GODOLPHIN will field three runners in next Saturday’s Cazoo Derby at Epsom, following confirmation yesterday that trainer Charlie Appleby will pay £75,000 to supplement Nations Pride.
Last year’s Derby-winning trainer already has Epsom Blue Riband Trial winner Nahanni and Lingfield Derby Trial runner-up Walk Of Stars engaged in the classic. Nations Pride (by Teofilo) has won his last four starts, the latest win coming in a listed race at Newmarket on Guineas weekend, which he won by seven lengths.
“He worked on Wednesday with a reliable and very able lead horse and he looked very good,” Appleby said on Friday. “Importantly, he has done well since. He has the right profile for Epsom. He’s got five runs under his belt, having won the Jumeirah Derby and then taking the Newmarket Stakes, where William (Buick) was very pleased the way he went through the line, which has given us as good an indication as any that the step up to a mile and a half is going to suit him.”
Nations Pride is now the general 6/1 third favourite for the Derby, behind the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Desert Crown (2/1) and Aidan O’Brien’s Stone Age (3/1).
Connections of Desert Crown expressed their satisfaction after the Nathaniel colt enjoyed an early-morning workout on the Watered Gallop in Newmarket on Thursday.
With big-race jockey Richard Kingscote in the saddle, the Derby favourite pulled nicely clear of the 112-rated six-year-old Solid Stone.
Bruce Raymond, the owner’s racing manager, said: “He went nicely and everyone is happy. He’s not a great worker, but I believe everyone was very happy with him this morning, both the jockey and Sir Michael.”
Stone Age (by Galileo), impressive winner of the Leopardstown Derby Trial, is likely to be joined in the Derby by stable companions Changingoftheguard, United Nations and Star Of India, all of whom won recognised classic trials in England in recent weeks.
Frankie Dettori will ride the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Piz Badile, last seen winning the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown on April 2nd by a short-head. The Ulysses colt is the general 8/1 fourth favourite, along with Changingoftheguard.
A day earlier Dettori will be on board hot favourite Emily Upjohn in the Oaks. A daughter of Sea The Stars, the John Gosden-trained filly was very impressive in the Musidora Stakes at York, despite racing keenly in the early stages.
Stable companion Nashwa is second favourite. Her jockey Hollie Doyle could become the first woman to ride a British classic winner. By Frankel, Nashwa ran out an easy winner of a 10-furlong Newbury listed race two weeks ago.
Aidan O’Brien is expected to have three Oaks runners – the classic-placed Tuesday and Concert Hall, plus Cheshire Oaks winner Thoughts Of June. Joseph O’Brien runs Naas Group 3 winner Tranquil Lady, and Godolphin will be represented by listed race winner With The Moonlight, trained by Charlie Appleby.
Godolphin has the favourite for Friday’s Coronation Cup in Manobo. A four-year-old by Sea The Stars, Manobo pulled too hard when beaten in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March, and the drop in trip to a mile and a half at Epsom is expected to suit him.