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Richard Forristal: Sunday service

Outsider to note: Imperial Rome can be backed at up to 16/1 for tomorrow's French 2,000 Guineas, the Poule D'Essai Des Poulins, but has an outside chance in a tricky-looking contest.

The favourite for the one-mile Group One is Wootton Bassett, the Richard Fahey-trained colt that went unbeaten in five starts as a juvenile. However, only time will tell if Wootton Bassett has trained on, and the race-fit Imperial Rome is progressing well.

Successful on the second of two starts in 2010, David Wachman's colt scooted clear at Dundalk on his reappearance over a mile, before displaying a fine turn of foot on reverting to seven furlongs at the Curragh last time. No doubt, this is a step up on that Listed race, but Ryan Moore's mount is unexposed, and is heading the right way.

Sunday Yankee

Longchamp 2.08 -- Rimth

Longchamp 3.25 -- Imperial Rome

Stratford 3.50 -- The Merry Giant

Killarney 4.25 -- Apt Approach

Numbers game

3,886 The first prize, in sterling, for a race that Frankie Dettori stood himself down from at Newbury yesterday because it was below a newly agreed minimum tariff.

40 Days suspension that Peterjon Carberry received for mistaking the winning post for the second time in a year.

5 Number of Epsom Derbies won by Michael Stoute, whose Carlton House became favourite for this year's Classic after winning the Dante on Thursday.

Quote of the week

"If I could do it again, I'd probably change a couple of things, I suppose. But you only get one shot and I haven't done too bad. I think my mam and dad are proud of what I've achieved and the way I've ended up, after all the pain I caused them. And sure, there's no fun in doing things the easy way, now is there?" -- Timmy Murphy speaks candidly of his chequered career at the end of another jumps campaign.

Three things we

learned this week

1 The Strategic Marketing Report that was published this week might finally prompt some fresh thinking by racing's administrators. Much of what was recommended in the report -- reduced admission fees, better racecourse facilities etc -- merely echoed what stakeholders within the industry have long been asking for. While you could damn it as an exercise in stating the obvious, maybe now that there is a commissioned document, things will start to improve. Worryingly, though, reports often signal the end of a process rather than the start.

2 Michael Stoute's Dante hero Carlton House is the favourite for the Epsom Derby. Having been gifted to The Queen by Sheikh Mohammed, it was amusing to hear one wag wonder, in deference to a previous rocky diplomatic episode, whether the Sheikh would now be demanding that the colt be returned to his ownership for stud duties.

3 Kieren Fallon is in a bit of a fix. After steering Recital to victory on Sunday, Fallon spoke glowingly of his new Derby prospect, yet it turns out that he may be retained to ride Ed Dunlop's Epsom-bound Native Khan. Fallon's next move is anyone's guess.

Racing Diary

Monday: Killarney*, Bath, Leicester*, Newton Abbot, Windsor*, W'hampton (AW)

Tuesday: Killarney*, Brighton, Kempton* (AW), Nottingham, Southwell, Towcester*

Wednesday: Punchestown*, Goodwood, Kempton (AW), Lingfield, Sedgefield*, Worcester*

Thursday: Tipperary*, Haydock, Salisbury*, Sandown*, Southwell (AW), Wetherby

Friday: Downpatrick*, Wexford*, Bath, Catterick*, Haydock, Musselburgh*, Towcester*, Yarmouth

Saturday: Curragh, Chester, Goodwood, Haydock, Lingfield*, Newbury*, York

Sunday: Curragh, Limerick, Fakenham, Kelso

Irish Independent