Can Golan clinch the Guineas/Derby double?

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  • The big question on everyone¨s lips for the past five weeks will be answered atEpsom on Saturday.

    Can Golan gallop into the superstar league by completing the 2,000 Guineas-VodafoneDerby double? The answer is yes.

    The Derby remains the most famous race in the world. The professionals consider itthe ultimate prize and if Golan can retain his unbeaten record, the accolades will beheaped on his athletic bay frame as the new equine hero.

    Golan, owned and bred by industrialist Lord Weinstock, trained by Sir Michael Stouteand ridden by Pat Eddery (deputising for the suspended Kieren Fallon) could be thechampion we all yearn.

    The last horse to complete the Guineas-Derby double was Nashwan in 1969 and beforehim Nijinsky swept all before him in 1970, completing the Guineas-Derby-St LegerTriple Crown.

    Golan showed such electric acceleration to come from a seemingly impossible positionto win the Guineas that his abundance of speed raised a doubt about him getting theextra half mile of the Derby. Such fast horses don’t always stay.

    But Golan has been looked upon as Derby material since his earliest days with Stoute,who has won two Derbys with Shergar and Shahrastani.

    John Magnier, boss of the giant Coolmore breeding operation and owner of Derbysecond favourite Galileo, clearly agrees, For, this week he has been trying to buy intoGolan for a reputed £10m.

    Galileo is also unbeaten. He is by Europe’s outstanding sire Sadler’s Wells who has yetto produce a Derby winner. Sadler’s Wells stock like a bit of juice in the ground andGalileo might just find conditions too quick.

    Putra Sandhurst, who has yet to win a race, is on a sharp learning curve but his trainerMichael Jarvis will be disappointed if he doesn’t reach a place.

    Lambourn trainer Barry Hills, who has trained four second in the race, is four-handedwith Perfect Sunday, Chancellor, Mr Combustible andStorming Home.

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