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Elm Park looks to have the pedigree to give Balding Classic success


Ian Balding

Ian Balding

Ian Balding

It is some 44 years since Mill Reef triumphed at Epsom but Elm Park can bring the glory days back to Kingsclere by landing the Investec Derby.

Ian Balding famously sent out the Paul Mellon-owned colt to win the Derby in the very early days of his career and while his son Andrew has had to wait a bit longer for a true contender, Elm Park ticks plenty of boxes ahead of the premier Classic. Indeed, if you go back a handful of generations on Elm Park’s dam’s side, the great Mill Reef features in his pedigree and he also boasts a nice tie in that he was actually bred by the Balding family.

The Phoenix Reach colt made a relatively inauspicious start to his career when only third on his debut but he has not looked back since, graduating from a maiden win to Listed and Group Two success before signing off Group One glory at Doncaster.

The form of that Racing Post Trophy is perhaps not the strongest on offer from last year but his Dante third promised much, particularly as his trainer made no bones about the fact he was desperately in need of the run.

He is very much bred to stay this 12-furlong trip. He appeals as a value bet with Success Days also expected to feature in the shake-up.

Flintshire can reverse recent form with Dolniya in the Investec Coronation Cup.

Andre Fabre’s five-year-old has been beaten twice by his fellow French raider this term. However, he has already proven he can act on what is a tricky track at Epsom when finishing second in this event last year.