I would run him on fast ground.”

5:20pm Investec Asset Management Handicap

£25,000 total prize fund. For 3yo, rated 81-100 (also open to such horses rated 80 and below), 7f. Weights: highest weight 9st 7lb: minimum weight 8-2. Penalties after May 18th, each race won 6lb. Penalty value 1st £15,562.50 2nd £4,660.00 3rd £2,330.00 4th £1,165.00 5th £582.50 6th £292.50

1) HEAVEN’S GUEST (IRE) (J K Shannon & M A Scaife) Richard Fahey 3-8-07 Freddie Tylicki [6] 9/2

2) INTRIGO (Gillian, Lady Howard de Walden) Richard Hannon 3-8-03 Kieran O’Neill [8] 10/1

3) YOU DA ONE (E (Mr & Mrs Rex Gorell) Andrew Balding h3-8-08 Hayley Turner [14] 9/2

4) FIRMDECISIONS (IRE) (White Bear Racing) Brett Johnson p3-8-02 Jimmy Quinn [15]

5) LOVE MAGIC (Lady Rothschild) Sir Michael Stoute 3-8-05 David Probert [13]

6) KEENE’S POINTE (Mrs Paul Abberley) John Hills 3-8-02 Martin Lane [4]

7) KIMBERELLA (The Attwater Partnership) Michael Attwater 3-8-04 Nicky Mackay [2]

8) FLASHLIGHT (IRE) (Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum) Mark Johnston 3-8-06 Joe Fanning [5]

9) LANCELOT DU LAC (ITY) (Michael Yarrow) Dean Ivory 3-8-09 Ryan Moore [9] 7/2 Fav

10) GIGAWATT (The “In Recovery” Partnership) Jim Boyle 3-7-11 Nathan Alison (5) [1]

11) HIPSTER (R Roberts) Ralph Beckett v3-8-06 Andrea Atzeni [12]

12) DISCERNABLE (Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum) Mark Johnston 3-9-01 Silvestre De Sousa [3]

13) ASHAMALY (Saif Ali) James Tate 3-8-10 Neil Callan [10]

13 ran Non-runner: Ayaar (IRE) (Going), Banovallum (Going)

Distances: nk, 2¼, 5, sh, 1¼, nk, hd, 2¼, 1¾, 3¾, 15, 1½

Breeder: Yeomanstown Stud Breeding: Dark Angel (IRE) — Bakewell Tart (IRE) (Tagula (IRE))

Tote Win £4.80 Place £2.10 £3.20 £2.20 Exacta £58.40

Winning trainer:- Name: Fahey, Richard Date of birth: 2/2/66 Based: Manor House Farm, Butterwick, Brawby, Malton Background: Born in Nigeria and raised in County Meath, Ireland, Richard was formerly a jockey who rode 108 winners under both codes and was joint champion conditional rider for the 1988/89 season. He quit the saddle in 1992 to concentrate on his livery yard near Malton before for a dual-purpose licence in 1993. First Group One Win: Wootton Bassett, Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium), Longchamp, October 3, 2010 Other Big Race Wins Include: Darley July Cup (2012 Mayson), Weatherbys Insurance £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes (2010 Wootton Bassett) totesport Ayr Gold Cup (2006 Fonthill Road); Cork & Orrery Stakes (2000 Superior Premium), Galtres Stakes (2006 Anna Pavlova), Harvest Stakes (2006 Anna Pavlova), John Smith’s Cup (2002 Vintage Premium, 2007 Charlie Tokyo, 2008 Flying Clarets), Sky Bet Dash (2006 Wyatt Earp), Vodafone Stewards’ Cup (1998 Superior Premium), William Hill Mile (2003 Lady Bear), totesport Chester Cup (2007 Greenwich Meantime), Chipchase Stakes (2008 Utmost Respect), bet365 Lancashire Oaks (2008 Anna Pavlova), Duke Of York Blue Square Stakes (2009 Utmost Respect), Greenlands Stakes (2009 Utmost Respect), Summer Stakes (2010 Rose Blossom), Victoria Racing Club International Stakes (2010 Castles In The Air), 32Red.com Bunbury Cup (2011 Brae Hill), Palace House Stakes (2012 Mayson), Free Handicap (2013 Garswood) Royal Ascot Wins (3): Golden Jubilee Stakes (2000 Superior Premium), King George V Handicap (2009 Cosmic Sun), Windsor Castle Stakes (2010 Marine Commando) Wins (1993-2012): 1; 2; 7; 11; 25; 20; 26; 37; 26; 46; 50; 77; 79; 87; 85; 113; 165; 181; 151; 142 Wins in 2013: 5

Winning Jockey:-Name: Tylicki, Frederik Background: Son of three-time German champion jockey, Poland-born Andrzej Tylicki, who committed suicide in 2003. Frederik became interested in horses when 13 and began riding out with his father but moved to Ireland with his mother in 2001 after his parents divorced. Had apprenticeships with Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger before he followed close friend Jamie Moriaty across the Irish Sea to join Richard Fahey’s yard in early 2008. Champion apprentice in 2009. First Winner in Ireland: Chantelle, Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap, Navan, April 24, 2004. First Winner in Britain: Kings College Boy, Yorkshire Racing Festival Apprentice Handicap, Beverley, June 24, 2008. Big Race Wins: John Smith’s Cup (2008 Flying Clarets) Wins (2008-2012): 25; 71*; 26; (*champion apprentice) 67; 67 Wins in 2013: 11

KIRBY MISSES OUT AS MOORE WINS ON WELL ACQUAINTED

Jockey Adam Kirby was left ruing M25 traffic jams after they cost him a win on Investec Ladies’ Day at Epsom.

Kirby was expected to ride Well Acquainted for trainer Clive Cox in the Investec Surrey Stakes, a Listed race for three-year-olds, but in his absence the trainer turned to former champion jockey Ryan Moore. He rode the colt to victory by one length from the Richard Hughes-partnered Emell, with Hasopop back in third.

Cox said: “I feel sorry for Adam. The traffic was bad heading towards the Dartford Tunnel, so he came the other way on the M25 and just missed arriving in time. Ryan is a very able deputy and we are happy to give him a winner.

“This is a tough little horse. He did nothing but improve through last year and I’m delighted he has a Listed success. He just keeps on improving.

“He’s not been bad for a £30,000 horse and he’s owned by a fun-loving crowd [known as The Orienteers] who have enjoyed two wins here at Epsom with him. It’s been a while since he’s won but he’s been placed in Group Three races and in the valuable Doncaster sales race which had a big pot so he’s not done badly.

“I’ve no plans, but he’s pretty versatile on ground and we can take him anywhere.”

MUCH NEEDED BREAK FOR POP

Hasopop is set for a short break after finishing third at odds of 11/4 under Dane O’Neill in the Investec Surrey Stakes this afternoon.

The three-year-old was stepping back up to seven furlongs having won at Newmarket over six last time out and trainer Marco Botti was pleased with the way his gelding ran.

“I thought he ran a good race,” said Botti.

“Unfortunately the draw probably didn’t help him they came into the straight but I thought a gap might open up for him on the inside.

“He ran on well though and was maybe a touch unlucky.

“I think we will give him a short break now as he has had a couple of runs quite close together.”

4:45pm Investec Surrey Stakes (Listed)

£40,000 total prize fund. For 3yo, 7f. Weights: colts and geldings 8st 13lb; fillies 8st 8lb. Penalties a winner of a Listed race 4lb; of a Group 3 race 6lb; of a Group 1 or Group 2 race 9lb. Penalty value 1st £22,684.00 2nd £8,600.00 3rd £4,304.00 4th £2,144.00 5th £1,076.00 6th £540.00

1) WELL ACQUAINTED (IRE) (The Orienteers) Clive Cox 3-8-13 Ryan Moore [1] 4/1

2) EMELL (Derek and Jean Clee) Richard Hannon p3-8-13 Richard Hughes [5] 6/1

3) HASOPOP (IRE) (Giuliano Manfredini) Marco Botti 3-8-13 Dane O’Neill [7] 11/4

4) HERE COMES WHEN (IRE) (Fitri Hay) Andrew Balding h3-8-13 David Probert [4] 5/2 Fav

5) BIRDMAN (IRE) (Anthony Hogarth) David Simcock 3-8-13 Martin Lane [2]

6) BOOMSHACKERLACKER (IRE) (PJL Racing) George Baker 3-9-03 Pat Cosgrave [3]

7) GRAPHIC GUEST (John Guest Racing) Mick Channon 3-8-08 Martin Harley [6]

7 ran

Time: 1m 25.33s

Distances: 1, 2½, 3¾, hd, 3½, 1¾

Breeder: Stunning Rose Syndicate Breeding: Orientate (USA) — Stunning Rose (IRE) (Sadler´s Wells (USA))

Tote Win £4.60 Place £2.50 £2.80 Exacta £24.50

Winning trainer:- Name: Cox, Clive Born: May 14, 1964 Trains at: Beechdown Farm, Sheepdrove, Lambourn, Berks Former Occupation: Professional jump and Flat jockey recording 80 winners in ten years. Rode for Peter Cundell on the Flat and Oliver Sherwood over Jumps. Started dual-purpose training from a farm in Wootton Bassett in 1992, having previously run a livery yard in Lambourn for several years. He was forced to quit a year later due to the recession, having saddled three winners, joining Mikey Heaton-Ellis’ yard near Swindon as assistant trainer. He worked for him for seven years before taking out a trainer’s licence again in 1999 upon Heaton-Ellis’ death from motor neurone disease. First Winner On Return To Training: Bet Direct On Racing Channel Text Page 372 Handicap, March 14, 2000, Southwell First Group One Win: Gilt Edge Girl, Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp, October 3, 2010 Other Major Wins Include: Tote International (2003 & 2005 New Seeker), Portland Handicap (2005 Out After Dark), Prix Le Fabuleux (2003 Lago D’Orta), On The House Stakes (2007 Dunelight) Old Newton Cup (2007 Dansili Dancer) Great St Wilfred Stakes (2007 Kostar), Horris Hill Stakes (2007 Beacon Lodge), Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord (2009 Beason Lodge), Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes (2009 Xtension), CGA Hungerford Stakes (2009 Balthazaar’s Gift, 2012 Lethal Force), Ballyogan Stakes (2010 Gilt Edge Girl), Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (2010 Poet), Eddie Stobart Park Stakes (2010 Balthazaar’s Gift), totesport Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes (2011 Perfect Tribute) Prix Robert Papin (2012 Reckless Abandon), Prix Morny (2012 Reckless Abandon) vision.ae Middle Park Stakes (2012 Reckless Abandon) Royal Ascot Wins (3): Britannia Stakes (2003 New Seeker), Royal Hunt Cup (2005 New Seeker), Norfolk Stakes (2012 Reckless Abandon) Wins (2000-2012): 3; 8; 11; 14; 16; 23; 25; 29; 18; 52; 29; 52; 36 Wins in 2013: 14

Winning Jockey: Moore, Ryan Lee Date Of Birth: September 18, 1983 Background: Father Gary is a trainer, and brother Jamie is a successful National Hunt jockey. Ryan initially rode over jumps as well, notching his first success on Mersey Beat in an amateur riders’ event at Towcester on May 15, 2000. Switching to the flat, Ryan enjoyed his first success as a professional when winning aboard Marwell’s Kris for Belgian trainer E C Chopin in at Lingfield on January 16, 2002. Appointed as stable jockey to Sir Michael Stoute in December 2007. Champion Apprentice: 2003 (59 wins) Champion Jockey: 2006 (180 wins), 2008 (186 wins), 2009 (179 wins). British Classic Wins (3): Investec Oaks (2010 Snow Fairy), Investec Derby (2010 Workforce), QIPCO 1000 Guineas (2012 Homecoming Queen) Irish Classic Wins(1): Irish Oaks (2010 Snow Fairy) Group One Wins: Jumeirah Dewhurst Stakes (2009 Beethoven), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by Betfair (2009 Conduit), Investec Coronation Cup (2009 Ask), Juddmonte International (2006 Notnowcato), Eclipse Stakes (2007 Notnowcato), Matron Stakes (2007 Echelon), Gran Criterium (2007 Scintillo), Audi Pretty Polly Stakes (2008 Promising Lead), Breeders’ Cup Turf (2008 Conduit), Audemars Piguet QE II Cup (2009 Presvis), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (2009 Spanish Moon), Prix Maurice de Gheest (2009 King’s Apostle), Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2010 Workforce) Other Big Race Wins Include: Pride Stakes (2008 Crystal Capella), Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2007 Papal Bull, 2009 Doctor Fremantle, 2011 Crystal Capella), Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup (2009 Askar Tau), DFS Doncaster Cup (2009 Askar Tau), Ladbrokes.com Railway Stakes (2010 Formosina), TNT July Stakes (2010 Libranno) First Royal Ascot Win: Colony, King George V Stakes, June 2008 Royal Ascot Wins (18): King George V Handicap (2008 Colony), Queen’s Vase (2008 Patkai, 2012 Estimate), Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap (2008 Sugar Ray), Hampton Court Stakes (2009 Glass Harmonium), Wolferton Handicap (2009 Perfect Stride), Wokingham Handicap (2009 High Standing), Jersey Stakes (2010 Rainfall), Windsor Forest Stakes (2010 Strawberrydaiquiri), Hardwicke Stakes (2010 Harbinger, 2011 Await The Dawn, 2012 Sea Moon), Queen Alexandra Stakes (2010 Bergo, 2012 Simenon), Coventry Stakes (2011 Power), Chesham Stakes (2011 Maybe), Ascot Handicap (2012 Simenon), Britannia Handicap (2012 Fast Or Free) Number of Wins 2000-2012: 6; 0; 39; 59; 132; 120; 182; 128; 192; 178; 138; 101; 116 Wins in 2013: 69

CHALK HORSE – THE INVESTEC DERBY WINNER THIS YEAR?

The three words Battle Of Marengo mysteriously appeared by a well outside the Amato pub in Epsom earlier this week.

In a longstanding traveller tradition, the chalked name is meant to indicate the winner of tomorrow’s Investec Derby.

The pub is named after Amato who won the Derby in 1838.

BEST TO WEAR COMPETITION

Today’s Harvey Nichols “What Best To Wear” style competition on Investec Ladies’ Day was won by Leigh Johnson from Chichester.

The winner received her prize of a £5,000 shopping spree in Harvey Nichols from Paula Reed, Fashion Director of Harvey Nichols in the winner’s enclosure after the third race today.

Leigh, who is a milliner by trade and has her own business, made her own hat for today but was wearing a Roland Mower dress in orange. “I am thrilled by winning – it is all a bit overwhelming, Harvey Nichols is a dream place to shop. I have never done this before, I just came with some friends – I can’t wait to come back tomorrow.”

MEMORABLE DAY FOR THE OLD BOYS AS MULTI-TASKING VAINGLORY COMES GOOD

Age shall not wither them, if results today at Epsom on Ivestec Ladies’ Day are a guide.

Following victory for eight-year-old Resurge and a good second spot by seven-year-old Penitent came success for nine-year-old Vainglory in this valuable handicap.

Trainer David Simcock, who also owns the gelding, said: “I’m chuffed to bits with the horse. He’s been placed in this race three times in the past and just loves coming down the hill. He ran very well last time out when Laura [Pike] rode him over a track that didn’t suit, over a trip that didn’t suit and on the wrong ground, but he decides when he’s going to win.

“He has other jobs in life, not just racing. He races when he can, but earlier this year he was a lead horse for the Dubai horses and helped get them ready, and he’s our stalls horse [giving younger stablemates a lead]. To get a win with him on a big day is very special.

“He was a 3,000gns horse I bought from Darley as an unraced three-year-old. He’s been a little inconsistent, but he’s won more than £100,000 and been to Dubai for the Carnival so he’s given us a lot of fun.”

Jockey Martin Lane said: “Early on he wasn’t travelling very well, but actually that helps him because the more chance he has of finishing off his race. They went a really nice gallop and he picked up all the way.

“When he does it he does it really well – we’d like him to do it more often, but he comes right once or twice every year. Everyone in the yard loves him and a lot of people in the yard have ridden him.

“It’s been tough for a lot of jockeys and the season has been slow to get going, but in the last couple of weeks things have started happening.”

MILCZAREK PICKS UP BAN

Jockey Kirsty Milczarek was suspended for four days having been found guilty of careless riding aboard third-placed Ocean Tempest in the Investec Mile Handicap.

RYAN HOPING TEMPEST RUN IS GOOD OMEN FOR TOMORRO

Trainer John Ryan will saddle rank outsiderOcean Applause in tomorrow’s Investec Derby and the colt’s work companion Ocean Tempest ran a good race to be third in the Investec Mile.

“Ocean Tempest ran a great race and could have done without the ground drying, he’d have preferred a bit more moisture in there,” said Ryan.

“He’s a game old boy and just drifted towards the rail on the camber, but that’s Epsom for you. I think there’s another nice race to be had with him when there’s some give in the ground – it just slows the others down.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Ryan added: “Ocean Tempest is Ocean Applause’s lead horse so hopefully that bodes well and it should be perfect ground for us.

“Realistically I am just hoping that he comes back safe and sound and doesn’t disgrace us. He has been working well but needs to find his two-year-old form and a fair bit more as well. He’s probably also more of a mile and a quarter horse.

“This track is very tough for three-year-olds especially in that class but we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

3:20pm Investec Mile Handicap

30,000 total prize fund. For 4yo+, rated 86-105 (also open to such horses rated 85 and below), 1m 114y. Weights: highest weight 9st 7lb; minimum weight 8-2. Penalties after May 18th, each race won 6lb. Penalty value 1st £18,675.00 2nd £5,592.00 3rd £2,796.00 4th £1,398.00 5th £699.00 6th £351.00

1) VAINGLORY (USA) (David Simcock) David Simcock 9-8-09 Martin Lane [11] 12/1

2) LORD OFTHE SHADOWS (IRE) (Richard Hitchcock Alan King) Richard Hannon b4-8-07 Joe Fanning [6] 16/1

3) OCEAN TEMPEST (Bill McLuskey & C Little) John Ryan p4-8-07 Kirsty Milczarek [13] 10/1

4) LEVITATE (Charles Wentworth) John Quinn v5-9-03 Ryan Moore [5]

5) BENZANNO (IRE) (Martin & Valerie Slade & Partner) Andrew Balding h4-8-13 David Probert [7]

6) HEFNER (IRE) (Clive Washbourn) Marco Botti 4-8-13 Andrea Atzeni [4]

7) BRAE HILL (IRE) (Dr Marwan Koukash) Richard Fahey 7-9-07 Jamie Spencer [9]

8) HI THERE (IRE) (Market Avenue Racing Club Ltd) Richard Fahey 4-8-13 Paul Hanagan [12]

9) KARAM ALBAARI (IRE) (Mark Goldstein & Wendy Jenkins) Jim Jenkins 5-9-00 Freddie Tylicki [10]

10) MAVERIK (Andrew Brooks) William Knight 5-9-02 Jim Crowley [1] 11/2 Fav

11) TOTO SKYLLACHY (Richard Walker) David O’Meara 8-9-07 Daniel Tudhope [3]

12) TAKEITFROMALADY (IRE) (Only One Bid Partnership) Lee Carter v4-8-06 Kieren Fox [14]

13) ASATIR (USA) (Godolphin) Saeed bin Suroor 4-9-03 Silvestre De Sousa [8]

14) MISTER MUSIC (Longview Stud & Bloodstock Ltd) Richard Hannon 4-9-06 Richard Hughes [2]

14 ran

Time: 1m 47.44s

Distances: ½, 1¾, nse, 1½, 3¼, 1¼, sh, 1¾, 1, 2, ½, ½, 1½

Breeder: Darley

Breeding: Swain (IRE) — Infinite Spirit (USA) (Maria´s Mon (USA))

Tote Win £19.00 Place £4.00 £6.60 £4.40 Exacta £320.40

Winning trainer:-Name: Simcock, David Born: February 23, 1972 Based: Trillium Place, Newmarket Background: Began career as pupil assistant to Ian Balding and then moved to Lambourn where he enjoyed a stint with legendary Major Dick Hern. Completed his learning curve with a three-year spell as assistant trainer to Luca Cumani, coming into contact with stars such as Falbrav and Gossamer. Set up on own in 2004 with just 10 horses. Was best man at Martin Dwyer’s wedding. First Group One Winner: Dream Ahead, Darley Prix Morny, Deauville, August 22, 2010 Other Major wins include: Darley July Cup (2011 Dream Ahead), Shadwell Middle Park Stakes (2010 Dream Ahead), Prix Morny (2010 Dream Ahead), Beverly D Stakes (2012 I’m A Dreamer), totesport.com Cesarewitch (2009 Darley Sun), Investec Diomed Stakes (2010 Bushman), Qatar Bloodstock Dahlia Stakes (2011 I’m A Dreamer), Betfred Sprint Cup (2011 Dream Ahead), Qatar Prix de la Foret (2011 Dream Ahead) First runner and first winner: Cut And Dried, Lingfield, 14/02/04 Wins (2004-2012): 7; 4; 9; 24; 30; 44; 49; 68 Wins in 2013: 32

Winning Jockey: Lane, Martin Based: c/o David Simcock, Trillium Place, Newmarket Background: Previously based in Kilworth, Ireland and rode primarily for Frances Crowley before moving to Britain to join Karl Burke’s stable for the 2009 season. Moved on to Alan Jarvis’ yard when Burke was banned for a year in July, 2009 and is now attached to David Simcock’s Newmarket stable. Champion apprentice for the 2010 season. Big Race Wins Include: John Smith’s Cup (2010 Wigmore Hall) Winners in Britain (2009-2012): 28; 52*; 51; 54 *champion apprentice Wins in 2013: 18

Will Dawn Approach Be Sent Off Odds-on Favourite?

Coral are the official betting partners of the Investec Derby Festival

Their David Stevens commented: “The Investec Derby is by far the biggest Flat race of the year in betting terms and industry-wide turnover on this year’s renewal could top £10 million as punters choose whether to be with Dawn Approach, or against him.

“There is no major football tournament for the meeting to compete with this year, so the racing will take centre stage in betting shops.

Dawn Approach is 6/1 to win by four lengths or more, while Aidan O’Brien is 6/4 to win his fourth Derby, but Coral are unsure if the favourite will be sent off at odds-on.

Stevens added “When Magician was removed from the Derby reckoning, it looked as if Dawn Approach would start odds-on, but there has been good support for his rivals in the last 24 hours, including a move for Festive Cheer, 20/1 from 50/1, suggesting there could be enough opposition to the favourite to prevent him becoming the second successive odds-on favourite, after Camelot 12 months ago.”

Investec Derby Coral specials

*Dawn Approach winning distance

7/2 Under 1 length, 11/2 1 – 1¾ lengths, 2 – 3¾ lengths, 6/1 4 lengths or more,

8/13 Not to win

*Aidan O’Brien-trained winner 6/4 (1/2 No)

*French or German-trained winner 9/2 (1/10 No)

DETTORI POSITIVE AFTER FIRST DAY BACK

Frankie Dettori was in a positive mood despite drawing a blank on his first day back on a racecourse following his six-month suspension and was looking to the future as he starts a new chapter in his life as a freelance jockey.

The former champion jockey had three mounts at Epsom on Investec Ladies’ Day but neither Beatrice Aurore (last), Fattsota (5th) nor Sri Putra (last) managed to trouble the judge in what turned out to be a low-key comeback for the Italian.

“I’m delighted to be back and I just want to stop thinking about the last six months and start riding winners again,” said Dettori.

“It was great to get my licence back this week and even better to be back at Epsom. What’s gone on in the past is in the past and I hope I can come back stronger.

“It’s been a long six months but the time off was a novelty to begin with. I’ve been able to eat what I want and spend time with my family so the first three or four months were quite relaxing.

“It wasn’t until the Dubai World Cup that I really started missing racing so I got myself fit again by riding out in France and Britain and I’ve been quite surprised by my fitness levels this afternoon even though I’ve still got about two or three pounds left to lose.

“I’m really looking forward to the new challenge of being a freelance but obviously I’m grateful to Sheikh Mohammed for all the opportunities he has given me over the years.

“It’s a shame that I didn’t get my licence before the deadline for this weekend’s Investec Derby but it would have been really unfair on the owners and trainers of all the runners to try and find me a ride.

“I had been scared at the thought of riding as a freelance after everything that has happened but now I’m in a positive mood and I’ve set myself the aim of getting spot-on for Royal Ascot.”

GREGORIAN COULD MEET ANIMAL KINGDOM

The John Gosden-trained Gregorian could come up against the American star Animal Kingdom at Royal Ascot after taking the Investec Diomed Stakes by a length and a half under William Buick.

“I usually leave it to William, once he knows a horse,” said Gosden. “He wanted to jump and sit handy – it was the plan with Starscope in the first, but she rather fell on her head leaving the gate, so that didn’t happen.

“It’s a track that you always want to be handy and travelling. You have to watch which leg they are leading on down the hill, it’s very interesting – he switched left, he switched right, he switched left but he got the hang of it. Then Hughesie tried to take the race by the horns, which he does – he’s a great jockey – but fortunately we were good enough to beat him. He just ran out of ground at Haydock last time.

“He appreciated the going today. It’s just on the soft side of good and I think it will be perfect for tomorrow.

“He’s in the Queen Anne but there is a certain horse called Animal Kingdom and, quite frankly, he’s an imperious horse – we are really lucky that they have brought him from America to be here. From that point of view, it’s great and Gregorian could run against him – someone has to be third or fourth.”

William Buick added: “We were going OK, then, coming round the turn, Hughsie came round me and I didn’t really know what was going on to be honest.

“This lad is a good horse, I have loved him from day one and he’s not really had a lot of luck in his races – I should have won on him last time. He’s come together now and he will progress from here. I thought he handled the course pretty well on his first time round here.“

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Investec Derby, he added: “If Libertarian was trained in Newmarket, I am sure that he would be a shorter price.”

The stewards noted that Gregorian had interfered with fourth-placed Producer approaching the final furlong but were satisfied it neither involved a riding offence nor improved Gregorian’s placing.

MIDDLEHAM PARK RACING SO PROUD OF PENITENT

Flagship horse Penitent gave members of the Middleham Park Racing XVII syndicate another splendid day out when finishing runner-up in the Group Three Investec Diomed Stakes.

In a late duel with third-placed Gabrial the evergreen seven-year-old finished a head in front of that rival, and one and a half lengths behind the winner, Gregorian.

Penitent’s trainer, David O’Meara, was absent, but MiddlehamPark spokesman Nick Bradley said: “If they all had a heart as big as his the game would be easy. He’s our flagship horse and we love him to bits.

“He’s entered in a Group Three race in France in three weeks’ time, and since everyone is telling me he needs soft ground we’ll take a look at the going there and make a decision nearer the day.

“David’s done a brilliant job with him after William Haggas [his former trainer] brought him up. He’s won two Group Two races for us and been placed in a Group One, and he’s been placed again today. He’s taken us all around the world and he’s not finished yet.

“He’s entered in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot but he won’t go there because I can’t see much getting past Animal Kingdom and Farhh. I doubt there will be much give in the ground and there’s no point taking those two on so we’ll go to France. If we don’t go there he’ll have a summer break and then come back with the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp his target.”

Producer was sent off the 3/1 joint-favourite with the winner, but after proving reluctant to go in the stalls he could do no better than fourth. Assistant trainer Richard Hannon Jr said: “He doesn’t always behave himself and it wouldn’t have helped that he took against the stalls. The winner’s a decent horse – our fellow will duck and dive around the Group Threes at these meetings from here on.”

2:45pm Investec Diomed Stakes (Group 3)

£60,000 total prize fund. For 3yo+, 1m 114y. Weights: 3yo colts and geldings 8st 6lb; fillies 8st 3lb; 4yo+ colts and geldings 9st 5lb; fillies 9st 2lb. Penalties: after August 31st, 2012, a winner of a Group 3 race 3lb; of a Group 2 race 5lb; of a Group 1 race 7lb. Penalty value 1st £34,026.00 2nd £12,900.00 3rd £6,456.00 4th £3,216.00 5th £1,614.00 6th £810.00

1) GREGORIAN (IRE) (H R H Princes Haya Of Jordan) John Gosden 4-9-05 William Buick [7] 3/1 JF

2) PENITENT (MiddlehamPark Racing XVII) David O’Meara 7-9-10 Daniel Tudhope [6] 15/2

3) GABRIAL (IRE) (Dr Marwan Koukash) Richard Fahey v4-9-05 Jamie Spencer [1] 11/2

4) PRODUCER (Jonathan Palmer-Brown) Richard Hannon 4-9-05 Richard Hughes [4] 3/1 JF

5) TALES OF GRIMM (USA) (Sir Robert Ogden) Sir Michael Stoute 4-9-05 Ryan Moore [3]

6) CUSTOM CUT (IRE) (S E Construction (Kent) Ltd) George Kent IRE 4-9-08 Johnny Murtagh [2]

7) SRI PUTRA (H R H Sultan Ahmad Shah) Roger Varian 7-9-05 Frankie Dettori [8]

7 ran

Non-runner: Fantastic Moon (Going)

Time: 1m 48.68s

Distances: 1½, hd, 2¾, 2¼, ¾, 8

Breeder: Rathasker Stud

Breeding: Clodovil (IRE) — Three Days In May (Cadeaux Genereux)

Tote Win £3.10 Place £2.00 £4.70 Exacta £24.40

Winning Trainer:-Name: Gosden, John Harry Martin Born: Hove, 30/3/51 Date of first trainer’s licence (Britain): 1988 (previously a leading trainer in USA, 1980-1988) Trains at Clarehaven Stables, Bury Road, Newmarket, Suffolk (previously at Manton and Newmarket) First winner in Europe: Intimidate, Kempton, March 27, 1989 English Classic Wins (6): 1,000 Guineas (2000 Lahan), Investec Derby (1997 Benny The Dip), Ladbrokes St Leger (1996 Shantou, 2007 Lucarno, 2010 Arctic Cosmos, 2011 Masked Marvel) Irish Classic Wins (2): Irish St Leger (1992 Mashaallah, 2011 Duncan) French Classic Wins (2): Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (1999 Valentine Waltz, 2002 Zenda) Other Big Race Wins Include: Cheveley Park Stakes (1993 Prophecy), Falmouth Stakes (1997 Ryafan), Fillies’ Mile (2000 Crystal Music, 2004 Playful Act, 2005 Nannina, 2008 Rainbow View), Haydock Sprint Cup (1993 Wolfhound), July Cup (2003 Oasis Dream), Lockinge Stakes (1994 Emperor Jones, 2008 Virtual), Middle Park Stakes (2002 Oasis Dream), Nassau Stakes (1997 Ryafan, 2012 The Fugue), Nunthorpe Stakes (2003 Oasis Dream), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2000 Observatory, 2008 Raven’s Pass), Sun Chariot Stakes (1991 Ristna), Yorkshire Oaks (2009 Dar Re Mi), Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (1991 Keen Hunter), Prix de la Foret (1992 Wolfhound, 2001 Mount Abu), Prix d’Ispahan (2001 Observatory), Prix Jean Prat (1995 Torrential), Prix Marcel Boussac (1996 Ryafan, 2001 Sulk, 2011 Elusive Kate), Prix Maurice de Gheest (2002 May Ball), Grosser Preis von Baden (1992 Mashaallah), Irish Champion Stakes (1993 Muhtarram), Matron Stakes (2009 Rainbow View), Pretty Polly Stakes (1994 Del Deya, 2009 Dar Re Mi), Gran Premio del Jockey Club (1996 Shantou), Gran Premio di Milano (1992 Mashaallah, 1997 Shantou), Premio Presidente della Repubblica (1994 Muhtarram), Premio Roma (1993 Knifebox, 1996 Flemensfirth), Arlington Million (2010 Debussy), Breeders’ Cup Classic (2008 Raven’s Pass), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (2008 Donativum, 2009 Pounced), Breeders’ Cup Mile (1984 Royal Heroine), Clement L Hirsch Turf Championship Stakes (1987 Allez Milord), Philip H Iselin Handicap (1983 Bates Motel), Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (1997 Ryafan), Santa Anita Handicap (1983 Bates Motel), Santa Anita Handicap (1983 Bates Motel), Yellow Ribbon Stakes (1997 Ryafan), Dubai Sheema Classic (2010 Dar Re Mi), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) (2011 Nathaniel), Coral-Eclipse (2012 Nathaniel) Royal Ascot Wins (32): Chesham Stakes (1990 Chicarica, 1998 Rhapsodist), Jersey Stakes (1991 Satin Flower, 2000 Observatory), Queen’s Vase (1992 Landowner), King George V Handicap (1993 Learmont, 1997 Heritage), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1994 & 95 Muhtarram), Britannia Handicap (1996 North Song, 1998 Plan-B, 2000 El Gran Papa, 2001 Analyser), Ascot Stakes (1999 High And Mighty), Norfolk Stakes (1999 Warm Heart), Buckingham Palace Stakes (2002 Demonstrate), Diamond Jubilee Stakes (2002 Malhub), Coventry Stakes (2004 Iceman), King Edward VII Stakes (2005 Plea Bargain, 2011 Nathaniel), Coronation Stakes (2006 Nannina, 2012 Fallen For You), Windsor Forest Stakes (2007 Nannina, 2012 Joviality), Royal Hunt Cup (2007 Royal Oath), Ribblesdale Stakes (2008 Michta), Hardwicke Stakes (2009 Bronze Cannon), Queen Mary Stakes (2010 Maqaasid), Wolferton Handicap (2011 Beachfire, 2012 Gatewood), Albany Stakes (2012 Newfangled), Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap (2012 Camborne) Wins in a season (1989-2012): 27; 88; 86; 113; 109; 92; 86; 75; 91; 77; 74; 80; 55; 85; 72; 66; 91; 56; 68; 95; 88; 105; 99; 119 Champion Trainer: 2012 Wins in 2013: 25

Winning jockey:-Name: Buick, William Born: Norway, July 22, 1988 Background:. Made a sensational start to his career, finishing runner-up to James Doyle in the 2006/07 All-Weather apprentice title race with 24 winners. His father, Walter, was eight-time champion jockey in Scandinavia and rode 22 classic winners in his career, and is a race reader and a work-rider for Marcus Tregoning. Shared the 2008 apprentice title with David Probert, and appointed stable jockey for John Gosden at the start of 2010. First Ride in Britain: Tiny Tim, Brighton, August 10, 2006 First Winner: Bank On Benny, Axminster Carpets Apprentice Handicap, Salisbury, September 27, 2006 English Classic Wins (2): Ladbrokes St Leger (2010 Arctic Cosmos, 2011 Masked Marvel) Royal Ascot Wins (8): Wokingham Stakes (2007 Dark Missile); King Edward VII Stakes (2011 Nathaniel), Wolferton Handicap (2011 Beachfire, 2012 Gatewood), Windsor Forest Stakes (2012 Joviality), Albany Stakes (2012 Newfangled), Coronation Stakes (2012 Fallen For You), Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap (2012 Camborn) First Group One Win: Lahaleeb, E P Taylor Stakes, Woodbine, October 17, 2009 Other Big Race Wins: Shadwell Middle Park Stakes (2010 Dream Ahead), Doncaster Cup (2010 Samuel),Dubai Sheema Classic (2010 Dar Re Mi), Betfair Huxley Stakes (2010 Debussy), Arlington Million (2010 Debussy), Darley Prix Morny (2010 Dream Ahead), Qatar Prix Foy (2010 Duncan), Jockey Club Cup (2010 Tastahil), Emirates Airline Yorkshire Cup (2011 Duncan), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair) (2011 Nathaniel), Betfred Sprint Cup (2011 Dream Ahead), Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac (2011 Elusive Kate), Qatar Prix de la Foret (2011 Dream Ahead, 2012 Gordon Lord Byron) Gran Premio Di Milano (2012 Earl Of Tinsdal), Pretty Polly Stakes (2012 Izzi Top), Coral-Eclipse (2012 Nathaniel), Irish Oaks (2012 Great Heavens), Prix Rothschild (2012 Elusive Kate), Nunthorpe Stakes (2012 Ortensia), Betfred Cambridgeshire (2012 Bronze Angel), Jebel Hatta (2013 Sajjhaa) Wins (2006-2012): 10; 67; 54 (shared apprentice title with David Probert); 66; 99; 106; 130 Wins In 2013: 28

IT’S EPSOM, SO IT MUST BE RESURGE!

Eight-year-old Resurge recorded his seventh career victory, and fourth at Epsom, when landing the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap for the second time.

He first captured the race in 2011, and today, when making his seasonal debut, took his prize money gains comfortably past £100,000.

Breathless owners Chris and David Stam were thrilled to welcome their gelding into the winner’s enclosure, although trainer Stuart Kittow, who is based at Cullompton in Devon, was absent.

Chris Stam said: “He’s been the most wonderful horse, and he’s paid his way each year. We bought him as a three-year-old at the sales from Jeremy Noseda’s yard because he ticked all the boxes, and he’s done us proud since. He just loves Epsom, and Stuart Kittow has done a brilliant job with him.

“He had lung infection at the beginning of the year and we were so worried about him. He had a wind operation at the end of last year and he’s eight years old, so all the statistics were against him.

“He loves Epsom – he loves it. He got a bit of a low last year when he got a bit too familiar with the course but he had a good second at the end of the season. Then he trod on a nail, so that set him back at the end of the year. So everything was against him, but he did it. He’s such a star.

“Everyone in the yard loves him. It’s a small yard and this is a great tribute to small yards – Stuart Kittow is the best!”

Her husband added: “The horse had a lung infection, which is why he hadn’t run yet this season. I like to get horses out early before the big boys get going.

“When Neil [Callan] pulled him out wide into the straight I was pretty sure we would be placed at least. I like jockeys going wide, so there is no chance of any interference.

“We’ll talk to Stuart about future plans, but I’m not sure about Royal Ascot. The last time he ran there [in 2011] it just didn’t work out. He had gone up in the weights following the win here and it was all against him.

“We have two horses in training and, being honest, we have to win to pay the bills. I think that one should pay credit to Stuart because it is a great training performance -the horse hasn’t had the easiest of winters and he’s eight now.”

Neil Callan said: “He always seems to show his best form here. He travelled well and, for such a small field, I always had a good spot. They steadied up a little bit down the hill, which is natural, but I knew that I had a bit of cover and I could creep a place closer coming into the straight.

“That was probably decisive because I was able to sit and fill him up. When I asked him, he has quickened up and just idled a bit in front. It was a good performance.

“You don’t mind riding them when they try and Stuart’s horses are in great form. It is nice to ride another winner on a big day.”

CHESTER NEXT FOR AREA FIFTY ONE

Trainer Richard Fahey felt that the recent rain did not help the chances of Area Fifty One, who finished runner-up in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap in the colours of Dr Marwan Koukash.

“He loves the ground to be rattling hard so it was soft enough for him out there,” said Fahey. “But he ran a lovely race and he’ll be going to Chester next Saturday, so Marwan tells me.”

2:10pm Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap

Class 2, £50,000 total prize fund. For 4yo+, 1m 2f 18y. Weights: highest weight not less than 9st 10lb; minimum weight 8-0. Penalties after May 18th, a winner 6lb. Penalty value 1st £31,125.00 2nd £9,320.00 3rd £4,660.00 4th £2,330.00 5th £1,165.00 6th £585.00

1) RESURGE (IRE) (Chris & David Stam) Stuart Kittow t8-9-00 Neil Callan [12] 6/1

2) AREA FIFTY ONE (Dr Marwan Koukash) Richard Fahey 5-9-07 Jamie Spencer [4] 4/1

3) TRES CORONAS (IRE) (D Pryde & J Cringan) David Barron 6-8-09 Graham Gibbons [5] 5/1

4) BLUE SURF (John Connolly and Partners) Amanda Perrett 4-9-04 Pat Dobbs [11] 3/1 Fav

5) FATTSOTA (Scuderia Rencati Srl) Marco Botti 5-9-10 Frankie Dettori [7]

6) CIRCUMVENT (The Fairy Story Partnership) Paul Cole 6-9-02 Tom Queally [9]

7) BOONGA ROOGETA (Peter Charalambous) Peter Charalambous 4-8-09 Rosie Jessop (5) [8]

8) PILGRIMS REST (IRE) (Markus Jooste & Bernard Kantor) Richard Hannon 4-8-08 Richard Hughes [2]

8 ran Non-runners: Beaufort Twelve (Going), Halfsin (IRE) (Coughing), Niceofyoutotellme (Going), Licence To Till (USA) (Self Cert – Lame), Vasily (Going)

Time: 2m 10.78s

Distances: 1¼, nk, ½, ½, 11, 10, 1

Breeder: Sweetmans Bloodstock Breeding: Danehill Dancer (IRE) — Resurgence (Polar Falcon (USA))

Tote Win £6.60 Places £2.00 £1.70 £2.00 Exacta £23.50

Winning trainer:-Name: Kittow, W Stuart Born: August 2, 1959 Based: Cullompton, Devon Background: Rode as amateur for 20 years before taking out a trainer’s licence in 2000. Son-in-law of trainer Gerald Cottrell, for whom he was assistant for 15 years prior to taking out own licence First Winner: Dilys, Jenny Shulman Birthday Maiden Stakes, Windsor, November 8, 2001 Number of Wins (2001-2012): 1; 5; 6; 6; 3; 8; 12; 12; 10; 14; 14; 12 Wins in 2013: 7

Winning jockey:-Name: Callan, Neil Francis Born: July 6, 1978 Based: Newmarket, Suffolk Background: Hails from County Kildare. Rode for Willie Fitzpatrick at The Curragh and Kevin Prendergast in Ireland. After a luckless spell, he had applied for a job as a kitchen fitter before joining Karl Burke in February 1998 as a work-rider on a six-month contract. After two months Burke suggested he should take out a British licence. First Winner: Dancing Lawyer (Levy Board Apprentice Handicap, Warwick, May 4, 1998 – debut ride in Britain) Big Race Wins: Oaks d’Italia (2007 Fashion Statement), Middle Park Stakes (2005 Amadeus Wolf), Gimcrack Stakes (2005 Amadeus Wolf), Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (2006 Mulaqat), Portland Handicap (2004 Halmahera, 2011 Nocturnal Affair) Racing Post Trophy (2005 Palace Episode), Persimmon Homes Flying Childers Stakes (2006 Wi Dud), Duke Of York Stakes (2007 Amadeus Wolf), Premio Roma At The Races (2007 Pressing), Topkapi Trophy (2008, 2009 & 2010 Pressing), Grosser Dallmayr-Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (2009 Pressing), Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (2009 Bordeslescott) Fillies’ Mile ( 2009 Hibaayeb) Gran Premio Del Jockey Club (2010 Rainbow Peak), York Stakes (2012 Sri Putra) Other details: champion apprentice in 1999, champion all-weather jockey 2000, 2003 and 2007 Royal Ascot Wins (3): Buckingham Palace Handicap (2006 Uhoomagoo, 2012 Eton Forever), Wolferton Handicap (2010 Rainbow Peak) Wins (1998-2012): 29, 56, 80, 38, 52, 52, 126, 151, 129, 102, 170; 144; 107; 97; 76 Wins in 2013: 37

THISTLE BIRD FLIES HOME

Five-year-old Thistle Bird looked better than ever when getting up by three-quarters of a length under James Doyle. Trainer Roger Charlton now plans to aim the mare at Royal Ascot.

“She was a bit lit up when she ran at Newmarket last time but was more relaxed today and travelled better,” said Charlton.

“She has been amazingly consistent. She will be a really nice filly to breed from – when you get a filly as tough as that, sound as that and consistent as that. She won three Listed races last year, put up some good performances and she was maybe a bit fresh first time out this year. She deserved to win a Group race and I am so pleased for her.

“The Newmarket form was well boosted when Sir Henry Cecil’s filly, who was second, won very easily in Ireland on the weekend.

“I think that she goes on any ground, except for extremes, and we will head to Royal Ascot now for the Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

“She got the trip well today and we might experiment with running her over further than a mile later in the season – now that she has won a Group Three, we can afford to be ambitious and try and get placed in a Group One race.”

Doyle added: “She was a little bit fresh at Newmarket and she ducked away from the Channel 4 cameras on the inside. She ran a little bit gassy but I was actually surprised how well she ran considering how free she was early on in that race.

“She deserves this. She was very consistent last year and I am pleased that she won the way she did. She stays quite well and I always felt that Richard Hughes would come back to me. I didn’t want to take it up too early but get her rolling at the same time. Her turn of foot is not instant – she gradually picks up – but she did it well. They went a nice clip, which suited, and it all turned out to be very straightforward.

“She was improving with every run last year and I think we are going to have a bit more fun with her,

“The ground is on the slow side – it’s not soft but it’s good to soft. I would imagine that it will be good ground by tomorrow but my filly handled it well.”

‘LADYS FIRST’ AS BIRD PROVES TOO GOOD FOR GIRL

Epsom’s Investec Derby Festival got underway with this Group Three contest for fillies and mares in which Thistle Bird proved too strong for her eight rivals.

She won by three-quarters of a length from the Paul Cole-trained Gifted Girl, with Ladys First, representing Richard Fahey’s Yorkshire yard, a length back in third.

Alan Spence, who owns Gifted Girl, said: “The horses are running well – we’re enjoying a winner or two per week at the moment, so long may it last.

“This filly likes Ascot so could go for the Royal Hunt Cup next, but that’s not definite yet. There is also the Group Two race for fillies before the Royal Hunt Cup [now known as the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, formerly the Windsor Forest Stakes], although she would have to be supplemented for that.”

Spence’s colours are well known in Flat racing circles, although he is taking a greater interest in jump racing, and bought two horses at Brightwells’ Cheltenham May Sale on Wednesday. “I haven’t got any chasers, so I went looking for horses that could do that game,” said Spence. “They’ll go to Nicky Henderson and will go hurdling next season with a view to chasing one day.”

Ladys First, who is owned by Helen Steel, a long-standing owner with Fahey, holds an entry in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

DETTORI OUT OF LUCK ON COMEBACK RIDE

Frankie Dettori was out of luck on his first ride back following a six-month suspension as his mount, Beatrice Aurore, finished last in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by Investec) at Epsom, the opening race on Investec Ladies’ Day.

The ebullient Italian said: “It’s great to be back. I’ve got two more chances so you never know.

“I was nervous on my way to Epsom and I got stuck in traffic coming here so that didn’t help. I eventually got out of the car and ran the last three furlongs otherwise I don’t think I’d have got here in time!

“It’s great just to be back and it feels a bit like I’ve never been away.”

The race was eventually won by Thistle Bird who fought off the challenge of Gifted Girl to win by three-quarters of a length.

Dettori was in good spirits before the race, laughing and joking with connections before walking alongside Beatrice Aurore and getting the leg-up onto the mare on the track.

Following the race, a few well-wishers let Dettori know just how pleased they were to have him back on the racecourse and the 42-year-old hopes he can send them away happy having ridden a winner.

“It’d be nice to have a winner today but I’ll have to do better than the last one – she was last!”

GOING AFTER THE FIRST

James Doyle, partner of the 3/1 favourite and winner Thistle Bird, said: “Good to soft – but better than I thought it would be.”

Tom Queally, rider of the three-quarter of a length second Gifted Girl, said: “Good to soft.”

Paul Hanagan, partner of third-placed Ladys First, said: “It is very tacky – but drying up.”

Mickael Barzalona, partner of Ighraa, said: “Soft.”

Frankie Dettori, on board Beatrice Aurore, said: “It is on the slow side of good.”

Richard Hughes, jockey of Making Eyes, said: “It is on the tacky side – but will be good tomorrow.”

Johnny Murtagh, on board Sentaril, said: “Good to soft.”

William Buick, rider of Starscope, said: “It is just on the slow side of good.”

Ryan Moore, jockey of Ultrasonic, said: “Just good to soft.”

 

1:35pm Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By Investec) (Group 3)

£60,000 total prize fund. For 3yo+ fillies and mares, 1m 114y. Weights: 3yo 8st 7lb; 4yo+ 9st 6lb. Penalties after August 31st, 2012, a winner of a Group 3 race 3lb; of a Group 2 race 5lb; of a Group 1 race 7lb. Penalty value 1st £34,026.00 2nd £12,900.00 3rd £6,456.00 4th £3,216.00 5th £1,614.00 6th £810.00

1) THISTLE BIRD (Lady Rothschild) Roger Charlton h5-9-06 James Doyle [1] 3/1 Fav

2) GIFTED GIRL (IRE) (Alan Spence) Paul Cole 4-9-06 Tom Queally [9] 13/2

3) LADYS FIRST (Helen Steel) Richard Fahey 4-9-06 Paul Hanagan [2] 9/1

4) IGHRAA (IRE) (Simon Hope) Francis-Henri Graffard FR 3-8-07 Mickael Barzalona [8]

5) ULTRASONIC (USA) (Khalid Abdullah) Sir Michael Stoute h4-9-06 Ryan Moore [6]

6) STARSCOPE (Cheveley Park Stud) John Gosden h4-9-06 William Buick [7]

7) SENTARIL (Lael Stables) William Haggas 4-9-06 Johnny Murtagh [5]

8) MAKING EYES (IRE) (Starter For Ten Partnership) Hugo Palmer 5-9-06 Richard Hughes [3]

9) BEATRICE AURORE (IRE) (Benny Andersson) Ed Dunlop 5-9-06 Frankie Dettori [4]

9 ran

Non-runner: Waterway Run (USA) (Going)

Times: No official time

Distances: ¾, 1, 1¼, 1¼, 1¼, nk, 2, 5

Breeder: The Rt Hon Lord Rothschild

Breeding: Selkirk (USA) – Dolma (FR) (Marchand De Sable (USA))

Tote Win £3.60 Place £1.40 £2.30 £2.80 Exacta £19.60

Winning trainer:-Name Charlton, Roger John Born: Connah’s Quay, Flintshire, 18/1/50 First winner: Deploy (Haydock, April 14, 1990) Date of first licence:1990 Trains at Beckhampton, Marlborough, Wiltshire Previous Occupation: Amateur rider (three wins including 1969 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase on Pride Of Kentucky), worked for Colin Davies, stockbroker, 1975-77 ran equine swimming pool in Lambourn, 1978-89 assistant to Jeremy Tree British Classic wins: (1) Investec Derby (1990 Quest For Fame) Other major wins include: Cambridgeshire (1995 Cap Juluca, 2005 Blue Monday), Criterion Stakes (1993 Inchinor), Dante Stakes (1990 Sanglamore), French Derby (1990 Sanglamore), Greenham Stakes (1993 Inchinor), Hungerford Stakes (1993 Inchinor), Joel Stakes (2010 Cityscape), John Porter Stakes (1996 Spout), Lancashire Oaks (1996 Spout), Lingfield Derby Trial (1996 Mystic Knight), Palace House Stakes (2005 Avonbridge), Prix de l’Opera (1994 Andromaque), Prix d’Ispahan (1991 Sanglamore), Prix de l’Abbaye (2003 Patavellian, 2005 Avonbridge), Rockfel Stakes (2002 Luvah Girl), Sandown Mile (1997 Wixim), Scottish Classic (1995 Baron Ferdinand), Haydock Sprint Cup (1998 Tamarisk, 2004 Tante Rose), totesport.com International Stakes (2007 Third Set), Stewards’ Cup (1999 Harmonic Way, 2003 Patavellian, 2009 Genki), totesport Mile (2007 Third Set) Tattersalls Gold Cup (2013 Al Kazeem) Dubai Duty Free Stakes (2012 Cityscape), Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes (2012 Al Kazeem) Royal Ascot wins (7): King George V Handicap (1992 Source Of Light), Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap (1993 Source Of Light), Wokingham Handicap (2000 Harmonic Way), Golden Jubilee Stakes (2001 Harmonic Way), Coventry Stakes (2003 Three Valleys), Balmoral Handicap (2003 Deportivo), Britannia Handicap (2008 Fifteen Love) Wins in a season (1990-2012): 37; 26; 43; 47; 48; 42; 52; 40; 22; 30; 34; 33; 56; 57; 36; 43; 37; 39; 33; 35; 48; 43; 40 Wins in 2013: 9

Winning jockey:-Name: Doyle, James Date of birth: April 22, 1988 Background: Mother is Lambourn trainer Jacqui Doyle. First Winner: Farnborough, Future Champion Apprentice Handicap, Wolverhampton, June 1, 2005 First Treble: Lingfield, January 25, 2006 (Blue Hedges, Countrywide Luck, Prince Charlemagne) Big Race Wins: Dubai Duty Free (2012 Cityscape), Tattersalls Gold Cup (2013 Al Kazeem), Qatar Bloodstock Jockey Club Stakes (2012 Al Kazeem), Princess Elizabeth Stakes (2013 Thistle Bird) Wins (2005-2012): 8; 73; 41; 52; 28; 29; 76; 80 Wins in 2013: 15

 

Former champion jockey Frankie Dettori returns to action at Epsom on Investec Ladies’ Day following his recent suspension and the effervescent Italian now has three rides this afternoon after picking up an extra mount on Sri Putra in the Investec Diomed Stakes.

The 42-year-old was given a six-month ban in October by France Galop after testing positive for cocaine at Longchamp in September and the suspension was reciprocated by the BHA shortly afterwards.

Just before he tested positive for cocaine, Dettori had also split with his long-time employers Godolphin following his decision to ride Camelot for rivals Coolmore in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.

The Italian had been due to make his comeback last week but an ‘irregularity’ in a recent test carried out by France Galop delayed his return until this afternoon.

Dettori has now been given clearance by the French authorities to return to action and the BHA reissued his licence yesterday which resulted in his agent, Ray Cochrane, initially booking the popular jockey for two rides at Epsom this afternoon which became three when he picked up an extra ride on Sri Putra in the Investec Diomed Stakes this morning.

He is due to partner Beatrice Aurore for trainer Ed Dunlop in the opening Princess Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Investec) and follows this up with a ride on Fattosa for Marco Botti in the second race, the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap.

FRANKIE DETTORI FACTFILE

Frankie Dettori

Born in Milan on December 15, 1970, the son of Gianfranco, 13-time champion jockey in Italy, Frankie (christened Lanfranco) Dettori arrived from his homeland to join Luca Cumani’s Newmarket yard as an apprentice in July, 1985. His first success came on Rif at Turin, Italy, on November 16, 1986, and he rode his first British winner on Lizzy Hare at Goodwood on June 9, 1987. He was champion British apprentice in 1989 and passed 100 winners for the first time in 1990 when recording 141 successes. He has since captured the hearts of racegoers with his flamboyant style, phenomenal riding successes, and charisma in and out of the saddle. Champion jockey in 1994, 1995 and 2004, Dettori created history when riding all seven winners on the Saturday at the Ascot Festival in September, 1996. His ground-breaking exertions brought recognition beyond racing’s own sphere when he was voted into third place in the 1996 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards and was a team captain on ‘A Question Of Sport’. He finally captured at the 15th attempt the Investec Derby in 2007 aboard Authorized and he has tasted success in all four other English Classics at least once with 14 Classic wins in total. Five of those have come in the Ladbrokes St Leger aboard Classic Cliché (1995), Shantou (1996), Scorpion (2005), Sixties Icon (2006) and Conduit (2008). He has won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas twice (1996 Mark Of Esteem and 1999 Island Sands), the QIPCO 1000 Guineas thrice (Cape Verdi 1998, Kazzia 2002 and Blue Bunting 2011) and the Investec Oaks three times (Balanchine 1994, Moonshell 1995 and Kazzia 2002). Dettori was retained by Godolphin in 1993 and enjoyed a host of high-profile international successes, including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1995, 2001 and 2002 on Lammtarra, Sakhee and Marienbard respectively, the Japan Cup on Singspiel in 1996, Falbrav in 2002 and Alkaased in 2005, the Dubai World Cup on Dubai Millennium (2000), Moon Ballad (2003) and Electrocutionist (2006), the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Daylami (1999), Fantastic Light (2001), Red Rocks (2006) and Dangerous Midge (2010) and the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic on Raven’s Pass. He celebrated his 500th Group race victory on Dabirsim in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagadere at Longchamp on October 2, 2011. He has ridden well over 3,000 winners with more than 900 of them being for Godolphin, including 110 at Group One level. He split with Godolphin in October, 2013, following his decision to partner Camelot (for rivals Coolmore) in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. Dettori subsequently tested positive for cocaine following a random drugs test by France Galop in September and was suspended for six months, a ban which was reciprocated by the British Horseracing Authority. During his six-month hiatus, he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother alongside fellow entertainers such as Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock, Steps singer Claire Richards and Rylan from the X Factor. The effervescent Italian failed to win the reality show and was the fifth housemate to be evicted. Dettori, who survived an horrific plane crash at Newmarket in 2000 in which the pilot was killed, is married to Catherine. They have five children and live near Newmarket.

DETTORI PICKS UP EXTRA RIDE ON SRI PUTRA

Frankie Dettori will now have three rides at Epsom on Investec Ladies’ Day after he picked up an extra mount on Sri Putra in the Investec Diomed Stakes (2.45pm) this afternoon.

The former champion jockey was initially booked to partner two horses following his return from a six-month suspension, the first of which comes in the opening Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by Investec) (1.35pm) on Beatrice Aurore for trainer Ed Dunlop.

He then follows this up with a ride on Fattosa for Marco Botti in the second race, the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (2.10pm), before completing his trio aboard Sri Putra in the Investec Diomed Stakes.

I SAY, I SAY, I SAY, IT’S A PUN-TASTIC DAY WITH MOTH

Owners Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor have long been allies to newspaper editors.

Their preference for naming horses after famous people, often from the world of the arts – witness Dylan Thomas, Yates and Stravinsky – is matched by their penchant for short, pithy names, a good example being Was, heroine of last year’s Investec Oaks. Today they run Say and Moth in the fillies’ Classic, opening a plethora of headline opportunities. ‘Moth’s perfect for a flutter’, says the headline above the Daily Mirror’s Newsboy (David Yates) column, while at the Daily Mail an editor came up with ‘Have a flutter on Moth’ to illustrate Walter Swinburn’s view of the race.

The Daily Star prefers alliteration, stating ‘Moth’s A Must’ to convey Patrick Weaver’s opinion, and the Racing Post’s Gerald Delamere is another who rates the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly – ‘Moth can navigate her way into the spotlight’ illustrates his point. The same paper’s Pricewise tipster, Tom Segal, disagrees, claiming the draw for today’s Investec Oaks will be a factor, and suggesting The Lark as a longer-priced punt.

Not that the Sun needs an obvious name to achieve a pun, opting for ‘Stoute’s Liber is Nauti – but nice’, a tip for Liber Nauticus.

Marcus Armytage of The Daily Telegraph opts for the favourite Secret Gesture, and boldly claims she will be followed home by Banoffee, Moth and Liber Nauticus, and while Rob Wright of The Times agrees with Armytage on the likely winner he is another who sees each-way value in The Lark.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Investec Derby the papers pontificate on Dawn Approach, with the Daily Mirror relaying the view of bookmaker Paddy Power that the favourite’s price will drift on the day, while the Sun warns that ‘softening going’ could stretch the colt’s suspect stamina.

Jockeys come and go, but few return with the media fanfare given to Frankie Dettori, and it is typical of racing’s most familiar face that his reappearance after a six-months-plus ban comes at one of the world’s most high-profile meetings, the Investec Derby Festival.

‘Relieved Dettori gets green light to resume at Epsom’, is The Times’ announcement, and it will not be a low-key affair according to the paper’s Alan Lee, who says ‘he [Dettori] is sure to get a rousing welcome from the Epsom crowd’. Trainer Ed Dunlop, who provides the jockey’s opening ride, is quoted by Chris Cook in The Guardian, saying: “Now racing needs him back and we need some positive stuff . . .”

‘Dettori back centre stage today’, is the Independent’s line above a Chris McGrath article, published before it became apparent the Italian had gained an extra ride on today’s card, namely Sri Putra in the Investec Diomed Stakes. Given Dettori’s ability to fall on his feet despite countless acrobatic dismounts, he might yet end up on a fancied Investec Derby runner.

NON-RUNNERS AT EPSOM DOWNS TODAY (updated at noon)

1.35pm PRINCESS ELIZABETH STAKES (SPONSORED BY INVESTEC)

no9. WATERWAY RUN (Going)

2.10pm INVESTEC WEALTH & INVESTMENT HANDICAP

no7. VASILY (Going)

no9. BEAUFORT TWELVE (Going)

no10. HALFSIN (Self Certificate (Coughing))

no12. NICEOFYOUTOTELLME (Going)

no13. LICENCE TO TILL (Self Certificate (Lame))

2.45pm INVESTEC DIOMED STAKES

no8. FANTASTIC MOON (Going)

5.20pm INVESTEC ASSET MANAGEMENT HANDICAP

No1. AYAAR (Going)

THE INVESTEC DERBY RETURNS TO CHANNEL 4

Information provided by Channel 4

This weekend (Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1) sees the two-day Investec Derby Festival return to Channel 4 following a 12-year sabbatical.

Coverage starts at 1.10pm on Friday and includes five races headed by the Investec Oaks at 4.00pm.

Channel 4’s racing coverage from the Investec Derby Festival is presented by Clare Balding and Nick Luck with Jim McGrath, Mick Fitzgerald and Graham Cunningham providing analysis from the track-side studio that will be positioned within the winning post facade. Commentator Simon Holt will call home all 10 feature races with Rishi Persad and Emma Spencer responsible for reporting duties. To assist on the large number of Irish runners and form, Brian Gleeson will be called to action. The latest betting news and statistics will be scrutinised by Tanya Stevenson while Alastair Down completes the line-up to deliver daily essay-style preview packages.

Saturday’s Morning Line is live at 9.00am on Investec Derby Day with three and a half hours of afternoon action live from 1.00pm. An array of global features will complement the coverage including an At Home With Aidan O’Brien presented by Mick Fitzgerald. Germany is the next port-of-call for a training preview of Derby contender Chopin trained by Andreas Wohler. Going one step further, presenter Rishi Persad gallantly tests his fitness and undergoes jockey training to compete in the Equisiser Derby run over the exact distance and speed of the Blue Riband race. Channel 4’s Investec Derby Festival coverage will also include additional footage from Clare Balding’s Secret of the Suffragettes.

45 cameras will be deployed around Epsom:

• A helicopter and a tethered blimp will give an overview of the Downs.

• Jibs and camera cranes will provide a dynamic view around the Parade Ring and Downs, whilst low level cameras will be put in place to show a low re-run of the classic Oaks and Derby contests. This will give a perspective of the undulations of the unique track.

Channel 4’s digital platforms will also provide a comprehensive racing service across the two-day meeting to support viewers’ experience. channel4.com/racing online features include an exclusive Epsom ride-guide by Jamie Spencer that reveals the course’s unique undulations; Tanya Stevenson previews the Classic contests with an eye on long-term trends and statistic plus full post-race analysis by the team. This is supported by multi-media live text commentary with complementary activity on @channel4racing and Facebook.

BETTING NEWS FROM CORAL

The Lark has been the most popular selecton with punters in the Investec Oaks and Epsom’s official betting partner Coral has been forced to cut Michael Bell’s filly to 16/1 (from 25/1) following sustained support this morning.

Bell, who trained Sariska to win the Investec Oaks in 2009 for The Lark’s owner Lady Bamford, also trains Madame Defarge in the Classic and that filly has been chalked up at 25/1 by Coral behind 5/2 favourite Secret Gesture.

The best-backed horse of the day with Coral has been Blue Surf who has been cut to 11/4 (from 5/1) in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (2.10). There has been a slight shake-up in the market due to five non-runners in the race but spokesman David Stevens reports that there has been plenty of money for the four-year-old.

“Although the five non-runners have led to a slight market adjustment, there has been good support for Blue Surf and he’s been the best-backed horse of the day so far.

“There’s also been some decent money for Irish challenger Custom Cut in the Investec Diomed Stakes which suggests that connections are not just here to make up the numbers.

“The recent rain means that The Lark has been popular in the Investec Oaks and Michael Bell’s filly looks certain to improve for the step up in trip.”

Custom Cut is now a 10/1 shot (from 14/1) for the Investec Diomed Stakes.

1.35 Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored by Investec)

Starscope 6/1 (from 15/2)

2.10 Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap

Blue Surf 11/4 (from 5/1)

2.45 Investec Diomed Stakes

Custom Cut 10/1 (from 14/1)

3.20 Investec Mile (Handicap)

Mister Music 9/1 (from 10/1)

4.00 Investec Oaks

The Lark 16/1 (from 25/1)

GOING CHANGES TO GOOD TO SOFT AT EPSOM DOWNS

Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs Racecourse, changed the going description at 8.30am after a dry night to

Good to Soft from Good to Soft, Soft in places.

There was a total of seven millimetres of rain received at Epsom Downs yesterday, which followed on from two and a half millimetres on Wednesday and 16 millimetres on Tuesday.

Cooper said: “We had five millimetres of rain early morning yesterday and the rest in a few showers.

“24 hours on, the ground has settled remarkably well – typical Epsom in that respect. It is now Good to Soft over almost all the course. There are still one or two softer bits but equally there are one or two good bits.

“Epsom does not stay soft for long, with its chalk base. The ground will continue to dry during the meeting.

“It should get pleasantly warm later today, with the sun breaking through and temperatures of up to 20 Celsius.

“I would not be at all surprised if the first word in the going description tomorrow is Good.

“We have moved out the inside rail by a width of up to five yards from the mile start to the finishing line. There is even a yard or two around the six-furlong pole which we don’t always do.

“The widest strip is around Tattenham Corner to the winning post. We take that rail down tonight and this means there will be fresh ground, last raced on in August, on the inside tomorrow.”

The stalls today will be in the following positions:-

1m 4f 10y – Centre

Remainder – Inside

The inside rail is dolled out, up to five yards in width, from the mile start to the winning post which will add 10 yards to race distances today.

NON-RUNNERS AT EPSOM DOWNS TODAY (by 9.30am)

1.35pm PRINCESS ELIZABETH STAKES (SPONSORED BY INVESTEC)

no9. WATERWAY RUN (Going)

2.10pm INVESTEC WEALTH & INVESTMENT HANDICAP

no9. BEAUFORT TWELVE (Going)

no10. HALFSIN (Self Certificate (Coughing))

no12. NICEOFYOUTOTELLME (Going)

no13. LICENCE TO TILL (Self Certificate (Lame))

2.45pm INVESTEC DIOMED STAKES

no8. FANTASTIC MOON (Going)

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave A Comment

© 2017 Racenews · One Bird Design · RSS Feed · Log in