Ruler's got to be in Derby mix – Moore
Ballydoyle still have more than 30 entries in the Epsom Derby on June 1, and despite Ruler Of The World's win in the Chester Vase, there is no guarantee Aidan O'Brien's string can lower the colours of Dawn Approach.
Vincent O'Brien's saying 'if you think you've got six Derby horses, you probably have none,' sprang to mind as Paul Smith, spokesman for the Magnier/Tabor/Smith ownership, rattled off some of the key names that might turn up at Epsom next month.
Ryan Moore rightly gave Ruler Of The World due credit for the way he galloped away from his three rivals, headed by the exposed Mister Impatience, a 93-rated handicapper. A half-brother to Duke Of Marmalade, Ruler Of The World is a likeable sort, which will win his share. But is he the type for the Derby?
"He's got to be in the mix," Moore replied. "He's handled this place all right and you know he'll have no problem with the trip," he added.
Bookmakers were generally confused about the merit of the victory. Ladbrokes were conservative, shortening Ruler Of The World from 25/1 to 14/1, while Paddy Power completely over-reacted – slashing the winner to 6/1 (from 20/1).
The attraction of running on the Roodee is that it gives inexperienced horses some education in preparation for the tight, twisting nature of Epsom, but without the undulations and camber. Dick Hern, Michael Stoute and Andre Fabre, all Derby-winning trainers, have been staunch advocates.
This was O'Brien's fourth win in the Chester Vase, following on from Soldier Of Fortune, Golden Sword and Treasure Beach, and Ruler Of The World looks sure the relish the galloping nature of the Curragh.
As for Sunday's classics in France, Jim Bolger has taken his two remaining entries, Loch Garman and Leitir Mor, out of the French 2000 Guineas as 19 were left in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp.
Their withdrawal leaves the O'Brien-trained duo of Gale Force Ten and Flying The Flag as the only remaining Irish possibles for the colts' Classic.
Three British entries stood their ground – Olympic Glory and Havana Gold from the Richard Hannon stable, as well as John Gosden's Bright Strike.
A total of 22 fillies are still in the mix for the French 1,000 Guineas (Poule d'Essai des Pouliches) on the same card. Sole Irish entry, Hanky Panky, has stood her ground after O'Brien took her out of a race at Gowran Park on Wednesday because of soft conditions.
Meanwhile, the British Horseracing Authority is not expecting to publish results of tests on the Godolphin horses at Newmarket for another two weeks. The scale of the exercise undertaken can be seen by official estimates that 425 horses are being examined.
Godolphin have applied for Saeed bin Suroor to take responsibility for Moulton Paddocks as an additional yard on his licence, on a temporary basis, after the testing is completed.
Adam Brickell, director of integrity, legal and risk for the BHA, said: "We have informed Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin that the BHA will not be re-licensing the yard until the test results are known for all the Godolphin-owned horses stabled in Newmarket." (© Daily Telegraph, London)