French Aim For English King

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English King | Megan Ridgewell

A day removed from the G1 Investec Derby, trainer Ed Walker said English King (Fr) (Camelot {GB}), fifth as the early favourite, had come out of the race well and could target the G1 Grand Prix de Paris in September.

“We'll let the dust settle and mull over it for a few days,” Walker said. “I think an obvious target would be the Grand Prix de Paris, because he's French-bred and qualifies for the premiums. I wouldn't rule out the St Leger, but I wouldn't want to run him on ground any slower than it was at Epsom–rattling quick ground and a nice, even tempo is his gig.”

Walker said he was disappointed with how the race played out, but not with his horse.

“He's come out of the race good,” he said. “It was an unsatisfactory race, from our point of view, but fair play to the winner [Serpentine (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}]–he's obviously a very good, well-bred horse who got loose on the front end and won well on the day. I'm very proud of our horse. It was frustrating, because there's only one Derby and it didn't go our way, but I'm pleased with the way he ran and excited for the future.

“We were never going to ride him aggressively. I thought Frankie [Dettori] gave him a very good ride, and I have no regrets whatsoever. I think if you ran the race 10 times he might come out on top a few times, but it wasn't to be. He finished faster than any other horse in the race, and hopefully there are big days ahead for him.”

Dettori reflected on Sunday afternoon, “I was trying to put a brave face on, but when Ed told me I was drawn one I knew we had a mountain to climb.

“As the stalls opened he jumped left and then I was playing catch up, basically. I was relying on Mogul and Ryan [Moore], the one horse I thought I had to beat, to take me into the race but coming round Tattenham Corner he couldn't lay up. I had Oisin [Murphy, on Kameko] and Ryan in my reach, but the winner had gone and I think the winner's was a good performance. I wasn't far away from being second and perhaps if things had gone better I'd have been second or third.

“It was just one of those things, the Derby is like that, and I think the horse has got a nice future.”

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