Investec Derby
horse racing tipster
Group 1, Epsom Downs
£1,625,000 added
3yo only,
1m, 4f, 10y
Saturday 2nd June 2018

Saxon Warrior cements Classic claims with victory in Trophy

October 28 Saxon Warrior cemented his position as ante-post favourite for the 2018 Epsom Derby with victory in a thrilling renewal of the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Saxon Warrior
© Caroline Norris
Saxon Warrior

While the story of the race was undoubtedly trainer Aidan O'Brien breaking the record for the number of Group One winners in a calendar year, with this his 26th of 2017, he also appears to have unearthed yet another potential superstar in this imposing juvenile.

The son of Japanese great Deep Impact was something of a surprise winner when dominating his rivals on his Curragh debut in late August, but having proved that was no fluke by landing the Beresford Stakes, he was the 13-8 favourite to maintain his unbeaten record in a Group One his trainer had won on seven previous occasions.

With Ryan Moore on his back, Saxon Warrior travelled powerfully for much of the one-mile journey, but looked booked for minor honours when the John Gosden-trained Roaring Line swept to the front.

However, he veered off a true line when push came to shove, giving Saxon Warrior a chance and he fought back admirably against the far rail to claim a historic victory by a neck.

The winner's stablemate, The Pentagon, was third.

O'Brien said: " He (Saxon Warrior) travelled very strong and Ryan gave him a brilliant ride. 

"When John's horse went by him you thought he was beaten, but he found plenty and we're delighted.

"Ryan said he surprised him how quickly he jumped into it. 

"He was very impressed with him and he's a horse to really look forward to."

© Racehorse Photos

January 22 Charlie Appleby hopes Ghaiyyath can continue his progression through the spring and develop into a candidate for this year's Investec Derby.

Having ended last season with victory in a Group Three at Newmarket in October, the three-year-old is a general 20-1 shot for the premier Classic on June 2. 

Although plans remain fluid as to a potential starting point for the son of Dubawi, the Newmarket handler reported him to be showing all the right signs at home.

Appleby said: "Ghaiyyath is wintering away well and I am pleased with what he is doing. Physically he was an imposing two-year-old. He is just doing all the right things and putting on the condition in the right places and he looks well.

"We will see where we are in the spring in respects of a starting point. I'd like to think we are dealing with a horse we could think of as a Derby candidate.

"As you have seen, he has had a hood on and we are keen to see whether we can take the hood off.

"He has had it off in slow-paced work, but it is when we start building him back up in the spring, that will tell us trip-wise where we are going with him."

Investec Derby (Group 1)
£1,625,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f 10y, Class 1

Click here for a full list of entries for the 2018 Investec Derby