Vodafone Epsom Derby 2001 preview

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  • Who’s running in the 2001 Vodaphone Epsom Derby, plus top tips from Horse & Hound magazine’s racing columnist

    Recent Form: 2105-5460
    Breeding: Nureyev-Madame Premier (Raja Baba)
    Owner: Luke ComerTrainer: Luke Comer (IRE)
    Horse & Hound assessment: A no-hoper.

    Halling-Isticanna (Far North)
    Bill Gredley
    Barry Hills
    Lambourn-based Barry Hills has had four second places in the Derby and must despair about ever winning the classic, but he has a strong hand for the 222nd running. Chancellor won a Doncaster maiden last season and then narrowly beat Asian Heights on his seasonal reappearance in Sandown’s classic trial on heavy ground in April. This form has been strengthened by the runner-up’s victory in the Predominate. Yet to prove himself on faster ground.

    Darshaan-Avila (Ajdal)
    Saeed Suhail
    Sir Michael Stoute
    Good enough to beat Tamburlaine – who was subsequently runner-up in this year’s Sagitta 2000 Guineas – over a mile in last year’s Racing Post Trophy. Dilshaan was always going to be better over middle distances. He was also good enough to win the Convergent Communications Dante Stakes at York in May from Celtic Silence on his reappearance, staying on resolutely. Kieren Fallon had the choice of Dilshaan or Golan, but he will miss the race after picking up a three-day ban at Ayr. Whoever is chosen to ride, Dilshaan has a good chance.

    Caerleon-Veronica (Persian Bold)
    Sue Magnier
    Aidan O’Brien (IRE)
    One of Aidan O’Brien’s lesser lights, despite being tremendously consistent and having finished in the first three on all his five starts.

    St Jovite-Colour Chart (Mr Prospector)
    Saeed bin Suroor
    Unbeaten in three runs as a juvenile for French handler Andr‚ Fabre last season, including a group three contest at Longchamp in September. Equerry sustained a setback in the spring and has not raced for Godolphin. Very useful sort, but time may run out for his preparation.

    Sadler’s Wells-Urban Sea (Miswaki)
    Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor
    Aidan O’Brien (IRE)
    Galileo looks to have the best chance among the overseas-trained challengers, being unbeaten. A 14-length winner of his maiden last season, the Sadler’s Wells colt has won both of his two starts this year, including most recently the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown in May. However, this is by far his toughest test.

    Spectrum-Highland Gift (Generous)
    Lord Weinstock
    Sir Michael Stoute
    The Derby was always Golan’s number one target, so when the son of Spectrum took this year’s Sagitta 2000 Guineas in good style,he shot to the forefront of the Derby betting. His pedigree seems to suggest that he will get the trip at Epsom, but some doubt about the Guineas form was thrown up by the Irish 2000 Guineas result, and he is a very short price.

    Sadler’s Wells-Tappiano (Fappiano)
    Sue Magnier
    Aidan O’Brien (IRE)
    Has won a Leopardstown maiden and needs to improve further.

    Fairy King-Kardelle (Kalaglow)
    Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier
    Aidan O’Brien (IRE)
    He was only four lengths behind Noverre in this season’s French 2000 Guineas, but finished a well-beaten eighth in the Italian Derby.

    Fairy King-Kareena (Riverman)
    John Carey
    Mick Channon
    A maiden with little chance.

    Ela-Mana-Mou-Coral Sound (Glow)
    Terry Neill
    David Elsworth
    After a reasonable enough debut effort last season when beaten three lengths by Nayef at Newbury, Mersey Sound was well beaten by Musha Merr when slowly away on his seasonal debut in a listed contest at York.

    Danehill-Victoria Cross (Spectacular Bid)
    Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier
    Aidan O’Brien (IRE)
    Considered one of Aidan O’Brien’s leading lights last season, Mozart was beaten at odds-on this season on his first two starts. He came back to form when runner-up in the Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh, but has yet to prove himself over this trip.

    Hernando-Warg (Dancing Brave)
    Dick Bonnycastle
    Barry Hills
    Won the Chester Vase on his latest outing, having previously shown promise when second in maidens at Pontefract and Doncaster. However, it is probably significant that the Hernando colt is the outsider of Barry Hills’s four possibles for the Derby.

    Quest For Fame-Sunday Bazaar (Nureyev)
    Khalid Abdulla
    Barry Hills
    Perfect Sunday could be the pick of Barry Hills’s strong team. Unbeaten in two runs this campaign, including the Arena Racing Derby Trial at Lingfield in May when he was given a positive ride by Richard Hughes to win by 21⁄2 lengths, the Quest For Fame colt has proved that he handles similar undulations to Epsom’s and could play a part.

    Royal Academy-Kharimata (Kahyasi)
    HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah
    Michael Jarvis
    Finished runner-up to Perfect Sunday on his second start in the Arena Racing Derby Trial at Lingfield. Shrewd handler Michael Jarvis would not be running the colt if he did not have a chance and the Newmarket trainer summed it up nicely when he said: ¨He ran a promising race at Lingfield – he needed it and he’ll come on for it. Whether he’ll come on enough remains to be seen.¨

    Sadler’s Wells-Raisonnable (Common Grounds)
    Niarchos Family
    Pascal Bary (FR)
    Sensible has done nothing wrong on his two starts to date, remaining unbeaten and, most recently, gaining asuccess in a listed race at Longchamp on 26 April. It’s a long way from a listed victory to winning the Derby, but it’s not within the bounds of reason that he could become the first progeny of Sadler’s Wells to take the classic.

    Machiavellian-Try To Catch Me (Shareef Dancer)
    Maktoum Al Maktoum
    Barry Hills
    Storming Home entered the Derby picture when living up to his name in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom on 25 April. On his last run, he finished a close-up third, beaten less than a length by Dilshaan, in York’s Dante Stakes.

    Rock Hopper-La Ballerine (Lafontaine)
    Mrs H F Mahr
    Nick Littmoden
    Does not look goodenough.

    Bering-Ma Lumiere (Niniski)
    Tony Griffin
    Gay Kelleway
    A very optimistic entry.

    Barathea-Lacovia (Majestic Light)
    Saeed bin Suroor
    Confused connections when not running the expected big race when only ninth in the Sagitta 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in early May. Last season, he was unbeaten in three runs, including two group one races, and if he stays thetrip (his dam won the French Oaks) merits respect.

    Sadler’s Wells-Truly Special (Caerleon)
    Saeed bin Suroor
    He impressed when easily taking a Longchamp contest in October. Raised in class for his next public appearance, Wareed finished a highly creditable runner-up to Asian Heights in the Predominate at Goodwood. Although Asians Heights appeared to win on merit, Wareed was a less-experienced horse, is sure to come on a lot for that run and was clear of the third. He finished first, a short-head in front of Musha Merr, in a Godolphin trial over a mile.

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