Derby Festival News
|Friday 6th & Saturday 7th June 2014|
Kingston Hill - The Forgotten Derby Horse?
The Roger Varian-trained colt Kingston Hill gained plenty of admiring glances from work-watchers at Epsom in a spin at the 'Breakfast with the Stars' morning on Thursday, May 29.
Jockey Andrea Atzeni said: "He went really nicely. He travelled good and quickened up well.
"He handled the ground - it's pretty soft out there - but I was very pleased with him.
"We didn't go mad, we went a bit quicker down the hill as we wanted to see how he went round the bend.
"He pricked his ears when he got to the front, he always does that."
Andrew Balding's Impulsive Moment, runner-up to Western Hymn at Sandown, worked in the hands of David Probert, who will have his first Derby ride next week.
We've always thought a lot of him," said Balding of the outsider. "He could improve enough to get placed."
The Kingsclere handler is set to have a second contender in Scotland, a well-beaten eighth in the Chester Vase but always held in some regard.
Aidan O'Brien confirmed that the red-hot ante-post favourite Australia may be accompanied by Geoffrey Chaucer, Kingfisher and Orchestra.
Joseph O'Brien, the trainer's son, is set to partner Australia, a most encouraging third in the 2000 Guineas on May 3.
O'Brien said: "At the moment, it's looking possible we'll run four - Australia, Geoffrey Chaucer, Kingfisher and Orchestra."
Jamie Spencer is relishing the prospect of riding Arod in the premier Classic, but advised that Arod needs a sound surface to be fully effective.
He said: "It looks like Arod is going to run in the Derby. He's a high-class horse and is lightly raced. He needs fast ground, so watch this space."
Those thoughts were echoed by Arod's owner Sheikh Fahad, who said: "He needs good ground. Good to soft maybe, but not worse."