All the news from Investec Ladies’ Day at the 2017 Investec Derby Festival









Good going still but likely to change before racing


It was dry overnight but with a heavy dew, and the going remains




Clerk of the Course Andrew Cooper said at 7.40am: “The ground still walks generally Good, but has dried a shade from yesterday.


“With more dry weather forecast this morning, it is anticipated that the going description will change to Good, Good to Firm in places before racing.”


Friday forecast

Dry start, warm and muggy, but with a risk of an isolated thunderstorm from 1pm.


Stalls’ position

6f – Outside

1m 4f – Centre

Remainder – Inside


Inner rail position

The inner rail is dolled out by up to five yards from mile pole to the winning post, adding 10 yards to 6f races, 20 yards to 7f races and 26 yards to all races of a mile or over. This is so fresh ground can be offered on the inside tomorrow, Investec Derby Day.


























Aidan O’Brien’s runners on the first day of the Investec Derby Festival, Investec Ladies’ Day, have been delayed in Ireland this morning due to travel problems.


The Ballydoyle handler contacted the British Horseracing Authority to confirm a flight delay but he remains hopeful that his six runners will depart from Ireland at 11am and, subject to traffic, should arrive at Epsom Downs Racecourse by 1pm.


O’Brien’s first runners today are in the G1 Investec Coronation Cup at 3.10pm but all of his horses will be examined by the Veterinary Officer on arrival to ensure their suitability to race.


O’Brien’s runners today:


G1 Investec Coronation Cup (3.10pm): Highland Reel, Idaho and US Army Ranger.


G1 Investec Oaks (4.30pm): Alluringly, Pocketfullofdreams and Rhododendron.




Andrew Cooper, Regional Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs, reported that the ground description remains Good for the time being after another walk of the course, which he completed just before 11.00am.


He said: “For the moment, we are going to leave the going as Good and I am minded to see what the jockeys say after the first race.”


The GoingStick reading at 9am was 7.5 overall (7.3 Thursday) which represents, at Epsom, Good ground that is heading towards the faster side.


The GoingStick reading at 9am in the home straight was 7.1 for the far-side and 7.7 for the stands’ side.




The first day of the Investec Derby Festival, Investec Ladies’ Day, dominates the racing pages of the newspapers this morning and, unsurprisingly, all eyes are on the Investec Oaks as Rhododendron aims to give trainer Aidan O’Brien his third consecutive winner of the race, following Qualify’s 50/1 shock victory in 2015 and Minding’s smooth success last year.


O’Brien has produced six fillies to win the Investec Oaks to date and, so far this year, has trained every Classic winner on both sides of the Irish Sea. The Racing Post headline screams ‘Blooming Marvellous’ as the trade paper focuses on the odds-on favourite’s attempt to keep the ‘O’Brien Classic machine in full swing’. A half page graphic on page three asks ‘will she wilt or bloom?’ along with ticks and crosses against her vital statistics which may, or may not, plant a seed of doubt in the minds of their readers as they look for a value alternative in the fillies’ Classic.


The Daily Mirror’s ‘Mirror Racing’ pullout is the only supplement in any of today’s newspapers and their David Yates, writing as Newsboy, cannot see beyond Rhododendron in this afternoon’s big race, with the writer opining that O’Brien’s filly is ‘ready to bloom’ and can prove to be ‘the pick of the bunch’ at Epsom later this afternoon. There is also a revealing interview with American trainer Kenny McPeek, who makes an audacious bid to land the Investec Oaks with 33/1 shot Daddys Lil Darling, as well as full colour cards for the first five races at Epsom this afternoon.


No racing pullout in The Sun but they do have a verdict from tipster Templegate (Steve Jones) on every race at Epsom. Jones plumps for Horseplay in the Investec Oaks, a sentiment shared by Chris Wilson in the i, who also rates the Andrew Balding-trained filly as ‘cracking value’.


Marcus Armytage, writing in The Daily Telegraph, reckons that Coronet can be crowned the Investec Oaks champion but two of the most respected tipsters in the game, Rob Wright in The Times and Sam Turner in the Daily Mail, cannot see beyond Rhododendron. There is no editorial at all in the Daily Star but there is enough room to inform us that their tipping team has been in fine fettle ahead of the Investec Derby Festival.


Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Investec Derby, several of the papers have decided to focus on the ongoing furore surrounding the BHA’s decision to refuse the booking of apprentice Gina Mangan on outsider Diore Lia.


The Daily Mail’s Marcus Townend reports that the BHA’s decision gained support from Investec Derby-winning jockey Ryan Moore, as well as the Professional Jockeys’ Association, but that owner-breeder Richard Aylward, who is attempting to raise money for charity on the back of his filly’s tilt at greatness, intends to speak to The Queen about the matter


Mark Souster, writing in The Times, quotes Aylward as saying that his horse would now be regarded as ‘the people’s champion’ and that the BHA’s ‘elitist’ decision has ‘disgusted’ him.


The Daily Telegraph’s Marcus Armytage is happy to look on the bright side though as Diore Lia’s participation in the Investec Derby on Saturday afternoon will ‘at least show how good the rest really are’.


The Guardian’s Greg Wood focuses its spotlight on another O’Brien, Ana, who joins her brother, Donnacha, in riding for her father Aidan in tomorrow’s Classic. O’Brien, who will get the leg up on The Anvil, becomes the first woman to ride in the Investec Derby since Hayley Turner, who finished last of nine on 25/1 shot Cavaleiro behind Camelot in 2012.

The Times also has an interview with Barry Williams, trading director of Poundland, which sponsors the Hill at Epsom for the first time this year. According to Williams, Poundland is ‘just like the Derby – it’s for everyone’ and that ‘frugal is the new cool’.


Finally, both the Daily Mirror and The Sun provide their readers with a handy sweepstake kit ahead of tomorrow’s Investec Derby. Good luck if you draw Diore Lia.








Unibet, official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival, reports brisk business ahead of the first day, Investec Ladies’ Day, at Epsom Downs this afternoon.


The betting operation, which is offering punters their stake back on every race at the Investec Derby Festival if their horse finishes second to the SP favourite, has signed a three-year deal with Epsom and estimates that around £60 million will be wagered on this year’s Investec Derby alone.


Unibet has seen a good spread of business across all 10 runners in the Investec Oaks (4.30pm) but it has been forced to trim Isabel De Urbina into 25/1 (from 33/1). Trainer Ralph Beckett has tasted Investec Oaks glory twice (with Look Here in 2008 and Talent in 2013) and punters clearly think that a third victory in the race is a distinct possibility.


In the other Group One race of the day, the Investec Coronation Cup (3.10pm), Hawkbill has been trimmed into 8/1 (from 10/1) to give trainer Charlie Appleby a first winner in the race.


Recent Epsom winner Brorocco has been all the rage in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (3.45pm) and is now the 7/2 favourite (from 9/2) with Unibet, while there has been each-way support for Mutarakez in the Investec Click & Invest Handicap (2.35pm) and the Brian Meehan-trained gelding is now 7/1 (from 8/1).


In the opening Investec Woodcote Stakes (2.00pm), the Mark Johnston-trained Cardsharp has been cut to 9/4 (from 3/1) behind 13/8 favourite De Bruyne Horse while Juanito Chico has been cut to 7/2 (from 4/1) in the final race of the day, the Investec Foreign Exchange Handicap (5.50pm)



Unibet Market Moves


2.00pm: Investec Woodcote Stakes - 9/4 (from 3/1) Cardsharp


2.35pm: Investec Click & Invest Handicap – 7/1 (from 8/1) Mutarakez


3.10pm: Investec Coronation Cup – 8/1 (from 10/1) Hawkbill


3.45pm: Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap – 7/2 (from 9/2) Brorocco


4.30pm: Investec Oaks – 25/1 (from 33/1) Isabel De Urbina


5.50pm: Investec Foreign Exchange Handicap – 7/2 (from 4/1) Juanito Chico





Winning-most jockey: Frankie Dettori, who rides Enable – three wins (1994 Balanchine, 1995 Moonshell, 2002 Kazzia)


Winning-most trainer: Aidan O’Brien, who trains Alluringly, Pocketfullofdreams and Rhododendron – six wins (1998 Shahtoush, 2001 Imagine, 2006 Alexandrova, 2012 Was, 2015 Qualify, 2016 Minding)


Most prolific trainer: Aidan O’Brien, who has had 51 previous Investec Oaks runners


Apart from O’Brien, three other trainers with a runner in the 2017 Investec Oaks have previously trained a winner of the race: Ralph Beckett (2008 Look Here, 2013 Talent), Andrew Balding (2003 Casual Look), and John Gosden (2014 Taghrooda)


Investec Oaks debut: Daddys Lil Darling is a first Investec Oaks runner for Kentucky, USA-based trainer Kenneth McPeek


Oldest jockey: Frankie Dettori (Enable, born December 15, 1970)


Youngest jockey: Donnacha O’Brien (Pocketfullofdreams, born July 22, 1998)


Most experienced Investec Oaks jockey: Frankie Dettori, with 21 previous rides in the race


Least experienced Investec Oaks jockey: Donnacha O’Brien, who is making his Oaks debut


Oldest horse: Rhododendron (born February 11)


Youngest horse: Pocketfullofdreams (born April 25)


Most experienced horse: Daddys Lil Darling, with nine starts


Least experienced horse: both Isabel De Urbina (Ralph Beckett/Fran Berry) and Natavia (Roger Charlton/Pat Smullen) have run just twice before




Kevin Buckley, Coolmore’s UK Representative, reported that the six Aidan O’Brien-trained horses travelling over for the first day of the Investec Derby Festival, Investec Ladies’ Day, from Ballydoyle are all fine, following a late departure from Ireland due to a travel delay.


The sextet, which includes Investec Oaks favourite Rhododendron, safely landed in England at Farnborough Airport this afternoon following an earlier technical fault with a plane.


They are now en-route to Epsom and Buckley hopes they will be here within the next hour.


He said at 1.10pm: “There was a technical fault with the plane earlier on which delayed the take-off.


“Thankfully, they are now on their way and hopefully everything should be fine.”











De Bruyne Horse won the first race of the Investec Derby Festival for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Ryan Moore by two lengths. The Showcasing colt was the 13/8 favourite.


Hannon, celebrating his third victory in this race since 2014, said: “I was really impressed with his temperament today. He surprised me, not because he won but the way he won. I don’t think he overly handled the track; I think a flat six furlongs will suit him. If he goes to Royal Ascot he has to go over six [furlongs] which means the Coventry Stakes, so we will have a good look at that, then there’s the Railway Stakes and the July Stakes.


“This race isn’t a Listed race anymore which is a massive shame; it should be, it’s always the best two-year-old race until this time of year and I think they deserve to be Listed winners if they handle the track and go round Tattenham Corner. It isn’t worth any less, but it would be nice to get black type for the horse.


“The owners have made their minds up about Ascot; they’re buying hats – he’s going!


“It didn’t help that he was drawn very wide. Our horse naturally wants to lug in, so for a two-year-old to stay, to get past a horse, is a nice attribute to have and will stand him in good stead for tougher battles along the way.


“I think he will get a trip. The way he behaves – I love his attitude. He was relaxed going to post, it was a warm day in the paddock with a lot of noise and a lot of people and he handled it brilliantly. I think he will get better as he gets older –I don’t think he’s just a sharp, fast two-year-old.”




De Bruyne Horse ran out the ready two length winner of the first race of the Investec Derby Festival, the Investec Woodcote Stakes, for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Ryan Moore at Epsom this afternoon.


The 13/8 favourite had to be stoked up by Moore as the field broke from the starting stalls and took some warming up as eventual runner-up Cardsharp set a good gallop.


However, the Middleham Park Racing-owned colt gradually wore down his rival in the final furlong to gallop away from the field and his jockey thinks there is more improvement to come.


“He’s a very laid-back horse,” explained Moore.


“The first time he ran, he was almost asleep and Silvestre (De Sousa), who rode him that day, said he had to dig him along the whole way. He’s still learning and had the outside stall to overcome today.


“He started off a little slow today but organised himself quickly and I was able to sit a length or so off Silvestre (De Sousa – jockey on Cardsharp).
“He travelled well in the main until Silvestre quickened and he just got caught out for a 100 yards or so. I felt I was always going to win with a furlong and a half to go.


“He has improved with every run, like a lot of Richard’s two-year-olds who keep getting better and better. They are always very straightforward and well-prepared.
“He is probably more of a six-furlong horse. He is entitled to be there (at Royal Ascot).”




Trainer Mark Johnston was pleased with the run of the well-backed Cardsharp (7/4) who finished second to 13/8 favourite De Bruyne Horse, trained by Richard Hannon, in the Investec Woodcote Stakes, the first race of the 2017 Investec Derby Festival.


Johnston’s charge led in the six-furlong event under Silvestre De Sousa but was unable to match the potent turn of foot shown by the winner, who was ridden by Ryan Moore and scored by two lengths.


The Richard Fahey-trained Zap (4/1) stayed on well in the closing stages to finish a further length and three-quarters lengths behind in third.


Middleham handler Johnston said: “He has run very well and I’m really pleased with him.


“Silvestre [De Sousa, jockey] thought he didn’t handle the hill brilliantly and he felt that took a lot out of him.


“He handles the six furlong trip well and I wouldn’t blame that.


“We are happy to keep running him over six furlongs as he does enjoy this trip but we can drop him back to five furlongs if that was something we wanted to do in the future because he has enough speed for that trip.”


Silvestre De Sousa, who rode the second, said: “He has run very well. The trip was fine and we just got beaten by a slightly better horse.”


Paul Hanagan, aboard third-placed Zap remarked: “He ran well. He didn’t handle the camber all that well but it was still a good run.”


2.00pm Investec Woodcote Stakes 6f

1 DE BRUYNE HORSE (Middleham Park Racing LXV & K Sohi) Richard Hannon 2-9-05 Ryan Moore 13/8 Fav

2 Cardsharp (Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum) Mark Johnston 2-9-05 Silvestre De Sousa 7/4

3 Zap (Peter Timmins) Richard Fahey 2-9-05 Paul Hanagan 4/1


Time: 1m 8.54s

Distances: 2, 1¾

Tote Win: £2.60 Places: £1.40 £1.60 0 Exacta: £5.00




Ryan Moore, partner of the 13/8 favourite and winner De Bruyne Horse, said: “It is nice safe ground and on the quicker side of good.”


Silvestre de Sousa, on board the two-length second Cardsharp, said: “Good.”


Paul Hanagan, partner of third-placed Zap, said: “Good ground. A bit loose on top.”


Fran Berry, rider of Holdenhurst, said: “Lovely good ground.”


Tony Hamilton, jockey of Ventura Dragon, said: “Nice good ground.”


Sean Levey, rider of Campion, said: “Good, good to firm.”


Franny Norton, on board Diamond Pursuit, said: “Good.”




An hour before racing started on Investec Ladies’ Day, jockey William Buick discussed his chances in each of the Classics run at Epsom.


In the Investec Derby tomorrow, Buick rides the Mark Johnston-trained Permian, winner of the Dante Stakes at York recently and supplemented for the premier Classic at a cost of £85,000 on Monday.


Buick said: “He keeps improving. Obviously he has taken a bit of an unorthodox route to the Derby [he was running in handicaps until recently], but he’s got plenty of experience and he’s a Dante winner and Dante winners are never far away in the Derby. He’s going to need all of his experience in a big field like the Derby and I think that will be one of his strengths.


“I went up to Mark Johnston’s last Saturday and sat on him for a canter – I didn’t particularly learn anything about the horse’s ability but he showed his wellbeing; he looks great and Mark and the team are very happy with him. They seemed pretty confident and that’s good enough for me.


“In the Dante he travelled well, he relaxed beautifully, he looks very straightforward. He picked up very well as well.”


Buick has ridden the Teofilo-sired Permian once before, winning a handicap over a mile on him at Windsor last August.


He said: “We thought he was a good thing that day, but I can’t stand here and say I thought he was a Derby horse, a good thing for the Derby, at that point. But horses progress; they are animals and they get stronger.”


Asked what it would mean to him to win the Investec Derby for the first time, he replied: “It’s a very tough race to win. Just to have a good ride in it is a great thing. To win the Derby is the ultimate – it would make everything a little more complete.”


In today’s Investec Oaks, Buick rides the Charlie Appleby-trained Sobetsu.


He said: “She was impressive in the Prix Saint-Alary in Deauville last time out. I can’t see a mile and a half causing her problems; she’s a relaxed, free-galloping filly who likes to use her stride. She’s got a beautiful action and a good turn of foot. If any rain comes it would be very welcome.”




















































The Charlie Appleby-trained G K Chesterton (3/1 joint-favourite) produced an authoritative front-running performance to land the second race of the 2017 Investec Derby Festival, the Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap under William Buick.


After breaking smartly, the four-year-old son of Poet’s Voice was able to dictate proceedings from the front and he kept on well in the closing stages to fend off the late challenge of David O’Meara’s Mythical Madness (20/1) in second to score by a length in the extended mile contest.


Home Cummins (14/1), trained by Richard Fahey, was a further half-length behind in third.


A delighted Appleby said: “William has given him a fantastic ride.


“He got out there and got on the pace and steadied it up. He stacked them up in behind and kicked at the right time to put the race to bed


“There were a few keen in behind there and we applied the cheekpieces today as we felt that when he won at Newmarket last time, he just wandered around a little bit in the last furlong.


“Therefore, we thought as we were stepping him up in company again, that we would help him and they really helped with the front-running tactics.


“Full credit to the horse, he found when he needed to there and it’s great for the team to have a winner here on a day like today with His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) in attendance.


“It is a big team effort and everyone at home has done a great job with this horse.”


Appleby will now target the imposing gelding at the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot later this month. He continued: “The Royal Hunt Cup is the plan. We needed to find a few pounds so hopefully we have found those and we should get a run in there.


“That was always in the back of our minds so hopefully he has done enough to get us in the race now.”


2.35pm Investec Click & Invest Mile Handicap 1m 113y

1 G K CHESTERTON (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 4-8-10 William Buick 3/1 Jt Fav

2 Mythical Madness (J C G Chua) David O’Meara 6-8-11 Silvestre De Sousa 20/1

3 Home Cummins (Helen Steel) Richard Fahey 5-8-08 Paul Hanagan 14/1


Time: 1m 46.95s

Distances:  1, ½

Tote Win: £3.70 Places: £1.40 £5.10 £3.80 Exacta: £84.80




G K Chesterton was given an enterprising ride from jockey William Buick to run out the length winner of the Investec Click & Invest Handicap at Epsom this afternoon.


The 3/1 joint-favourite, owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, missed the break but was immediately sent to the front by Buick, who was able to dictate the pace well and set fractions that perfectly suited his horse.


The pair were always comfortable in front and skipped clear in the final furlong to record a smooth success from the fast-finishing Mythical Madness (20/1).


Buick felt the race was run to suit.


“GK Chesterton likes it from the front,” said the jockey.


“He actually missed the break a bit – he stood up in the stalls and jumped slow – but luckily didn’t get lit up when I asked him to go forward. He got a soft lead, but I thought he quickened really well. He is probably quite a handy handicapper.”


Godolphin chief executive and racing manager, John Ferguson, thought G K Chesteron had improved again over the winter.


“G K Chesterton has improved this year,” said Ferguson.


“He went and won well at Newmarket last time, so to come here and improve again is great. Depending on what the handicapper does, he might go for something like the Royal Hunt Cup. William gave him a lovely ride. He got to the front, settled things down a bit and then was able to kick off the front, which was good to see. He wandered when he hit the front at Newmarket so we just felt that the cheekpieces would help – it’s just an aid for him and he is a very genuine horse.”




Second-placed Mythical Madness, who flew home to get within a length of winner G K Chesterton at odds of 20/1, is trained in Yorkshire by David O’Meara and was ridden by Silvestre de Sousa.


His owner Jimmy Chua, who lives locally to Epsom in Wimbledon, said: “How can you be disappointed with a horse who only cost £10,000 and who has already won two races [both at Wolverhampton]? This is the third time he has finished second, as well – it’s great! We bought him from Brian Ellison’s last November.


“I was supposed to have two runners in the Investec Dash tomorrow but they are trained by Kevin Ryan [whose yard has had to close down temporarily because of EHV-1] so they had to be taken out and this is a bonus. I live locally and have lots of runners at Epsom.


“I was supposed to give the horse a break after this because I think he is better on the all-weather, but coming second in a Class 2 off a mark of 95… I will speak to David [O’Meara] and see what he says.”


14/1 chance Home Cummins, who finished half a length behind Mythical Madness in third, pleased connections.


Trainer Richard Fahey, also based in Yorkshire, said: “She has run well – she probably would have done better with a quicker-run race, but she has done well.”


Jockey Paul Hannagan, added: “They went quite slow up front. Mine might have been a bit closer with a proper, true-run race.”















Trainer Aidan O’Brien won his eighth Investec Coronation Cup with Highland Reel, who made most of the running and held off a determined challenge from second-placed Frontiersman.


The 9/4 favourite, who won by a length and three-quarters, was taking his fifth Group One race across three continents. He was ridden by Ryan Moore.


O’Brien’s horses arrived very late at the track, having been held up on the runway in Ireland because the plane’s fuel cap was missing and fuel was spilling out over the wing.


“I’m delighted with Highland Reel. They [the Ballydoyle runners] obviously went through a lot today and were here just before the race.


“Things weren’t going smoothly but everyone was doing their best and did a great job. Thanks to everybody involved.


“Highland Reel is an amazing horse. Tactically, he has speed and he stays. He’s very versatile. He could run in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot if he needs it and maybe then on to the King George.”


Asked if he was worried the day’s travel problems would affect Highland Reel, O’Brien replied: “He never showed any softness in his life. He’s been travelling since 4am this morning and has only been here an hour. He didn’t have a lot of time to do anything – he had his piddle, got washed off and then came into the paddock. And he hasn’t run since Dubai, which was a good while ago [March 25].


“David was delighted with him at home along with Andrew and Davy, and Ryan gave him a great ride.”


O’Brien is the winning most trainer ever in the Investec Coronation Cup.




Trainer Charlie Appleby was delighted with the performance of his Godolphin-owned duo Frontiersman (9/1) and Hawkbill (11/2), who finished second and third to Aidan O’Brien’s Highland Reel, the 9/4 favourite, in the G1 Investec Coronation Cup.


Frontiersman, ridden by James Doyle, was supplemented for the race at a cost of £25,000 and showed that to be a shrewd move as he stayed on well from the back of the field to finish a length and three-quarters behind the winner in second.


Hawkbill, partnered by William Buick, challenged the winner in the home straight but faded in the closing stages to finish a further three and a half-lengths behind his stable companion.


Appleby said: “I’m delighted with the pair of them. Frontiersman finishing second there was a big step-up from his handicap win at Newmarket on his latest start.


“His homework had been so good and he has a pedigree to die for this horse. I’m not saying that makes him a great racehorse but he showed us all the right signs at home and he is a typical Dubawi who is getting better with age.


“We weren’t coming in here confident but we paid the £25,000 supplementary fee for a reason as we thought he deserved to have a crack at it.


“James [Doyle, jockey] thought his inexperience has just caught him out round there. We did ask James to just give him a chance round here as we knew the pace was going to be generous up front.


“He saw it out well and he galloped it out strongly. We might look at the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot with him as that looks the most logical step forward and he will justifiably deserve to be there in the line up. All being well, he comes out of this fit and well and we will then head to Royal Ascot.”


Regarding Hawkbill, Appleby was quick to highlight the four-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy appreciation of softer ground.


He continued: “I was delighted with the run and I’m not going to keep boring people with the same story, but he needs soft ground.


“It wouldn’t worry me coming back in trip either and William [Buick, jockey] said he’s got a gear there but the winner [Highland Reel] is a good horse. William said he went to go and have a battle with the winner and he found again.


“What this horse does do is quicken on soft ground and that catches a few of the others out, he can’t do the same on this ground.”


Andrew Balding was delighted with the performance of Elberth (33/1) who finished fourth. He remarked: “We’re really pleased with her. We will have some fun travelling with her in the autumn.


“Everything is possible with her as she travels well and she has the class and ability to run well at this level which is good to know. She also goes on any ground which is also a benefit when you are travelling further afield.


“She’s finished fourth in a high-quality Coronation Cup so full credit must go to her.”




9/1 chance Frontiersman, who had travelled second last for the majority of the race came with a late run to take second place behind the 9/4 favourite and winner Highland Reel.


The four-year-old Dubawi colt, who was supplemented for the race six days ago at a cost of £25,000, made a big step up in class, his only previous Pattern run was a sixth-place in a Group Three at Newbury last year.


James Doyle, jockey, said of his mount: “I am really pleased with him, he has run a cracker, though it was all a little bit much for him.


“A step up from handicap company to that. He is pretty good.


“I think possibly the Hardwicke would be the raced for him at Royal Ascot.”


Third home, Hawkbill, had challenged for the lead two furlongs out with the eventual winner, Highland Reel, but was one paced into the closing stages finishing three and a half lengths further back.


Jockey William Buick commented: “He is better with a bit more juice in the ground. He is third in a Coronation Cup so this was a good effort.


“We had a bit of a battle and I thought we had the run of it. But we were never far away.”


3.10pm £420,000 Investec Coronation Cup (Group 1)

(British Champions Series) 1m 4f


1 (3) Highland Reel (IRE) (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor) Aidan O’Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Ryan Moore 9/4 Fav   

2 (10) Frontiersman (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 9st 0lb James Doyle 9/1


3 (4) Hawkbill (USA) (Godolphin) (Sheepskin C/P) Charlie Appleby 9st 0lb William Buick 11/2


4 (6) Elbereth (David Taylor) Andrew Balding 8st 11lb Oisin Murphy 33/1


5 (2) Journey (George Strawbridge) (Hood) John Gosden 8st 11lb Frankie Dettori 7/2


6 (7) Idaho (IRE) (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Seamie Heffernan 11/1


7 (8) Red Verdon (USA) (Ronnie Arculli) (Sheepskin C/P) Ed Dunlop 9st 0lb Pat Smullen 33/1


8 (9) Air Pilot (Lady Cobham) Ralph Beckett 9st 0lb Fran Berry 25/1


9 (1) Prize Money (Godolphin) (Hood) Saeed bin Suroor 9st 0lb Olivier Peslier 10/1


10 (5) US Army Ranger (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Donnacha O’Brien 8/1


10 ran


Time: 2m 33.34s


Distances: 1¾, 3½, 1, sh, 1, ½, 1¼, ¾, 2


Tote Win: £2.90 Places: £1.20 £3.30 £2 Exacta: £27.30







Not So Sleepy won a thrilling finish to the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap at odds of 10/1, collaring the Richard Fahey-trained Innocent Touch to get up by a neck in the 10-furlong contest.


The Beat Hollow five-year-old was ridden by Adam Kirby and trained by Hughie Morrison.


Morrison said: “It wasn’t the plan – the plan was always to run him on good ground or soft ground. Last year we fiddled around and nothing happened, and this year he ran nicely the other day, and last Saturday morning someone pointed out that there was a mile and a quarter race here he could run in, and let’s put him in.


“I was erring on the side of caution on Wednesday and probably wouldn’t have run him, but I’ve delighted for James and Pam [Lord and Lady Blyth], who own him and bred him, that he’s turned up today and won for them.


“He’s a horse who is very free at home. My travelling head lad Tom and the lad who looks after him are given the task of trying to control him every day and sometimes he is unmanageable. They’ve done an absolutely amazing job on him in the past six weeks – otherwise he’d be somewhere on the A34 at the moment!”




Jockey Adam Kirby was delighted with the performance of Not So Sleepy, who ran out the narrow neck winner of the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap at Epsom this afternoon.


The 10/1 chance travelled kindly for his rider and the pair looked to be going strongly until meeting trouble at a key stage in the race.


There was plenty of scrimmaging in the closing stages, which caused the stewards to take a look following the race, but Kirby was happy with Not So Sleepy after the race and revealed that the horse can be quite difficult.


“We had a nice slot and everything was going smoothly but when the leader fell away down the fence, the race just rolled over one horse,” said the jockey.


“I went from having plenty of racing room to just getting a bit tight for three or four strides. That’s racing though and, hopefully, all of that will be OK.


“I am really pleased for the horse. He is quite difficult – he pulls very hard – and needs everything to go right.


“He ran a nice race the last day and has come on from that. It is good for him to win a nice race.


“They all roll down this hill here so I’d imagine that will be taken into account when the stewards look at it.”




The Richard Fahey-trained Innocent Touch (16/1) was an excellent second in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap, the fourth race on Investec Ladies’ Day.


Always prominent in the 10-furlong handicap, the six-year-old son of Intense Focus led inside the final furlong under Tony Hamilton but was collared close home by the fast-finishing 10/1 shot Not So Sleepy, trained by Hughie Morrison, who scored by a neck.


Fahey remarked: “I’m delighted with him – over the moon. I am just slightly frustrated that he got beat.


“We could bring him back here for one of the evening meetings or something probably but he is just rated so high that there are not many races for him but we’ll see.”


Eve Johnson-Houghton’s six-year-old What About Carlo (14/1), with Tom Queally up, was a further neck behind in third and she was delighted with the performance of her charge.


She said: “We are so proud. When he is in form, he is in form. He is just a lovely old boy to have in the yard.


“He doesn’t want fast ground and we could have done with that shower of rain.


As for future plans, Johnson-Houghton continued: “I don’t know where we will go next, it is very difficult with a horse rated 100. We will have to see what the handicapper does to him.


“He loves Newbury or a conditions race here.”


3.45pm Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap  1m 2f 17y

1 NOT SO SLEEPY (Lady Blyth) Hughie Morrison 5-9-08 Adam Kirby 10/1

2 Innocent Touch (Nicholas Wrigley & Kevin Hart) Richard Fahey 6-9-02 Tony Hamilton 16/1

3 What About Carlo (Anthony Pye-Jeary) Eve Johnson Houghton 6-9-10 Tom Queally 14/1


11/4 Fav Brorocco (5th)

Time: 1m 46.95s

Distances: nk, nk

Tote Win: £11.80 Places: £3.90 £5.80 £3.60 Exacta: £217.90







Enable (GB) factfile – the 2017 Investec Oaks winner


Breeding: 3 b f Nathaniel (IRE) – Concentric (GB) (Sadler’s Wells (USA))

Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Ltd

Born: February 12, 2014

Owner: Khalid Abdullah

Trainer: John Gosden

Jockey: Frankie Dettori

Form: 1-311


*Defeated 8/11 favourite Rhododendron by five lengths to win today’s Investec Oaks at 6/1. It is a second Investec Oaks success for trainer John Gosden following Taghrooda (2014), a fourth for jockey Frankie Dettori following Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995) and Kazzia (2002) and a second for owner Khalid Abdullah following Reams Of Verse (1997).

*Previously recorded a comfortable length and three-quarter victory over favourite Alluringly in the Listed Cheshire Oaks (11.5f) at Chester on May 10, 2017.

*The filly came third on her seasonal reappearance behind stable companion Shutter Speed in a conditions race (10f) at Newbury on April 21.

*She made a winning debut on November 28 in Tapeta maiden (1m) at Newcastle.

*Dam a Listed winner.

*Half-sister Contribution G2-placed in France.

Race record: Starts 4; Wins 3; 2nd -; 3rd 1. Win & Place Prize Money: £321,978


Khalid Abdullah

Born: Taif, Saudi Arabia, 1937 Background: Prince Khalid Abdullah, who prefers to be known as plain Mr K Abdullah on the racecard, is a first cousin to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. He is a semi-retired businessman who, along with his four sons, presides over a huge conglomerate, the Mawarid Group, in Saudi Arabia and beyond. Racing interests: Developed a love for British racing during the 1960s when renting a house in London and, with the help of former trainer Humphrey Cottrill, had his first winner on May 14, 1979, when the Jeremy Tree-trained Charming Native scored at Windsor. Abdullah has been one of the most successful owner-breeders in Europe and North America over the past four decades and is the only current owner to have owned and bred the winners of all five British Classics. He also races with great success in France, Ireland and the United States, where under the Juddmonte Farms banner he won a Triple Crown race in 2003 with Empire Maker in the Belmont Stakes. Frankel is Abdullah’s greatest horse after retiring to stud unbeaten in 14 starts, 10 of which came at Group One level. His triumphs included the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes, QIPCO Sussex Stakes (2011 & 2012), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO, the Queen Anne Stakes, the Juddmonte International and QIPCO Champion Stakes. His current superstar is North American dirt performer Arrogate, who won the world’s three richest dirt races – the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Pegasus Invitational and Dubai World Cup. Breeding Interests: The owner’s Juddmonte breeding operation has properties in England, Ireland and Kentucky, comprising a total of 5,350 acres and including Banstead Manor Stud just outside Newmarket and Juddmonte Farms south of Lexington. Juddmonte Farms stand six stallions, including Frankel, Oasis Dream, Kingman and DansPegaili, and are also responsible for 200 broodmares. Other Information: Abdullah is an honorary member of the British Jockey Club. Lord Grimthorpe is his racing manager in Europe and Dr John Chandler oversees his US interests while Douglas Erskine-Crum was appointed to the new post of chief executive in 2012. Accolades: Champion owner in Britain (2003, 2010, 2011) & France (2003). Has won 10 Eclipse Awards in America as well as numerous Cartier Racing Awards in Europe including the Award of Merit in 2002. Received an honorary doctorate of science from Anglia Ruskin University in 2011.  British Classic Wins (12): QIPCO 1000 Guineas (1999 Wince, 2010 Special Duty), QIPCO 2000 Guineas (1980 Known Fact, 1986 Dancing Brave, 1993 Zafonic, 2011 Frankel), Investec Oaks (1997 Reams Of Verse, 2017 Enable), Investec Derby (1990 Quest For Fame, 1993 Commander In Chief, 2010 Workforce), St Leger (1991 Toulon). Other Big Race Wins Include: Coral-Eclipse (1986 Dancing Brave, 2010 Twice Over), Darley July Cup (2003 Oasis Dream), Dewhurst Stakes (1992 Zafonic, 1997 Xaar, 1999 Distant Music, 2010 Frankel), Irish Derby (1993 Commander In Chief), Irish 2,000 Guineas (2014 Kingman), Juddmonte International (2011 Twice Over, 2012 Frankel), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1986 Dancing Brave), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1985 Rainbow Quest, 1986 Dancing Brave, 2006 Rail Link, 2010 Workforce), Prix du Jockey Club (1990 Sanglamore), QIPCO Champion Stakes (2009 & 2010 Twice Over, 2012 Frankel, 2014 Noble Mission), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1980 Known Fact, 1988 Warning, 2000 Observatory, 2011 Frankel), Qatar Sussex Stakes (1985 Rousillon, 1988 Warning, 1994 Distant View, 2011 & 2012 Frankel, 2014 Kingman), Breeders’ Cup Classic (2016 Arrogate), Pegasus Invitational (2017 Arrogate), Dubai World Cup (2017 Arrogate)

Investec Oaks Wins: 1997 REAMS OF VERSE; 2017 ENABLE


John Gosden (Clarehaven Stables, Newmarket)

Born: Lewes, Sussex, on March 30, 1951 Background: His late father Towser (1904-1967) was a trainer near Lewes in Sussex. John was educated at Eastbourne College and Cambridge University. He then worked in land management in Venezuela before returning to Britain to assist Newmarket trainer Sir Noel Murless from 1974 to 1975 and Ireland’s champion Vincent O’Brien from 1976 to 1977. After a spell assisting Tommy Doyle in California, he set up as a trainer in the US in 1979, where he trained with success for nine years, sending out more than 500 winners. He saddled Robert Sangster’s Royal Heroine to win the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Mile at Hollywood Park in 1984. Prompted by Sheikh Mohammed, he returned to Britain in 1988, to train at the owner’s Stanley House Stables in Newmarket. In 2000, he moved to Robert Sangster’s Manton estate in Wiltshire, but returned to Newmarket in 2005, having bought Clarehaven Stables on the Bury Road. He was champion Flat trainer for the first time in 2012,



with his horses earning more than £3.7 million in prize money in Britain, and again took the title in 2015 when he became the first

trainer to break the £5-millon barrier. He saddled the first and second, Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs, in the 2015 Investec Derby and had the 2016 Investec Derby fourth, Wings Of Desire. He was second to Aidan O’Brien in the 2016 trainers’ championship, with his horses accumulating over £3,300,000. Personal: He is married to Rachel Hood, a barrister who has served as President of the Racehorse Owners Association (2011-2016) and Mayor of Newmarket (2014-2015). The couple have four children – Sebastian, Serena, Theodora and Thaddeus. Hood founded and formerly chaired the Save Historic Newmarket Action Group, which has long opposed Lord Derby’s Hatchfield Farm development, Accolades: Trained US Eclipse Award winners Bates Motel and Royal Heroine. British champion trainer in 2012 and 2015. He has trained the last two winners of the Horse Of The Year accolade at the Cartier Racing Awards, Golden Horn (2015) and Kingman (2014). Winners: He has won more than 3,000 races around the world, including over 100 Group/Grade Ones, in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. There have been 41 Royal Ascot successes. British Classic wins (9): Investec Derby – 1997 Benny The Dip, 2015 Golden Horn; Investec Oaks – 2014 Taghrooda, 2017 Enable; QIPCO 1000 Guineas – 2000 Lahan; St Leger – 1996 Shantou, 2007 Lucarno, 2010 Arctic Cosmos, 2011 Masked Marvel. Irish Classic wins (5): Irish 2,000 Guineas – 2014 Kingman; Irish Derby – 2015 Jack Hobbs; Irish Oaks – 2012 Great Heavens; Irish St Leger – 1992 Mashaallah, 2011 Duncan-dh. Other major wins include: Arlington Million (2010 Debussy), Breeders’ Cup Mile (1984 Royal Heroine), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (2008 Donativum, 2009 Pounced), Breeders’ Cup Classic (2008 Raven’s Pass), Coral-Eclipse (2012 Nathaniel, 2015 Golden Horn), Diamond Jubilee Stakes (2002 Malhub), Coronation Stakes (2006 Nannina, 2012 Fallen For You), Dubai Sheema Classic (2010 Dar Re Mi, 2017 Jack Hobbs), Haydock Sprint Cup (1993 Wolfhound), Falmouth Stakes (1997 Ryafan, 2013 Elusive Kate), Grosser Preis Von Baden (1992 Mashaallah), Irish Champion Stakes (1993 Muhtarram, 2013 The Fugue, 2015 Golden Horn), July Cup (2003 Oasis Dream), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2011 Nathaniel, 2014 Taghrooda), Lockinge Stakes (1994 Emperor Jones, 2009 Virtual), Matron Stakes (2009 Rainbow View), Nassau Stakes (1997 Ryafan, 2012 The Fugue, 2013 Winsili, 2014 Sultanina), Nunthorpe Stakes (2003 Oasis Dream), Pretty Polly Stakes (1994 Del Deya, 2009 Da Re Mi, 2012 Izzi Top), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (1994 & 1995 Muhtarram, 2014 The Fugue), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2015 Golden Horn), Prix Jacques Le Marois (2014 Kingman), Qatar Sussex Stakes (2014 Kingman), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (2000 Observatory, 2008 Raven’s Pass), QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (2016 Journey); San Antonio Handicap (1983 Bates Motel, 1986 Hatim), Santa Anita Handicap (1983 Bates Motel), St James’s Palace Stakes (2014 Kingman), Yorkshire Oaks (2009 Da Re Mi, 2013 The Fugue), Prix de l’Abbaye (1991 Keen Hunter), Prix de la Foret (1992 Wolfhound, 2001 Mount Abu), Prix d’Ispahan (2001 Observatory), Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (1999 Valentine Waltz, 2002 Zenda), Prix Jean Prat (1995 Torrential), Prix Lupin (1995 Flemensfirth), Prix Maurice de Gheest (2002 May Ball), Prix Rothschild (2012 & 2013 Elusive Kate).

Investec Oaks Record: 1993-8 Marillette, 1995-10 Bunting, 2003-12 High Praise, 2008-7 Michita, 2009-4 Rainbow View, 2010-4 Gertrude Bell, 2011-3 Izzi Top, 2012-3 The Fugue, 2013-8 Gertrude Versed; 2014-1 TAGHROODA; 2015-5 Jazzi Top, 2015-9 Star Of Seville; 2017-1 ENABLE, 2017-5 Coronet


Frankie Dettori

Born: December 15, 1970, Milan, Italy. Background: 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 passed 100 winners for the first time in 1990 when recording 141 successes and created history when riding all seven winners on the Saturday at the Ascot Festival in September, 1996. Dettori survived a horrific plane crash at Newmarket in 2000 in which the pilot was killed. He was retained by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation in 1993, but it was announced in September, 2012, that the retainer would not be renewed. It was subsequently revealed he had failed a drugs test whilst riding in France. On December 5, 2012, Dettori was suspended from riding for six months after being found guilty of taking a prohibited substance, believed to be cocaine. He returned from his ban at the 2013 Investec Derby Festival and became retained rider for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani in July, 2013, whose horses run under the Al Shaqab Racing banner. He is married to Catherine and they have five children. His best total of British winners – 233 – came in 1994 and he has ridden over 3,000 winners in Britain. Accolades/achievements: British champion apprentice in 1989 and champion jockey three times (1994, 1995 and 2004). Awarded an honorary MBE in December, 2000. He is the most successful current jockey at Royal Ascot with 56 successes. British Classic Wins (17): QIPCO 2000 Guineas (1996 Mark Of Esteem, 1999 Island Sands, 2016 Galielo Gold), QIPCO 1000 Guineas (1998 Cape Verdi, 2002 Kazzia, 2011 Blue Bunting), Investec Derby (2007 Authorized. 2015 Golden Horn), Investec Oaks (1994 Balanchine, 1995 Moonshell, 2002 Kazzia, 2017 Enable), St Leger (1995 Classic Cliché, 1996 Shantou, 2005 Scorpion, 2006 Sixties Icon, 2008 Conduit). Big-Race Wins include: Breeders’ Cup Classic (2008 Raven’s Pass), Dubai World Cup (2000 Dubai Millennium, 2003 Moon Ballad, 2006 Electrocutionist), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1995 Lammtarra, 1998 Swain, 1999 Daylami, 2004 Doyen), Japan Cup (1996 Singspiel, 2002 Falbrav, 2005 Alkaased), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1995 Lammtarra, 2001 Sakhee, 2002 Marienbard), Gold Cup (1992 & 93 Drum Taps, 1998 Kayf Tara, 2004 Papineau, 2012 Colour Vision), St James’s Palace Stakes (1997 Starborough, 2016 Galileo Gold)), King’s Stand Stakes (1994 Lochsong), Prince of Wales’s Stakes (2001 Fantastic Light, 2002 Grandera, 2011 Rewilding), Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1995 So Factual, 2015 Undrafted), Queen Anne Stakes (1990 Markofdistinction, 1997 Allied Forces, 1998 Inktikhab, 2003 Dubai Destination, 2004 Refuse To Bend, 2007 Ramonti).

Investec Oaks Record: 1991-2 Shamshir; 1993-3 Oakmead; 1994-1 BALANCHINE; 1995-1 MOONSHELL; 1996-2 Pricket; 1997-11 Siyadah; 1998-2 Bahr; 1999-3 Zahrat Dubai; 2001-13 Najah; 2002-1 KAZZIA; 2003-5 Hi Dubai;  2004-3 Punctilious; 2005-12 Fen Shui; 2006-6 Time On; 2007-13 Measured Tempo; 2008-4 Clowance; 2010-14 Sajjhaa; 2011-4 Blue Bunting; 2014-17 Amazing Maria; 2015-5 Jazzi Top; 2016-2 Architecture; 2017-1 ENABLE






4.30pm £500,000 Investec Oaks (Group 1)

(British Champions Series) 1m 4f


1 (9) Enable (Khalid Abdullah) John Gosden 9st 0lb Frankie Dettori 6/1


2 (5) Rhododendron (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Ryan Moore 8/11 Fav


3 (7) Alluringly (USA) (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor) Aidan O’Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Seamie Heffernan 16/1


4 (3) Horseplay (Philip Freedman) Andrew Balding 9st 0lb Oisin Murphy 14/1


5 (6) Coronet (Denford Stud) John Gosden 9st 0lb Andrea Atzeni 12/1


6 (8) Isabel de Urbina (IRE) (Merriebelle Irish Farm Ltd) Ralph Beckett 9st 0lb Fran Berry 33/1


7 (1) Pocketfullofdreams (FR) (Michael Tabor, Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith, Markus Jooste) (Hood) Aidan O’Brien, Ireland 9st 0lb Donnacha O’Brien 50/1


8 (10) Sobetsu (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 9st 0lb William Buick 6/1


9 (2) Natavia (Khalid Abdullah) Roger Charlton 9st 0lb Pat Smullen 12/1


Non-Runner: Daddys Lil Darling (withdrawn after bolting to the start)


9 ran

Time: 2m 34.13s Distances: 5, 6, 3¾, 1, 2¾, 2¾, 1¾, 7

Tote Win: £6.40 Places: £2.00, £1.10, £3.90 Exacta: £12.10























Enable’s victory in the Investec Oaks was a second in the premier fillies’ Classic for trainer John Gosden, after Taghrooda’s success in 2014.


Enable, a first-crop daughter of Nathaniel – who Gosden trained to win the Eclipse and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes – was sent off at odds of 6/1, beat the 8/11 favourite Rhododendron by five lengths. She was bred by her owner, Khalid Abdullah.


It was a dramatic renewal of the race – lightning split the sky in the preliminaries, during which American-trained Daddys Lil Girl was withdrawn after bolting with jockey Olivier Peslier, who threw himself off her to avoid an accident. A sudden heavy shower meant the latter stages of the race were run in driving rain.


The race developed into a battle between Rhododendron, ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by Aidan O’Brien, and Enable, under Frankie Dettori, but Enable drew away to win by an impressive five lengths.


Gosden said: “That was a real Oaks. The drama before – I hope Olivier is alright, and the flash of lightning when they were loading into the stalls; it was all a bit Hollywood!


“I thought they were two magnificent fillies; they fought hard all down the straight. You could see Ryan and Frankie – they are good mates and they each knew what the other was going to do. They locked on three out, and I must say, from the three [furlong marker] to the one [furlong marker] I thought they were in trouble.


“She is beautifully bred by Juddmonte, and by old Nathaniel! Good old Nathaniel.


“Frankie and Ryan are good mates but they knew they had the two best fillies. Ryan said he was very impressed with our filly when she beat him at Chester. He knew it was going to be a battle. Very exciting. These are fabulous fillies. Enable is in the Taghrooda class [who followed up her Oaks win with victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes]. I felt that after Chester [where she won the Cheshire Oaks].”




Jockey Frankie Dettori was on cloud nine after Enable gave him his fourth success in the Group One Investec Oaks at Epsom this afternoon.


The ebullient Italian won the fillies’ Classic on Balanchine in 1994, Moonshell in 1995 and Kazzia in 2002 for Godolphin and Enable’s five length victory gives Dettori yet another victory at the highest level.


The market predicted it would be between the 8/11 favourite Rhododendron and 6/1 shot Enable and this is precisely how the race panned out as the pair set sail for home two furlongs out, after long-time leader and pacemaker Pocketfullofdreams faded.


The favourite looked to be travelling the better of the two but Enable stuck to her guns admirably and the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly had no answer to the winner’s staying power.


After the race, Dettori revealed that he thought Rhododendron was coming to beat him as the pair came down the straight.


“When I saw Ryan not moving, I thought ‘oh God, I’m in trouble!” said the jockey.


“But once I saw the distress signals coming out, I knew my filly would stay right to end and she pulled away in the last furlong. Enable has only run three times (previously) and is very good. She stays well and is still a bit of frame. I think she will get better and better.


“Well done to the team at Clarehaven Stables (trainer John Gosden’s yard). They have done a great job.”


Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah, was also delighted following the race.


“She looked like she was going to have a bit of a tussle with Rhododendron and she did. She really stayed on, lengthened again and really did it – it was utterly brilliant. She was very impressive.
“I think we are in a very fortunate position and I am so thrilled for Prince Khalid. It’s his breeding operation and another home-bred Classic winner is so vital for everything. I think we have to enjoy this and then think about the future.


“I am always hopeful, never confident. I am always a bit apprehensive with a Classic. I love the whole atmosphere of Epsom with Investec, Poundland – I think it’s fantastic. I think the whole thing has been a real boost for the sport and we are so lucky to be involved.”




The Aidan O’Brien-trained Rhododendron, the very well-backed 8/11 favourite, had to settle for second in the G1 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs as she was outstayed in the closing stages by John Gosden’s impressive winner Enable (6/1) in the 12-furlong event.


Ridden by Ryan Moore, O’Brien’s charge travelled sweetly throughout the contest but struggled to match the finishing kick of the winner under Frankie Dettori, who stayed on well in the final furlong to score by five lengths.


Rhododendron’s stable companion Alluringly (16/1), ridden by Seamie Heffernan, finished six lengths behind her in third.


O’Brien’s horses had a troubled preparation this morning due to travel problems on the way over to Epsom but the master of Ballydoyle suggested it was the mile and a half-trip which ultimately saw the three-year-old daughter of Galileo finish second.


O’Brien said: “Ryan [Moore, jockey] thought Rhododendron ran very well. Everything went lovely and she has run a very good race.


“Obviously the shower before the race made the ground a little bit slower than it was earlier in the day but that wasn’t any excuse.


“Ryan just felt the last furlong was a long furlong on our filly. Whether the trip was far enough for her or whether she just had a busy day, there was a lot of stuff but she ran very well.


“We are delighted with how the fillies ran and obviously the winner is a very good filly.


“Donnacha [rode Pocketfullofdreams] went a sensible pace and I don’t think he went too strong. The other fillies went their own pace and Ryan followed him down the straight.


“I would say that Rhodendron would be very happy going back down in trip.”



Ryan Moore, on the second-placed 8/11 favourite, Rhododendron, said: “She ran a very good race, the winner is a very good filly, well done to them. We just got out stayed today.”


Seamie Heffernan, on third home Alluringly, said: “I followed the second best and the second best followed the best. They are three really good fillies.”


Oisin Murphy, on fourth Horseplay, said: “Delighted with the run. Probably a little bit lacking in experience. I think there is more to come.”


Andrea Atzeni, on fifth Coronet, said: “She ran good but probably didn’t quite handle the track. She wants more of a galloping track.”


Fran Berry, on sixth Isabel De Urbina, said: “I am delighted with the run, she is a very inexperienced filly. She ran on well in the last furlong and a half. She will improve for that on a more conventional track and could even step up in trip.”


Donnacha O’Brien, on seventh Pocketfullofdreams, said: “She ran her race, kept going, but isn’t Group One class.”


William Buick, on eighth Sobetsu, said: “She didn’t turn up today, she is better than that. Maybe easier ground… she probably doesn’t quite stay.”


Pat Smullen, on ninth Natavia, said: “The undulations of the track caught her out.”


Olivier Peslier, finding that his mount, the American challenger Daddys Lil Darling, was running away going to the start, bailed out before the stalls and the filly was unscathed despite crashing through a plastic rail.










Trainer John Gosden and owner Khalid Abdullah registered their second victories in the Investec Oaks after 6/1 shot Enable ran out a decisive winner of the fillies’ Classic at Epsom Downs.


Ridden by Frankie Dettori, registering his fourth victory in the contest, the three-year-old daughter of Nathaniel travelled well throughout the 12-furlong event and engaged in a pulsating battle with 8/11 favourite Rhododendron, trained by Aidan O’Brien, in the home straight.


However, it was Gosden’s filly, an impressive winner of the Cheshire Oaks at Chester last time, who surged clear in the closing stages to win decisively by five lengths. Rhododendron’s stable companion, Alluringly (16/1), stayed on well to finish a further six-lengths back in third.


A delighted Gosden said in the press conference after the race: “She is a big powerful strong filly. She always had a good frame on her and she filled it out well. I just took my time with her and gave her one race as a two-year-old at Newcastle over the straight mile which suits that type of horse and then she ran great at Newbury [finished third, April 21]. The Investec Oaks was some race. Nathaniel [sire] was a proper mile and a quarter/mile and a half horse and Concentric [dam] is a wonderful mare from a beautiful family.”


As for future plans, Gosden continued: “She is a magnificent filly. Khalid [Abdullah, owner] has strong views as to where he likes his horses to run as he knows the race programme inside out but obviously, you have races like the Irish Oaks or go for the King George so these are all things to think about. We can dream of the future. I would not see the point of taking her back to mile and a quarter because there so many wonderful races at a mile and a half. I have got some lovely middle-distance fillies in the three-year-old crop and I thought all last year that the fillies were better than the colts.”


Gosden also admitted he was ‘terrified’ of the well-backed favourite Rhododendron before the race, commenting: “The quality in the field today was so recognisable and I thought this was a top-quality Oaks. I was absolutely terrified of Rhododendron coming into the race. With what Winter has achieved [British-Irish 1000 Guineas double] and how unlucky she was at Newmarket [QIPCO 2000 Guineas], given we were taking her on with a Listed winner, of course I was terrified. However, my attitude was that we could make a real race of it rather than we could actually win.


“I thought coming here today that there was a good chance we might do this and we have. It’s great for Nathaniel to get a Classic winner in his first crop. He was a proper Galileo winning a King George and an Eclipse. Going over to Deauville for the Prix Saint-Alary when Coronet ran third, I was sitting with Ryan and he said ‘I could not believe your filly quickened like that at Chester, I thought I had you any time.’ It is not often Ryan compliments someone else’s horse – he is quite tight with that sort of thing – and so I put a lot of weight on that.


“They have gone a solid pace in driving rain which made it a proper test. It was extraordinarily tough for these fillies to get through it. It was an epic battle and I thought the other filly [Rhododendron] had us. They both have a lot of stamina, but it was just the last part that we dominated.”


Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, remarked: “With her pedigree, we were pretty confident, particularly after Chester that she would stay pretty well.


“She kept on going that day so whilst we were pretty confident that she would stay, of course that doesn’t mean she was going to stay a Classic but to do what she did in the style that she did was impressive.


“From two furlongs out, I was very nervous as Rhododendron seemed to be travelling so well but Enable ran on, lengthened and put the race to bed.


“There was a good gallop but Classics should be run at a good pace as we are trying to find out if we were good enough and whether we can breed from them – that is the whole ethos of the owner-breeder.”









Solomon’s Bay took the Investec Savings Surrey Stakes, a Listed contest run over seven furlongs, from Seven Heavens.


The 8/1 chance won by three-quarters of a length for jockey Silvestre de Sousa and trainer Roger Varian.


Varian said: “He’s improving – he took a step forward last time at Newmarket [where he finished fourth in a Listed race] and I hoped he’d run well today. Silvestre was quite impressed with him.


“Put a line through his last start last year in the Autumn Stakes at Ascot [over a mile] – we probably stretched him out a bit that day. Before that, the form of his maiden win was quite strong and I’m pleased he’s going the right way now.”


Asked about future plans, Varian replied: “We’ll get him home and make sure he’s in one piece, and I’ll speak with Prince Faisal [his owner] before we make any decisions, but I’d be tempted by putting him in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, and we can judge the horse’s condition closer to the race. We’re talking 19 days, so we will see how he recovers and go from there, but he’s a bright prospect for the rest of the season.


“The Jersey is always a hot race and very hard to win. The addition of the [Group One] Commonwealth Cup doesn’t seem to have detracted from it.”




Solomon’s Bay came from last to first under jockey Silvestre De Sousa to record a three-quarter length victory in the Listed Investec Savings Surrey Stakes at Epsom this afternoon.


The 8/1 shot was given a patient ride by his jockey and pounced on runner-up Seven Heavens in the final furlong to give trainer Roger Varian and owner Prince Faisal their first victory of this year’s Investec Derby Festival.


De Sousa was happy with Solomon’s Bay after the race and was pleased with the improvement shown.


“The idea was just to keep hold of him and he’s travelled nicely,” said the jockey.


“They didn’t go a great gallop early on but I was quite happy with the way he was travelling. The race started to pick up four furlongs out and then everything went well after that.


“I came down the outside as it was the easiest route to take and I didn’t need any gaps to come. He’s a horse that has improved with every run and I’m delighted for my boss, Prince Faisal. I don’t think he handled the course that well to be honest. When he hit top gear, he just came down the camber a bit. He’s a tough horse and he’s still learning.


“Who knows where he will go next and I will leave that to Roger. The horse is improving and I hope we have another big day. He’s a nice horse and he’s going the right way.”


5.15pm Investec Savings Surrey Stakes (Listed) 7f


1 Solomon’s Bay (Prince A A Faisal) Roger Varian 3-9-00 Silvestre De Sousa 8/1

2 Seven Heavens (Khalid Abdullah) John Gosden 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori 5/2

3 True Valour (Qatar Racing Limited) Johnny Murtagh IRE 3-9-00 Ryan Moore 3/1


2/1 Fav Sutter County (7th)

Time: 1m 21.97s

Distances: ¾, 2¼

Tote Win: £9.20 Places: £3.70, £1.70; Exacta: £28.40




Seven Heavens, an improving Frankel colt, in the colours of Khalid Abdullah and trained by John Gosden, whose Enable had just taken the Investec Oaks, went down by three-quarters of a length to Solomon’s Bay in the Investec Savings Surrey Stakes.


Sent off a 5/2 chance, the three-year-old pleased his trainer with Gosden commenting: “He is a nice horse and he is going the right way.


“I feel his future is in America, I know a bit about American racing and I think it will really suit him.  I hope he goes there. The owner has a major stable there and I think he could do well.”


Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Kahlid Abdullah, added: “He has run a very solid race. He is actually maturing a bit now.


“Probably six furlongs is too sharp and seven too far. We have got to think about him and what we do next. He certainly has some talent.


“We see what Prince Khalid wants to do with him.”









Highland Reel stormed to a one and three-quarter length success in the Group One Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom this afternoon.


Aidan O’Brien’s horses had to endure an arduous journey to Epsom Downs after their plane was delayed leaving Ireland but there were no such dramas in the race itself as jockey Ryan Moore elected to make the running with the five-year-old and made every post a winning one with a fine front-running ride.


The 9/4 favourite was briefly challenged by Hawkbill two furlongs from home but both Moore and Highland Reel dug deep and the pair stayed on strongly as Hawkbill’s challenge weakened, which left the fast-finishing Frontiersman to stay on to claim the runner-up spot.


Moore was full of praise for Highland Reel’s battling qualities following the race.


“He’s a very good horse,” said Moore.


“He’s proven around the world. He’s won top races in Hong Kong, America and he’s a King George winner.


“He’s been a great horse for connections and a great horse to be associated with. He’s tough more than anything. He always finds more when you ask him. He’s just a pleasure to ride.”









Winning trainer William Jarvis was thrilled with the performance of 4/1 favourite Juanito Chico who pounced late under Silvestre De Sousa to land the Investec Foreign Exchange Handicap, the concluding race on Investec Ladies’ Day, the first day of the 2017 Investec Derby Festival.


The three-year-old son of Pour Moi travelled well throughout the seven-furlong contest and displayed a potent turn of foot in the closing stages to score by a length from Richard Hannon’s Wahash (7/1) in second.


Black Trilby (5/1), trained by Clive Cox, was a length and a quarter further back in third.


Juanito Chico has kept decent company this term and finished a creditable third in a competitive event at Ascot last time.


A delighted Jarvis said: “Juanito Chico has been a bit unlucky in both starts this season. I think the last twice, he has run, he was the best horse in the race at both Sandown and Ascot.


“It means a lot to use to win this race. Silvestre [De Sousa, jockey] rides this track very well and I’m thrilled.


“His owner Tony Verrier has been good supporter of mine and it is great to give him a nice winner.”


“He is a very useful horse and the bit of rain that feel earlier would have done his chance no harm. It’s great to win a race like this.”


Investec Foreign Exchange Handicap 7f

1 Juanito Chico (Tony Verrier) William Jarvis 3-8-06 Silvestre De Sousa  4/1F

2 Wahash (Al Shaqab Racing) Richard Hannon 3-9-04 Frankie Dettori 7/1

3 Black Trilby (Alan Spence) Clive Cox 3-8-5 Sam Hitchcott 5/1


Time: 1m 21.62s

Distances: 1, 1¼

Tote   Win: £4.80 Places: £1.80, £2.40, £2.10 Exacta: £27.50




Silvestre de Sousa came with a late run aboard Juanito Chico in the final race of Investec Ladies’ Day to win by a length from the Richard Hannon-trained Wahash.


Juanito Chico, the 4/1 favourite, is trained by William Jarvis.


“He was the best horse in the race. Today was the best ride I’ve had on him; he was more straightforward. I was able to hold my position where I wanted to be.


“The horse deserves it, he ran a good race at Ascot last time and has done well to come back on a big day like today.


“Seven furlongs is a bit sharp for him, but today he was able to travel just behind the leaders so hallway through the race I could get myself in exactly the right place.


“Epsom is a special track to ride and to have a winner at.”


It was the second part of a double for de Sousa, who won the previous race – the Investec Surrey Stakes – on the Roger Varian-trained Solomon’s Bay.








A heavy thunder shower occurred during the running of the Investec Oaks but Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs, has decided to leave the going unchanged at Good overnight.


Cooper commented: “In turns of measurement, we have had barely a millimetre of rain. I don’t think it is out of question that we might have a bit more during the night but it is not expected.


“We will take stock in the morning but I don’t think that the shower will have had a lasting effect.


“I will look again in the morning.”




Today’s attendance at Epsom Downs Racecourse for the first day of the Investec Derby Festival, Investec Ladies’ Day, was in the region of 25,000.


This was similar to 2016 and included reduced capacities in the Queen’s Stand and Grandstand to improve the overall raceday experience for customers.


Leading Trainers and Jockeys of the Investec Derby Festival


Leading Trainer


Name     1st   2nd   3rd

Charlie Appleby   1   1   1

Aidan O’Brien IRE   1   1   1

John Gosden    1   1   -

Richard Hannon   1   1   -

William Jarvis   1   -   -

Hughie Morrison   1   -   -

Roger Varian    1   -   -

Richard Fahey   -           1   2

Mark Johnston   -   1   -

David O’Meara   -   1   -

Clive Cox    -   -   1

Eve Johnson-Houghton  -   -   1

Johnny Murtagh IRE  -           -           1


Leading Jockey


Name     1st   2nd   3rd

Silvestre de Sousa   2   2   -

Ryan Moore    2   1   1

Frankie Dettori   1   2   -

William Buick   1   -           1

Adam Kirby    1   -   -

James Doyle    -   1   -

Tony Hamilton   -   1   -

Paul Hanagan   -   -   2

Seamie Heffernan   -   -   1

Sam Hitchcott   -   -   1

Tom Queally    -   -   1




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