Epsom Derby Day - 6th June 2009 

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Investec Dash Attracts High-Class Entry of 40

A total of 40 entries have been received for the £75,000 Investec ‘Dash’, run over the fastest five furlongs in the world at Epsom Downs on Investec Derby Day, Saturday, June 6, 2009.

Trainer Chris Wall is aiming his talented sprinter Fathom Five at the famous heritage handicap after the five-year-old recorded a comfortable victory on his first start for the Newmarket handler in the competitive Blue Square Handicap, run over the same course and distance at the Spring Meeting on April 22.

The son of Fath was previously trained by Bryan Smart, for whom he was successful on four occasions over the minimum trip. He was also beaten by under two lengths in last year’s Investec ‘Dash’, when sixth behind Holbeck Ghyll.

Wall said: “We will definitely give the Investec ‘Dash’ serious consideration. We are restricted in his programme to a certain extent because he needs a little bit of cut in the ground.

“The going at Epsom on Derby Day is usually perfect racing ground and, if that is the case, then I would certainly want to target him at the race.

“His victory at the Spring Meeting was in a fast time and he stretched out well, winning the race quite well. But the Investec ‘Dash’ is one of the most competitive sprint handicaps in the calender and he will have to improve on the sixth he recorded in the race last year.

“He has a bit of a history of sweating up at the start but he went down with the others in the Blue Square Handicap and seemed fine. There will be more of an atmosphere on Derby Day but he has settled in well at Newmarket since his arrival in January.

“He copes well with the hustle and bustle of the Heath, so I would be hopeful that he can relax when he gets to a racecourse again.

“He could race at York next week, which will also be ground dependent, but he is in good shape at the moment and hopefully he can return to Epsom on Derby Day.”

Fathom Five looks set to take on some strong opposition in the Investec ‘Dash’, including Godolphin’s Dandy Man, who has made the frame in the last two renewals of the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, and Holbeck Ghyll, who took the race last year for Andrew Balding.

Yorkshire trainer David Nicholls has entered eight horses as he seeks a fifth triumph in the Investec ‘Dash’, including Sonny Red, who was twice placed in Group company for previous trainer Richard Hannon, and Peace Offering, who landed a Listed sprint at Newmarket in October.

The handler may also be represented by Strike Up The Band and Tournedos, who both finished behind Hollbeck Ghyll at Epsom Downs last year, Northern Dare, Fol Hollow, Indian Trail, and recent Thirsk scorer Mandurah.

Kevin Ryan, who is also based in North Yorkshire, could send down a strong raiding party, with the 2006 Prix de l’Abbaye scorer Desert Lord and Group Two winner Wi Dud among his three entries.

A brace of Irish entries includes An Tadh, from the stable of Ger Lyons, and the Liam McAteer-trained Croisultan, who was second in a Listed contest at Naas on his latest appearance.

Other notable entries include the ultra-consistent Siren’s Gift, French Group Three victor Starlit Sands, prolific scorer High Standing and last year’s runner-up Merlin’s Dancer, who is trained at Epsom by Simon Dow.

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