Epsom Downs Racecourse hosted a ‘Breakfast with the Stars’ ahead of the Derby Festival 2016: with five sets of horses working on the soft ground, after the course had 12 millimetres of rain during a storm the night before.

Connections of those horses, targeting the two Classics at Epsom Downs, the Investec Oaks on Friday 3rd June and the Investec Derby on Saturday 4th June, reviewed how their charges went later during the morning. There were also telephone interviews with other trainers of Classic hopefuls.

Jim Bolger

Jim Bolger, speaking over the phone from Ireland, said: “Both my horses are very well.

“I rate Moonlight Magic as a good Investec Derby prospect and I would not swap him for anything else in the race. I could not be happier with him.

“He has the looks, demeanour, balance and temperament to go with his pedigree. There are no holes in this fellow.

“He is a beautifully balanced horse so hopefully he will handle Epsom well. I thought that when he won the Derrinstown, on the day he was as good a Derrinstown winner as St Jovite had been.

“We will have to wait and see what occurs in the various Derbys to see whether he gets up to St Jovite’s level.

“It is a pretty good field for the Derby but if I can get my horse fresh and well on the day then I think he will give a very good account of himself.

“He is a very straightforward colt and a lovely horse to work with. The minute the foals drop or we get a horse into training we send off the samples to Eqinome.

“Moonlight Magic and Turret Rocks have a good chance of getting a mile and a half.

“Turret Rocks is very well. I have to put my hands up and admit I left her a bit short for Newmarket (sixth in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas) but that race will have set her up nicely for the Investec Oaks.

“I could not be happier with her. She is fit and well at the moment and my gallops are pretty stiff so she has done plenty.”

John Ferguson, Godolphin’s chief executive and racing manager, said at Epsom Downs: “Moonlight Magic is a very exciting horse. He was very impressive as a two-year-old and came out at Leopardstown this year on very heavy ground and did not scope perfectly after that.

“One can forget about that run and then he won the Derby trial very well. He is a beautiful horse with a beautiful pedigree. He is from the family of Galileo and Sea The Stars and has done everything right as far as I am concerned, and he trained by a master.

“I think he has a really, really strong chance. Jim has made no secret about how highly he rates this horse.

“He has had so many great horses through his hands and he and the whole yard know a good one when they see one – they are very optimistic.”

Investec Derby Contender

Moonlight Magic

Owner: Godolphin; Breeding: b c Cape Cross – Melikah (Lammtarra); Form: 11–51

Summary: Unbeaten in two starts last year, including a narrow victory in a nine-furlong Listed contest at Leopardstown in October; bounced back from a disappointing reappearance run to win the Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial by a length and a quarter at Leopardstown on 8th May; dam was third in Investec Oaks; from family of Investec Derby winners Galileo and Sea The Stars.

Investec Derby Record

1988 – 9th Project Manager; 1991 – 3rd Star Of Gdansk; 1992 – 2nd St Jovite; 1993 – 2nd Blue Judge, 1993 – 11th Desert Team; 2008 – 1st NEW APPROACH; 2009 – 11th Gan Amhras; 2013 – 12th Dawn Approach.

Investec Oaks Contender

Turret Rocks

Owner: Jackie Bolger; Breeding: b f Fastnet Rock – Beyond Compare (Galileo); Form: 13412–6

Summary: High-class two-year-old over a mile, winning the Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster before taking second behind Ballydoyle in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp; six and a half lengths behind Minding when sixth in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on 1st May.

Investec Oaks Record

1991 – 1st JET SKI LADY; 1992 – 6th Fawaayid; 1993 – 13th Alouette; 2005 – 3rd Pictavia; 2008 – 5th Lush Lashes; 2009 – 7th Oh Goodness Me; 2010 – 5th Akdarena.

Mick Channon

Michael Channon, son of trainer Mick Channon, commented on the work of Investec Oaks outsider Harlequeen under Silvestre de Sousa with stable companions Persun and Gratzie. Harlequeen finished just ahead of the others but pulled hard.

He said: “She will love every yard of the mile and a half at Epsom but it is just a question of organising her.

“We put a hood on her recently as we thought she was just babyish – she was so green in the Musidora – all over the shop. She is very raw and we don’t know what we have got really.

“There is only one Oaks. She is certainly not a star name but as you could see at the top of the hill she is one of those head-throwers. She doesn’t really know what she is doing – a real slow-burner.

“It is a mental thing. We only asked her over the last furlong and a half today and Silvestre said that soft ground suits her much better than fast going.”

Investec Oaks Contender

Harlequeen

Owner: Suzanne Brandt; Breeding: Canford Cliffs (IRE) – Aurelia (Rainbow Quest); Form: 1–24

Summary: Won a five-runner Goodwood mile maiden in good style in September; runner-up to Godolphin’s Linguistic on reappearance in the valuable Tattersalls Millions 3-Y-O Trophy at Newmarket on 14th April; beaten four and half lengths into fourth by So Mi Dar in Group Three Musidora Stakes at York on 11th May.

Investec Oaks record

2000 – 16th Miletrian, 2001 – 5th Sunstone, 2005 – 10th Joint Aspiration, 2006 – 7th Kassiopeia, 2006 – 8th Kaylianni, 2011 – 9th Zain Al Boldan, 2011 – 13th Fork Handles, 2012 – 12th Nayarra

Andre Fabre FR

Mickael Barzalona rode the Andre Fabre-trained Cloth Of Stars at Epsom Downs Racecourse when the Investec Derby hope, owned by Godolphin, worked over nearly a mile and a quarter alongside stable companion Foresee (Willie Ryan).

Barzalona, who has a 100 per cent record in the Investec Derby after winning on Pour Moi in 2011, commented: “It was a dream to be part of the Derby and to meet The Queen after winning it was a dream.

“The Queen said in French: ‘Well done, you beat my horse!’.

“Cloth Of Stars handled the track very well today – we did very easy work and I was very pleased with him.

“In France, most of the tracks are really flat, while at Epsom Tattenham Corner and the undulations make a big difference.

“In France too during a race, once you get a position nobody changes or fights and it is not going to be the same thing in the Investec Derby.

“So I think it was very important for the horse to come and have a look at Epsom.

“Cloth Of Stars, who is very well balanced, always travels a bit keenly but today he never had a bad action.

“It is very hard to compare him with Pour Moi who had very strong acceleration, while Cloth Of Stars is more workmanlike.

“Hopefully, he is good enough – he has proved himself in France this year, winning both his starts, and we are really sure he will stay a mile and a half so fingers-crossed.

“We have been trying to teach him how to settle and last time he settled really well. So, with a good draw, he should be fine. He is very fast out of the gates which is a big help to get a position.

“The Investec Derby is a most prestigious race – a really old Classic which is very hard to win. I have the horse to win the Derby again and I will try my best again.”

Asked by host Clare Balding if he would do the same dramatic celebration when he won on Pour Moi, the French jockey replied: ‘Who knows?’

John Ferguson, Godolphin’s chief executive and racing manager, said: “Mickael was very happy with Cloth Of Stars today.

“I saw the colt win the Prix Greffulhe and I was impressed because it was the one trial that I have witnessed where a horse kicked away from a Group One winner.

“Andre mentioned in the paper today that the Group One winner, Robin Of Navan, was having his first start of the season but ultimately he did kick away from a Group One winner.

“That was good to see and the immediate reaction from Andre and Mickael after the race was that he would a better horse over a mile and a half and with a strong pace as Mickael mentioned he is a little bit keen.

“They (Cloth of Stars and Moonlight Magic) are two very strong cards to play in what looks a very open Investec Derby. It is a very exciting.

“We will just run the two in the Investec Derby, but quite possibly we could have a third Classic runner over the weekend as we might run Skiffle in the Investec Oaks.

“We will decide this weekend. Skiffle won the Height Of Fashion very well at Goodwood. The immediate reaction was that we would wait for the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot but things look a bit more open now so it is a real possibility that we will supplement her. Sheikh Mohammed will decide.

“She is really bred to get the mile and half and so she will be staying on at the end.

“The last time Godolphin won the Derby was with Lammtarra (1995) and he ran in the colours of the Sheikh’s nephew. That was a massive, massive day and Jim (Bolger) has won the Derby for us with New Approach which was very special.

“But to ultimately win the Derby in the Godolphin blue with Sheikh Mohammed here would be massive for him and very special for everybody.

“Godolphin is a great team to work in and it has been enormous fun. Charlie (Appleby) will have Skiffle running on Friday in the Oaks, we will go to the French Derby with Hawkbill and that yard is working well. Saeed (bin Suroor) is having a great season, we have horses with John Gosden and great trainers around Europe, Andre (Fabre) and Jim (Bolger) and obviously everybody else.”

Investec Derby Contender

Cloth Of Stars

Owner: Godolphin; Breeding: b c Sea The Stars – Strawberry Fledge (Kingmambo); Form: 1132–11

Summary: Group Three winner over a mile last season and also runner-up in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud; unbeaten in two starts this term, most recently taking the 10-furlong Group Two Prix Greffulhe in decisive fashion at Saint-Cloud on 8th May; trainer won same race with 2011 Investec Derby scorer Pour Moi; was supplemented for the 2016 Investec Derby at a cost of £75,000 on Monday, 30th May.

Investec Derby record

1981 – 17th Al Nasr, 1991 – 9th Toulon, 1992 – 11th Rainbow Corner, 1994 – 19th Sunshack, 1995 – 11th Pennekamp, 1997 – 10th Cloudings, 1999 – 11th Val Royal, 2006 – 5th Visindar, 2006 – 9th Linda’s Lad, 2011 – 1st POUR MOI, 2013 – 5th Ocovango

John Gosden

Wings Of Desire, with Frankie Dettori up, worked over a mile with two stable companions at Epsom Downs and came through to lead with two furlongs remaining.

Trainer John Gosden talked afterwards about the Lady Bamford-owned colt, who was taken out of Investec Derby in March and has had to be supplemented at a cost of £75,000.

He said: “Frankie was really happy with Wings Of Desire. The horse did not really start before mid-March and Frankie was thrilled with the way he has come on mentally, which it is all about, as this place does not take any prisoners.

“Frankie loved the way Wings Of Desire came down the hill, changed his legs nicely in the straight and picked up when he wanted him to. We always pull up a bit early at Epsom because, when you pass the winning line, you start running downhill again.

“Wings Of Desire went with a good older lead horse and old Von Blucher, who is not a bad type, in behind.

“Frankie was happy with Wings Of Desire who has learnt a lot, come on strongly and stays. The horse has a cool mind and I like the way he is business-like.

“The key thing in this sort of work is your lead-rider and I just wanted to have a good half-speed down the hill – there is no point cantering down the hill because the horse can get away with being on the wrong leg – a Lyphard head-to-the-fairground leg! They have to concentrate, get on the near-fore, turn on it and then they can switch back again.

“Wings Of Desire did it nicely and then coasted home – you are not coming here for a flat-out bit of work, rather to learn about the track.

“He is unusual in what he has done – most horse have had education at two either through work or racing. But in this case, he missed it all. So to come from doing your first half-speed, swinging canter in mid-March to winning a Dante in the middle of May is unusual – slightly freakish.

“Wings Of Desire has done everything great since. He has come out of the race in good order and come here. He will do some work over the weekend and have all the usual scopes and blood-tests.

“Then we are giving the York prize money back to the Epsom Derby (on Monday at the supplementary entry stage). The horse earned it – if I was asking an owner to put their hand into their pocket, I wouldn’t be interested.

“When the horse has earnt it and the money is sitting in the Weatherbys’ account, it is a lot less painful. I approve of the (entry) system. Remember this horse was in the Derby, you are talking to the clown who took him out.

“You can get in the Derby as yearling for £500 which is a fantastic deal and they don’t want any money until the end of the first week in March. I was trying to save Lord and Lady Bamford £1,000 and made an error.

“The supplementary money goes into the race unlike in many jurisdictions. Here it comes into the race and you are back running for your money again which is a good system.

“It is a wonderful race, with the stands and the Downs full of people and whole place is humming and buzzing. There is an enormous surge of elation in winning the Investec Derby and a deep sense of relief as a trainer as well because you know how many things can go wrong.

“Mr Oppenheimer was right, Golden Horn (the 2015 Investec Derby winner) was bred to be a miler and could have been one. But we stepped him up in trip and in the first furlong when Frankie was having an argument with him, I thought he wasn’t going to stay but Frankie got him to settle and blew them away. He proved a brilliant horse at a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half.

“When you are with an experienced rider, who happens to be a good work-rider and has a great feel and opinion, I find Frankie very accurate. I adored Pat Eddery but as a work-rider he might lead you the wrong way and he would tell you that. Lester (Piggott) knew everything but told you nothing. Some jockeys have everything – a great work-rider, a great judge and a great jockey – and that includes Frankie and Steve Cauthen.”

Frankie Dettori said: “There are some good vibes in Newmarket about Ulysses. Michael (Stoute) is a man of a few words and when he says something he means it. So I think Ulysses is the dark horse in the race.

“Wings Of Desire put up a good performance in the Dante as he had to overcome a lot of trouble and to me he was the best horse in the race.

“The Dante is also best trial and we were very pleased with the horse. Wings Of Desire is still a baby and learning so we expect him to come on again.

“Today we brought him to Epsom to get a feel of the bend and the downhill and experience the surroundings.

“I was pleased with him – he has never been a very exciting work horse and only does what he has to do.

“We have achieved a lot in a short space of time with Wings Of Desire. Foundation raced four times as a two-year-old and he had a prep race in the Craven. I felt, coming into the Dante, that Wings Of Desire possibly had more improvement.

“I treated the Dante as my trial and it worked out well. Golden Horn won the Dante by three and a half lengths and it was obvious to everyone that he was the best three-year-old in the Derby.

“Wings Of Desire won the Dante by a neck. To compare him to Golden Horn is a bit unfair. This time, I just hope for the best because there are possibly 10 horses in the Investec Derby that can be as good as mine.

“It is a different kind of pressure this year but I am looking forward to the challenge. The Investec Derby is the most famous and greatest Flat race in the world. It means a lot and I am lucky enough to have won it twice.

“I don’t know what my reaction will be if I win the Derby again but it would be a very pleasing one.

“That is why the Derby is so great – it really means something. I have a horse with a great chance. I am lucky.”

Investec Derby Contender

Wings Of Desire

Born: 20th February 2013; Breeding: ch c Pivotal – Gull Wing (IRE) (In The Wings); Breeder: Lady Bamford; Owner: Lady Bamford; Form: –3(1)1

Summary: Entered the Investec Derby picture with a determined neck victory over Deauville in the Group Two Dante Stakes, often the main Derby trial, at York on 12th May. Four horses have completed the Dante Stakes-Investec Derby double since 2004, most recently another horse he trained, Golden Horn in 2015.

Shaped well on debut when third in a 10-furlong maiden at Newmarket on 13th April before a decisive four and a half-length victory in a 12-furlong Tapeta maiden at Wolverhampton 10 days later.

Full-sibling to King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes runner-up Eagle Top and Park Hill Stakes scorer The Lark. Dam is a half-sister to 2009 Investec Oaks heroine Sariska.

Was entered in Investec Derby as a yearling but taken out at first scratchings stage in March this year. Supplemented at a cost of £75,000 on Monday 30th May.

Would become only the fifth horse to win the Investec Derby in the post-war period having not run as a two-year-old. The others were Phil Drake (1955), Morston (1973), Commander In Chief (1993) and Ruler Of The World (2013).

Investec Derby Record

1992 – 4th Muhtarram, 1992 – 16th Pollen Count; 1994 – 10th Linney Head; 1995 – 2nd Tamure, 1995 – 3rd Presenting; 1996 – 3rd Shantou; 1997 – 1st BENNY THE DIP; 1999 – 6th Glamis; 2003 – 11th Summerland; 2004 – 4th Percussionist; 2007 – 4th Lucarno; 2009 – 8th Debussy; 2010 – 10th Azmeel; 2011 – 8th Masked Marvel; 2012 – 4th Thought Worthy; 2014 – 3rd Romsdal, 2014 – 6th Western Hymn; 2015 – 1st GOLDEN HORN, 2015 – 2nd Jack Hobbs

Aidan O’Brien IRE

Aidan O’Brien, interviewed over the phone, talked over Coolmore’s Investec Derby hopes.

The French 2,000 Guineas winner The Gurkha is set to bypass Epsom Downs and go to the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

O’Brien said: “We were very happy with US Army Ranger at Chester. We knew that there was always a danger that he was going to find Chester very strange.

“He would have preferred a faster pace which might have made it a bit more straightforward in the second half of the race. Port Douglas was idle and lazy in front and did not go very fast and only started to race when US Army Ranger joined him.

“Ryan went down the rail on US Army Ranger and Port Douglas was on his right leaning on top of him and the third was on his left. Ryan felt he never changed over when he turned so he went up the straight in cruise control rather than getting down to it. We think and hope that was greenness. He should come on and learn a lot from the race.

“His a very clear-winded horse and does not need a lot of work – everything is good so far.

“He was a maiden who never ran at two and he was working with all these Group horses. He is a baby and the Derby will only be his third run. He was very green at Chester. He did a piece of work this morning and everything went well.

“I have not spoken to Ryan (Moore) about what he wants to ride but obviously he has all the information. He will make the decision.

“US Army Ranger will be the greenest of them and is a big rangy horse with a big stride. He travelled very well during the first half of the race at Chester and is a very exciting horse with an awful lot of class. There is a good chance that Ryan will ride him but I couldn’t say for definite.

“Port Douglas is a very solid horse and was giving US Army Ranger 4lb at Chester. He doesn’t do a lot at home. We had one disappointment last year but he won the Beresford which is a good solid two-year-old test over a mile.

“There is a good chance that Port Douglas will go to the Derby with US Army Ranger. He is not a big horse and should handle the track.

“Deauville is a very good moving horse and likes a good bit of ground. We were very happy with him in the Dante and you could not be happier except that John’s (Gosden) horse came and got him.

“We are very happy with him – he is not too big and a well-balanced horse, He is a typical Galileo – very genuine – and he should progress.

“Idaho is another horse who ran a big race at Leopardstown – Seamus (Heffernan) rode him to be third and was very happy.

“Shogun ran in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and has a chance of going to the French Derby. Beacon Rock ran a good solid race last time and he [will now] go to Royal Ascot rather than Epsom.

“They have another bit of work to do and all the horses are open to improvement, with US Army Ranger open to the most improvement. It will be interesting.

“Minding cantered this morning and her sinus is perfect.  She will do very little now but I imagine we will look forward to the Oaks.”

Earlier Kevin Buckley, representing Coolmore at Epsom Downs, related how Minding had banged her face in the stalls when second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and had a little cut between her nostrils and a slight swelling on the right of her face. She has been checked over and the Investec Oaks on 3rd June is still the target.

Investec Derby Contenders

Deauville

Owner: Fitri Hay, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier; Breeding: b c Galileo – Walklikeanegyptian (Danehill); Form: 1125–2

Summary: Group Three winner last season and also runner-up to Foundation in Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes; beaten a neck by Wings Of Desire in the Group Two Dante Stakes at York on 12th May.

Idaho

Owner: Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier; Breeding: b c Galileo – Hveger (Danehill); Form: 14–23

Summary: Curragh maiden winner; placed in two Derby trials this year, most recently finishing third behind Moonlight Magic in the Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial on 8th May; full-brother to Highland Reel.

Port Douglas

Owner: Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier; Breeding: b c Galileo – Walzerkoenigin (Kingmambo); Form: 12414–2

Summary: Surprise winner of the Group Two Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in September; shouldered 4lb penalty when touched off by US Army Ranger in the Group Three Chester Vase on 5th May; half-brother to German Derby winner Wiener Walzer.

Shogun

Owner: Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Annemarie O’Brien; Breeding: b c Fastnet Rock – Perihelion (Galileo); Form: 71360–325

Summary: Third in Group Three Craven Stakes on reappearance and stayed on well to take second in the Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on 8th May; fifth last time out in Irish 2,000 Guineas on 21st May; full-brother to last year’s Investec Oaks heroine Qualify.

US Army Ranger

Owner: Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith; Breeding: b c Galileo – Moonstone (Dalakhani); Form: 11

Summary: Well-supported for the Investec Derby ahead of his cosy victory in a 10-furlong maiden at the Curragh in March; made hard work of beating stablemate Port Douglas by a short-head in Group Three Chester Vase on 5th May; dam won the Irish Oaks.

Investec Oaks Contenders

Minding

Owner: Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor; Breeding: b f Galileo – Lillie Langtry (Danehill Dancer); Form: 21211–12

Summary: Dual G1 winner last season won taking Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh & Dubai Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket; hugely-impressive winner of G1 QIPC0 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on 1st May; beaten a head by Jet Setting when runner-up in Irish 1,000 Guineas on 22nd May.

Seventh Heaven

Owner: Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor; Breeding: b f Galileo – La Traviata (Johannesburg); Form: 74–11

Summary: Has won both starts in 2016; followed up on Dundalk maiden win in April with battling neck success in Listed Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial at Lingfield Park on 7th May.

Somehow

Owner: Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier; Breeding: b f Fastnet Rock – Alexandrova (Sadler´s Wells); Form: 3–11

Summary: Unbeaten in two starts this season; won Leopardstown maiden in April followed by Listed Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks on 4th May.

Hugo Palmer

Frankie Dettori partnered Investec Oaks hope Architecture in work over a mile at Epsom Downs with the Hugo Palmer-trained stable companion Harry Champion. The filly came through smoothly and went clear.

Frankie Dettori said: “I was surprised actually. Architecture gave me a good feel – we were only doing a mile with an inferior horse but she handled the track really well.

“She ran a great race at Lingfield so we know the distance is no problem and I think she will be a force to be reckoned with.

“She goes into the Oaks with a good profile and I think she is going to run a good race.”

Hugo Palmer, also at Epsom, reported: “Architecture is only the winner of a maiden and was beaten in her trial and I think Frankie might have thought before today it is nice to have a ride in the Investec Oaks but I am not sure she has a great chance.

“He was surprised by her this morning and we have a live each-way chance in the Investec Oaks.

“It is nice she gave Frankie a good feel. He will go into the race thinking she has a chance.

“I was disappointed she did not win at Lingfield but delighted that she went forward from her mile maiden win. It was bit step up in class and only the third run of her life.

“These horses change so much at this time of year when the spring comes. They improve so quickly and I won the Irish Oaks last year with Covert Love who won a handicap off 82 at this time 12 months ago.

“These young improving horses do so much at this time of year that they can really catch you out. I am glad I put Architecture in the Investec Oaks as she is in advance at Covert Love at this stage, though it does not mean she will reach the same heights.”

Investec Oaks Contender

Architecture

Owner: Chris Humber; Breeding: b f Zoffany – Brigayev (Fasliyev); Form: 31–2

Summary: Landed maiden at Nottingham over an extended mile in October; shaped well on reappearance when the neck runner-up in Listed Betfred Mobile Oaks Trial at Lingfield Park on 7th May.

Sir Michael Stoute

Sir Michael Stoute, successful in the Derby five times, is intending to have two runners this year – Ulysses ridden by Andrea Atzeni and Across The Stars, who will be partnered by former stable jockey Kieren Fallon.

Speaking on the phone, the Newmarket trainer reported: “Ulysses is really well-balanced athlete with an Epsom pedigree. We have always loved him and he ran with a lot of promise in his Newbury maiden as a two-year-old.

“He had a hiccup in January and we did not have him fully fit when he went to Leicester but needed to get moving.

“But he has really pleased since then and could not have won his maiden any better than he did at Newbury. I am happy with his preparation at the moment.

“I think he should handle Epsom well.

“Across The Stars ran well at Lingfield where things did not go quite right for him. He is a lovely big improving horse and the owner is keen to run so he will be in the line-up. We hope for the best.

“Of the two, Ulysses is more mature and ready for it at this stage – I would certainly be very hopeful of his chance.”

Andrea Atzeni commented: “Ulysses looked very impressive when he won his maiden at Newbury and for Sir Michael to run a maiden in the Derby he must think quite a lot of him.

“He is bred to win a Derby and I am very lucky to get a ride. I will sit on him tomorrow.”

Investec Derby Contenders 

Across The Stars

Owner: Saeed Suhail; Breeding: b c Sea The Stars – Victoria Cross (Mark Of Esteem); Form: 22–13

Summary: Runner-up in a pair of maidens at Nottingham and Wolverhampton last season; made most of the running to win a 12-furlong Polytrack maiden at Lingfield Park on reappearance; arguably unlucky when third to Humphrey Bogart in the Listed Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield Park on 7th May.

Ulysses

Owner: Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd; Breeding: ch c Galileo – Light Shift (Kingmambo); Form: 6–21

Summary: Encouragement in maidens at Newbury and Leicester before an impressive eight-length victory in a 10-furlong maiden back at Newbury on 13th May; third foal of 2007 Investec Oaks winner Light Shift.

Sir Michael Stoute’s Investec Derby Record

1978 – 19th Hill’s Yankee, 1979 – 6th Hardgreen, 1980 – 21st Running Mill, 1981 – 1st SHERGAR, 1983 – 3rd Shearwalk, 1984 –14th My Volga Boatman, 1985 – 13th Shadeed, 1986 – 1st SHAHRASTANI, 1986 – 12th Jareer, 1987 –9th Ajdal, 1987 – 11th Ascot Knight, 1988 – 3rd Doyoun, 1989 – 11th Warrshan, 1991 – 13th Mujaazif, 1992 – 7th Alnasr Alwasheek, 1993 – 15th Shareek, 1994 – 7th Golden Ball, 1994 – 8th Just Happy, 1994 – 16th Jabaroot, 1994 – UR Foyer, 1996 – 10th Double Leaf, 1997 – 4th Entrepreneur, 1998 – 5th Greek Dance, 1999 – 3rd Beat All, 2001 – 2nd Golan, 2001 – 7th Dilshaan, 2003 – 1th KRIS KIN, 2004 – 1th NORTH LIGHT, 2006 – 6th Best Alibi, 2006 – 10th Papal Bull, 2008 – 2nd Tartan Bearer, 2008 – 4th Doctor Fremantle, 2008 – 8th Tajaaweed, 2010 – 1st WORKFORCE, 2011 – 3rd Carlton House

 

RACHEL GROOM is Eclipse Magazine's Photography Editor. Known for her 'street' photography she is also an in-house documenter of racing activities at a training yard in Epsom and loves a big day out at the races. You can see more of her work at www.rachelgroom.com

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