131 Remain for 2018 Investec Derby


Saxon Warrior | Racing Post

Following the scratching stage, 131 sophomores have stood their ground for the 239th edition of the 1 1/2-mile G1 Investec Derby at Epsom, led by ante-post 4-1 favourite Saxon Warrior (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}). Originally, 448 yearlings were entered for the June 2 feature in December of 2016, and at this stage last year, 129 were left in for the £1.5-million event, which has a capacity field of 20.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien for a Coolmore partnership, the G1 Racing Post Trophy hero is looking to give O’Brien his seventh Derby. The training maestro most recently landed the Blue Riband with Wings Of Eagles (Fr) (Pour Moi {Ire}) in 2017. O’Brien has 26 horses nominated among the 41 Irish nominees, including Unibet second choice, G3 Tyros S. winner and Racing Post third The Pentagon (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), at 8-1, and maiden winners Amedeo Modigliani (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Kenya (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and James Cook (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

Godolphin has 16 Derby contenders split between Charlie Appleby (9) and Saeed bin Suroor (7). Appleby’s G3 Autumn S. victor Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) is entered, as is his Glorious Journey (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who won the G3 Prix La Rochette. Andre Fabre fields two of the four French entries, including two more for Godolphin, two-time winner Cascadian (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) and Zucchini (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}).

Racing Post Trophy bridesmaid Roaring Lion (Kitten’s Joy) is one of 11 for two-time Derby winning trainer John Gosden, while Mark Johnston has Sheikh Hamden’s G3 Tattersalls S. victor Elarqam (GB) Frankel (GB) among his quartet.

Sir Michael Stoute has two runners for Her Majesty The Queen in debut Ascot winner Elector (GB) (Dansili {GB}) and the unraced Sextant (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}).

“Aidan O’Brien’s Saxon Warrior heads Unibete’s Investec Derby market at 4-1, and the master of Ballydoyle has nine of the top 13 in our betting,” said Head of Unibet Racing communications and sponsorship Ed Nicholson. “He is sure to be well represented come the first Saturday in June in his quest to win a seventh Investec Derby.”

The next scratching deadline is on May 22. Prospective 3-year-olds may also gain entry at the £9,000 second entry stage on Apr. 3, at the £85,000 supplementary entry stage on May 28, or by winning the £50,000 Listed Investec Blue Riband Trial at Epsom on Apr. 25.

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