Jan Vermeer proving big hit with epsom derby punters
Published 03/02/2010 | 05:00
The Epsom Derby may still be over four months away but that has not stopped punters sticking their hard-earned cash on Aidan O'Brien's Jan Vermeer for the big race.
The Montjeu colt won two of his three outings as a juvenile, signing off his 2009 campaign with an impressive display in the Group One Criterium International at Saint-Cloud. Paddy Power now make the colt 9/1 from 12/1 for Derby glory on June 5, making him their second-favourite behind fellow Ballydoyle inmate St Nicholas Abbey, winner of last season's Racing Post Trophy.
Meanwhile, Binocular is one of three Nicky Henderson-trained entries for the toteswinger Contenders Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday. The JP McManus-owned six-year-old disappointed on his comeback in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle but ran much better to finish third in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton last time.
Henderson has also entered fellow Champion Hurdle contender Zaynar, although he is expected to head to Kelso later in the month, as well as Afsoun. Henderson's Punchestowns features among 11 entries for the Challengers Novices' Chase on the same card.
Last season's World Hurdle runner-up bolted up on his fencing introduction at Newbury in November but has not run since.
Door Boy is an interesting contender for Howard Johnson, Nomecheki has been entered by Nick Gifford while Den Of Iniquity could bid to bounce back after falling at Cheltenham at the weekend. Tchico Polos is the sole Paul Nicholls entry.