Wednesday 24 January 2018

Rewilding raises Godolphin Derby hopes

Julian Muscat

REWILDING revitalised Godolphin's quest to win the Epsom Derby when routing some ordinary rivals at Goodwood yesterday to earn quotes as short as 10/1 for the blue riband on June 5.

A half-brother to the top-class Dar Re Mi, Rewilding delivered a tour de force under Frankie Dettori and fully warrants his £75,000 supplementary entry to the Epsom classic. The strong-galloping bay will make his presence felt in a year when resistance to the Ballydoyle juggernaut could do with a helping hand.

In reviving Godolphin's Derby challenge, Rewilding also highlighted the role Andre Fabre will play in the Dubai stable's quest for the sport's top prizes. The colt was one of five to transfer to Newmarket from Fabre's Chantilly yard two weeks ago.

Two more among that shipment, Anna Salai and Cutlass Bay, contest championship races at the Curragh on Sunday. And a fourth, Simon De Montfort, may join Rewilding at Epsom, though he is more likely to run in the French Derby. All except Cutlass Bay have joined Mahmood Al Zarooni, the ex-assistant to Saeed Bin Suroor who has branched out on his own.

Pre-race portents of Rewilding's prowess were telegraphed when Dettori was given the ride even though Al Zarooni routinely deploys Ahmed Ajtebi. And the Italian was suitably impressed. "He came with a bit of reputation and even though the race lacked depth, he couldn't have won any easier," Dettori said.

Plenty caveats abound in respect of Rewilding's Derby prospects. He is a shell of a horse who hits the ground hard, and though he handled the quick surface yesterday, he'll find the gradients of Tattenham Corner more extreme.

In his favour is his raw ability and a temperament that will serve him well through the Derby-day ordeal.

Al Zir and Chabal are still in Godolphin's Derby equation. Easy going may usher the latter forward, and although Al Zir has numerous options, he does not have the pedigree of a cast-iron 12-furlong runner.

The same is true of Snow Fairy, a winner of the Height Of Fashion Stakes who may yet be supplemented for the Oaks. Snow Fairy is owned by Cristina Patino, whose Elusive Pimpernel has the French Derby in his sights.

Meanwhile, Richard Hannon reached a notable landmark when Memory became his 20th individual two-year-old winner of the fledgling season. (© The Times, London)

Irish Independent

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