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Work paying off for Stoute hero

Workforce is officially rated higher than Sea The Stars at the equivalent stage last year following his sensational victory in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

The British Horseracing Authority's handicappers have given Khalid Abdullah's colt a rating of 128 -- 4lb more than that handed to Sea The Stars 12 months ago.

Sea The Stars went on to much greater things and the sky could also be the limit for Michael Stoute's charge after his seven-length romp in a record time for the premier Classic.

"I have discussed the race with my colleague Chris Nash and independently we have come up the same figure, so we are pretty pleased with that," said the BHA's senior handicapper, Phil Smith.

"We have used Rewilding (third) as our marker.

"We've got him running to 115, and At First Sight (second) therefore is 116.

"We thought the winner won easily enough, but instead of calling it seven lengths we have called it eight.

"We work on one and half pounds per length over a mile and a half so he comes out a 12lb better horse than At First Sight, so it puts him on 128.

"That's very high for a Derby- winning performance.


"We've had Derby winners eventually get higher than that, obviously See The Stars last year -- we put him on 124 (after the Derby) and it was more his Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes performances that saw him go higher.

"My only little consideration is I suspect he will always be at his best when coming off a fast pace.

"I think the way the race was run was perfectly set up for him to show how good he was."

Timeform provisionally rate Workforce on 132 making it their best Derby-winning performance since Generous in 1991.

Winning jockey Ryan Moore believes Workforce had improved 20lb for his run in the Dante Stakes at York.

"I have never had a (middle distance) horse quicken like that and I have never been round the bend at Epsom so quickly," he said.

"He was a different horse from the Dante and must have improved 20lb."

He added: "It is just great to have won the race as it is the race I most wanted to win and I am lucky to have it out of the way.

"I shouldn't really say it, but there has only ever been one Classic I have been interested in.

"I first remember watching Erhaab's Derby in 1994 and it is a race I have always wanted to win alongside the King George, Eclipse, Breeders' Cup and things like that."

The Irish Derby in three weeks' time is the obvious next port of call for Workforce, although a final decision will not be made until nearer the time.

"It was a very exciting performance and he's come out of the race absolutely fine," said the owner's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe. "It really was a remarkable performance for a horse so inexperienced, and for him to break the course record is something else.

"The Irish Derby would look the obvious next step, but we'll just see how the horse takes this race and sit down and make a plan for the rest of the season."

As well as 100/1 chance At First Sight, Aidan O'Brien also saddled fourth home Jan Vermeer, who went off the 9/4 favourite, and fifth-placed Midas Touch.

He said: "The horses have all walked out fine this morning, Jan Vermeer was reshod after the race but what happened shouldn't be a problem in the future as he is a horse with good feet.

"It was a funny race, and for some reason they couldn't get At First Sight back.

"Ryan Moore's horse obviously did, but the others never really changed position."

O'Brien also had news of former ante-post favourite St Nicholas Abbey, who missed the race following a setback.

He said: "St Nicholas Abbey is going to have the whole month of June off; we were advised to give him two or three days but we have decided to give him full month to recover.


"It shouldn't take him long to get back to full fitness as he is a very natural horse, but we won't rush him and we will look forward to an autumn campaign."

The Godolphin camp hope Rewilding could still taste Classic glory as Frankie Dettori's mount was immediately earmarked for the Ladbrokes St Leger after running on strongly to take third.

"I thought that Rewilding ran a very good race," trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni said.

"Rewilding didn't look like he handled the course very well, especially coming down the hill, but he did stay on well towards the end.

"I will have to discuss plans with Sheikh Mohammed but I think that he might go for the St Leger at Doncaster in September."