Yeats, who had been favourite for the Vodafone Derby on Saturday, appeared to have suffered a minor setback last weekend. However, the colt was back doing routine work early last week, and although trainer Aidan O’Brien had maintained a cautious attitude to Yeats’ chances of running in the Premier Classic, it had seemed that he was back on track.
However, the minor muscle problem that the three-year-old suffered ten days ago has continued to niggle, and a decision was made this morning not to run him in the Derby, but to give him a complete rest. Yeats had followed a classic road taken by various recent Derby winners, and his absence from the great race will be a huge disappointment to many, including punters who stand to lose up to £1 million, according to some bookmakers.
Snow Ridge, the chosen ride of Frankie Dettori (pictured) is likely to start favourite following Yeats’ defection. The Godolphin colt is as low as 2-1 with several bookmakers, and both owners and jockey will be pleased to have shortened the odds of finally claiming a title which has eluded them all for so long.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained North Light is close behind, although the Danehill colt was in isolation at the end of last week to fend off a bug that has affected several Newmarket yards.