Sunday 11 December 2016

O'Brien swerves Epsom with Gleneagles

Marcus Armytage

Published 02/06/2015 | 02:30

Though Aidan O'Brien had always insisted dual-Guineas winner Gleneagles was a miler, it was thought that he would be left in at yesterday's five-day stage (Sportsfile)
Though Aidan O'Brien had always insisted dual-Guineas winner Gleneagles was a miler, it was thought that he would be left in at yesterday's five-day stage (Sportsfile)

There will be a maximum field of 15 for the 236th Epsom Derby on Saturday after Golden Horn and Success Days, the principal trial winners in England and Ireland, were supplemented yesterday.

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At the same time, it became clear that neither Gleneagles nor Found would be on the flight from Ballydoyle to the Surrey track at the weekend.

Though Aidan O'Brien had always insisted dual-Guineas winner Gleneagles was a miler, it was thought that he would be left in at yesterday's five-day stage.

Any temptation to run, however, vanished when he was one of three to come out of the Investec-sponsored showpiece, along with Prince Gagarin and Great Glen. He will instead go straight to Royal Ascot for the St James's Palace Stakes.

The option to supplement Found for the Derby was not taken and, while she's still in the Oaks line-up, she will wait for Ascot's Coronation Stakes to give her more time after the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Ballydoyle, who usually run four or five in the Derby, are now down to three - the trial winners Hans Holbein and Kilimanjaro, as well as Giovanni Canaletto. It remains to be seen which Ryan Moore decides to ride.

Success Days has done all his winning on heavy ground but Ken Condon, his trainer, and owner Robert Ng were sufficiently encouraged by the forecast of thundery showers on Friday night to supplement the colt, which would be the first grey to win since Airborne in 1946.

Condon said: "Andrew Cooper does a superb job with the ground and it's always a bit slower on the Friday so, if there's rain, I can't see there being any sting in it. It should be a picture-perfect Derby day and we'll be there.

"He's won the two best trials in Ireland and deserves his place. People say he's been winning in small fields and on bad ground but the ground is always soft in Ireland in the spring. I'm sure he'll run a good race."

Epsom Derby odds: 7/4 Golden Horn, 5 /1 Zawraq, 7/1 Jack Hobbs, 9/1 Elm Park, 12/1 Hans Holbein, 14/1 Giovanni Canaletto, Success Days, 16/1 Epicuris, Kilimanjaro, Storm The Stars, 33/1 bar

Irish Independent

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