Fallon Steers North Light to Derby Delight
KIEREN FALLON rode a masterful race on North Light to take this
year's Vodafone Derby for Sir Michael Stoute, the pair having
been successful last year with Kris Kin.
AMERICAN POST (Criquette Head-Maarek, France): High-class performer but seemed below par when lucky winner of the French 2000 Guineas last time. Yet to race beyond a mile but gives the impression he needs further. Has shown Group One form on soft ground and a fast surface. If back to his best will take all the beating.
COMING AGAIN (Barry Hills): Yet to win a race and looks well below the standard required to figure in a Derby finish.
ELSHADI (Marcus Tregoning): Disappointed on final start last season but had looked smart prior to the run. Reported to be training well and could be a dark horse.
GATWICK (Mick Channon): Progressing at a rate of knots and latest impressive victory convinced connections to fork out £75,000 to add him to the premier Classic. Faces a huge task stepping out of handicap company, although there is sure to be plenty of interest in him on the big day as he is owned by a syndicate that includes Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
HAZYVIEW (Neville Callaghan): Another supplemented for the big race, he has also done really well this season. But he was fully 10 lengths behind Percussionist at Lingfield and no obvious reason why he should get much closer this time.
LET THE LION ROAR (John Dunlop): Third in the Dante last time when he appeared to find the 10 furlongs too short. Will appreciate the step up to a mile and a half but still has something to find with Dante principals.
MASSIF CENTRALE (David Elsworth): Still a maiden and little or no chance of being involved at the business end on what he has shown so far.
MEATH (Aidan O'Brien, Ireland): Good winner at the Curragh last time and is progressing along the right lines. May instead bid for the French Derby 24 hours later.
NORTH LIGHT (Sir Michael Stoute): Represents last year's winning trainer-jockey team. Showed improved form to win the Dante and is clearly going the right way. Powerful assistance of Kieren Fallon in the saddle and will be a danger to all.
PERCUSSIONIST (John Gosden): Carries the colours of the late Robert Sangster, who won the Derby with The Minstrel (1977) and Golden Fleece (1982). Has done little wrong this season, winning both his starts in the style of a rapidly-improving colt. Sure to stay and must not be left out of calculations.
PUKKA (Luca Cumani): Trainer has won the Derby with Kahyasi (1988) and High-Rise (1998), so he knows what it takes to land the blue riband and Pukka's chance should not be underestimated. Won a handicap at Newbury on his return and is clearly on the upgrade, but appeals as more of a St Leger type than a Derby winner.
RULE OF LAW (Saeed bin Suroor): Ran well when second in the Dante but difficult to see him reversing York form with North Light and seems to be Godolphin second string.
SALFORD CITY: Looked an exciting prospect when winning at Newbury on his reappearance but was well beaten in the UltimateBet.com 2000 Guineas last time. He still remains an interesting prospect but not certain to stay the Derby trip.
SNOW RIDGE (Saeed bin Suroor): Godolphin's number one and the mount of Frankie Dettori, who has yet to win the premier Classic but believes he has his "biggest chance" on the colt. Snow Ridge was an excellent second in the UltimateBet.com 2000 Guineas on his return and if he stays the Derby distance is sure to figure prominently.
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