Oxx Hopes for Another Investec Derby Star
John Oxx saddled the mighty Sea The Stars to triumph in the 2009 Investec Derby, having won the great race nine years earlier with the brilliant Sinndar, and the trainer could bid for a famous third win in the £1.25 million Epsom Downs Classic on Saturday, June 5, with Behtarini, one of 122 horses remaining following this week’s first scratchings stage.
The Aga Khan-owned Behtarini is still a maiden after three starts as a juvenile, the last of which saw him finish runner-up to subsequent Group One victor Jan Vermeer.
Oxx revealed: “We have given Behtarini an entry in the Investec Derby but it’s slightly speculative at the moment.
“He has been beaten three times but he has run up against some good horses. He would have to take a step forward now in the springtime if he was to measure up to be an Investec Derby contender but we thought that we would leave him in.
“He is in good form and we are just starting him off in his work. He is quite a nice horse but he would have to win his maiden and step up into a Derby trial before we would consider him for Epsom.
“The Investec Derby is the race that everybody wants to win - it is a marvellous event and a great test of a horse. It is a demanding mile and a half and that is one of the reasons that it has been such a successful source of stallions over the years - a horse needs all of the qualities to win.
“It was the race that made us feel that Sea The Stars was a special horse - we were pretty hopeful after the 2000 Guineas but it was at Epsom that Mick told me that he was one of the greats.
Irish-trained horses have won five of the past 10 renewals of the Investec Derby, including the last two (2009 Sea The Stars, 2008 New Approach) and there are 48 horses from across the Irish Sea remaining in Britain’s richest race following the first scratchings deadline.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien claimed two of those Irish successes (2001 Galileo, 2002 High Chaparral) and the master of Ballydoyle is responsible for 40 of the remaining entries. The O’Brien/Coolmore contingent includes the unbeaten winter favourite St Nicholas Abbey, a runaway winner of the Group One Racing Post Trophy, and fellow Group One winners Beethoven and Jan Vermeer, as well as Group Two victors Cape Blanco and Joshua Tree. St Nicholas Abbey was ranked Europe’s top two-year-old of 2009 by the official handicappers who rated him 124, 5lb better than Jan Vermeer.
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor is seeking a second success in Flat racing’s blue riband following Lammtarra’s win in 1995. Suroor has 16 entries including the promising maiden winner Burj Nahar and Haynes Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes victor Ameer.
Sir Michael Stoute has won the Investec Derby on four occasions (1981 Shergar, 1986 Shahrastani, 2003 Kris Kin, 2004 North Light) and the Newmarket trainer has three entries going forward including the well-connected maiden Nibani.
Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum landed the Investec Derby in 1989 with Nashwan and has 10 horses still engaged, including Royal Lodge stakes runner-up Waseet.
The Royal Ascot Racing Club prevailed in 2005 with Motivator and its phalanx of members will be dreaming that trainer Michael Bell can work his magic once again with Prompter. The Newmarket handler also has Coordinated Cut, sporting the colours of city high roller Lawrie Inman.
Sinndar’s success in 2000 took the Aga Khan’s Investec Derby tally to four (1980 Shergar, 1986 Shahrastani, 1988 Kahyasi). The race’s most successful current owner could also see his colours carried at Epsom in June by Dibir and the Sinndar colt Sidpour, both of whom are in the care of French champion trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.
The last French-based horse to triumph was the Maurice Zilber-trained Empery in 1976 and there are currently a total of five horses trained in France still remaining, as well as three possible runners from Japan.
All of the horses remaining in the Investec Derby, the world’s premier Classic which is being run for the 231st time, were entered as yearlings and there is a second entry stage on April 6. There is a maximum field of 20.
Andrew Cooper, Director of Racing at Epsom Downs Racecourse, commented: “We saw one of the greatest ever Epsom winners last year when Sea The Stars captured the Investec Derby in scintillating fashion and we are already counting down to this year’s race, which is now just three months away.
“The entries include the usual intriguing blend of top-class two-year-olds and less exposed horses and the countdown is now underway to find out who will emulate Sea The Stars at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 5.”
THE 2010 INVESTEC DERBY
Class 1, Group 1, £1,250,000 Total Prize Fund, Epsom Downs, Saturday, June 5, 2010. For three-year-olds only, entire colts & fillies, one mile & four furlongs. Entries closed December 2, 2008 (388 entries). First scratchings deadline noon, March 2, 2010 (122 remain), £8,000 secondary entry stage noon, April 6, 2010, second scratchings deadline noon, May 20, 2010, £75,000 supplementary entry & five-day confirmation stage, noon, May 31, 2010, final declaration stage 10am, June 3, 2010. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Monday, March 1, 2010. May not include some overseas form.
Form Horse Owner Trainer
ABRASIVE (IRE) Tony Bloom William Haggas
3- ALBURJ (USA) Hamdan Al Maktoum Dermot Weld IRE
113- AMEER (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
3- ANCIENT KINGDOM (USA) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
12- ANHAR (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
APRES VOUS (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
ARABIAN HISTORY (USA)Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
51- AT FIRST SIGHT (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
1230- ATLANTIS STAR Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
415- AVERROES (IRE) HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Clive Cox
10- AWAIT THE DAWN (USA) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
0- AWSAAL Hamdan Al Maktoum John Dunlop
110- AZMEEL M Al-Qatami & K M Al-Mudhaf John Gosden
20- BAB AL SHAMS (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
13461(6)- BEETHOVEN (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
422- BEHTARINI (IRE) H H Aga Khan John Oxx IRE
2- BIG OCCASION (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
3- BITTER MAN (IRE) Jaber Abdullah Mick Channon
4- BLISSFUL MOMENT (USA) Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute
5- BOLD QUEST (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
04- BOMBADERO (IRE) Windflower Overseas Holdings Inc John Dunlop
BRIDGE MOUNTAIN (USA) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
(6)(2)- BRIGHT HORIZON Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
1- BURJ NAHAR Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
10- BURNETT (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
111- CAPE BLANCO (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
6- CAPTAIN JAMES COOK Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
(0)- CARRAIGLAWN (IRE) Jackie Bolger Jim Bolger IRE
120- CHABAL (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
0-(1) CHINK OF LIGHT David Brownlow Andrew Balding
CLEAR ALTERNATIVE (IRE) Moyglare Stud Farms Ltd Dermot Weld IRE
CLEARWATER BAY (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
COASTAL WELLS (IRE) Iona Equine Syndicate Out of training
10- COORDINATED CUT (IRE) Lawrie Inman Michael Bell
5-334 COSMO MEADOW (IRE) Big Red Farm Shigenori Hatakeyama JPN
DANCE AT DAWN (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
DESERT MYTH (USA) Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute
DEUX ETOILES (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
(3)- DIBIR (FR) H H Aga Khan Jean Claude Rouget FR
314- DON CARLOS (GER) Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
230(1)- DYNASTY Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
0-(1) EDINBURGH KNIGHT (IRE) Knights Racing Paul D'Arcy
1433- EMIRATES DREAM (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
22- ENCOMPASSING (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
ESHTYAAQ Hamdan Al Maktoum Marcus Tregoning
ETON FOREVER (IRE) HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah Michael Jarvis
2- FAIR TRADE Raymond Tooth David Elsworth
3- FALCON FLIGHT (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
1(1)-(0) FAREEJ (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
(1)2- FENCING MASTER Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
(1)(5)- FIGHTING BRAVE (USA) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
41- FLYING CROSS (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
GARTH MOUNTAIN Kevin Mercer David Elsworth
0- GOMRATH (IRE) Jon and Julia Aisbitt Mick Channon
661- GREEN LIGHTNING (IRE) The Green Dot Partnership Mark Johnston
4-(2)(1)(1)(1) GREYFRIARSCHORISTA Greyfriars UK Ltd Mark Johnston
0(6)-(2)(1) GUMND (IRE) Saeed Manana Clive Brittain
2140- HIGH TWELVE (IRE) Thomas Barr John Gosden
216- HOT PROSPECT Alan Spence Michael Jarvis
IBN SINA (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
411- JAN VERMEER (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
JOSEPH LISTER Bill Gredley John Gosden
121- JOSHUA TREE (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
4- KING'S WARRIOR (FR) Paul Hancock Gary Moore
3- LATANSAA Hamdan Al Maktoum Marcus Tregoning
1002- LORD HIGH ADMIRAL (IRE) Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
(0)1- MAKANI (GER) Niarchos Family Jonathan Pease FR
3277-33 MEINER GUT (JPN) Thoroughbred Club Ruffian Ryuichi Inaba JPN
314- MIDAS TOUCH Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
12612- MIKHAIL GLINKA (IRE) Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
31- MONT AGEL John Pearce Michael Bell
2215- MORANA (IRE) Andrew Black Peter Chapple-Hyam
213- MUBTASSIM Hamdan Al Maktoum Freddie Head FR
321- MUFARRH (IRE) Hamdan Al Maktoum John Dunlop
01- MULTAMES (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
MUTASAREB (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
(1)- NEXT MOVE (IRE) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
4- NIBANI (IRE) Ballymacoll Stud Sir Michael Stoute
16- NO HUBRIS (USA) Mrs Fitri Hay Paul Cole
ORIGINAL QUEST (IRE) The Originals Mark Johnston
PASSING THE TORCH (IRE) The Honorable Earle Mack Luca Cumani
4- PEKAN STAR HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah Michael Jarvis
6- PEKAN THREE (IRE) HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah Paul Cole
PETER MARTINS (IRE) The Honorable Earle Mack Luca Cumani
POINT NORTH (IRE) Sir Robert Ogden Jeremy Noseda
(1)- POWERFUL MELODY (USA) Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
2- PRINCE OF DREAMS G Roddick William Knight
2162- PROMPTER The Royal Ascot Racing Club Michael Bell
3342(0)1- PURPLE HEART (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
0- QUEST FOR GOLD Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
0- RAIN FOREST Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
51- RASMY Hamdan Al Maktoum Marcus Tregoning
6- ROCKET MAN (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
(1) RUBI DIA C G Maybury Mark Johnston
SAIL BOAT (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
SCOTTISH REEL (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
6(2)- SEPTEMBER MORN (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
5-(1) SHERNANDO The Originals Mark Johnston
SIDPOUR (IRE) H H Aga Khan Jean Claude Rouget FR
SILVER FOX (IRE) Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
SNOW BLIZZARD (IRE) Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
0- SOUR MASH (IRE) The Honorable Earle Mack Luca Cumani
SPACE AND TIME (IRE) Jackie Bolger Jim Bolger IRE
4- SPEARTOOTH Niarchos Family Pascal Bary FR
111- ST NICHOLAS ABBEY (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
STAR OF THE SHOW Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE
14- STEINBECK (IRE) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
210- STUNNING VIEW (IRE) Dr Ronan Lambe Dermot Weld IRE
(1) TAJAARUB Hamdan Al Maktoum Barry Hills
21- TAMAATHUL Hamdan Al Maktoum Barry Hills
013- TED SPREAD False Nose 'n Glasses Partnership Mark Tompkins
20- TEXAN STAR (IRE) John Gosden John Gosden
30- THEOLOGY Highclere Thoroughbred Racing Touchstone Jeremy Noseda
3(1)- TREASURE TOWN Godolphin Saeed bin Suroor UAE
000- TROVARE (USA) John Connolly Amanda Perrett
VICEROY (IRE) Derrick Smith Aidan O’Brien IRE
31120- VISCOUNT NELSON (USA) Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE
VITA VENTURI (IRE) Ruairi O'Coileain/John Corcoran/Jackie Bolger Jim Bolger IRE
312- WASEET Hamdan Al Maktoum John Dunlop
22- YOUM JAMIL (USA) Jaber Abdullah Brian Meehan
408-6 YUME YUME YUME (IRE) Shigeyuki Okada Ryuichi Inaba JPN
6- ZULU PRINCIPLE Plantation Stud Dermot Weld IRE
122 entries remain after first scratching stage
SIX TO WATCH
BURJ NAHAR (GB)
b c Shamardal (USA) - Melikah (IRE) (Lammtarra (USA))
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
The Darley homebred is by Godolphin’s French Derby hero Shamardal out of Listed winner and 2000 Oaks third Melikah, a half-sister to last year’s all-conquering Investec Derby winner Sea The Stars. Burj Nahar has raced only once to date but made a good impression when easily winning a mile maiden at Nottingham in November.
ch c Galileo (IRE) - Laurel Delight (Presidium)
Owner: Derrick Smith
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Breeder: Jack Ronan & Des Vere Hunt Farm
Unbeaten in three starts at seven furlongs last term, Cape Blanco followed a Fairyhouse maiden win in June with success in the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown the following month. His campaign ended back at Fairyhouse on August 22, with a length and a quarter victory in the Group Two Futurity Stakes. Cape Blanco, a 330,000 euro purchase at Goffs in September, 2008, is a half-brother to US Grade Two mile winner Mr O’Brien out of the five-furlong winner Laurel Delight, a half-sister to high-class sprinter Paris House.
JAN VERMEER (IRE)
b c Montjeu (IRE) - Shadow Song (IRE) (Pennekamp (USA))
Owner: Michael Tabor
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Breeder: Shadow Song Syndicate
Jan Vermeer capped a fine first season with an impressive four-length defeat of Emerald Commander in the Group One Criterium International over a mile at Saint-Cloud on November 1. Previously, the Montjeu colt had easily landed a mile maiden at Gowran Park from Behtarini on September 26. That victory followed a fourth place on his career debut over seven furlongs at the Curragh on September 12. Jan Vermeer’s dam, Shadow Song, won over an extended 11 furlongs in the French provinces and is a half-sister to Group Three May Hill Stakes winner Midnight Air.
ch c Dalakhani (IRE) - Dance Of The Sea (IRE) (Sinndar (IRE))
Owner/Breeder: Ballymacoll Stud
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
Nibani is closely related to 1995 Irish 2,000 Guineas and Champion Stakes hero Spectrum, dual Breeders’ Cup Turf victor Conduit and triple Group One winner Petrushka. The homebred colt made his sole racecourse appearance in a mile Newmarket maiden in September when, after a slow start, he stayed on to finish fourth of 13.
ST NICHOLAS ABBEY (IRE)
b c Montjeu (IRE) - Leaping Water (Sure Blade (USA))
Owner: Sue Magnier
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Breeder: Barton Bloodstock & Villiers Syndicate
A 200,000 guineas purchase at Tattersalls in October, 2008, St Nicholas Abbey is a half-brother to mile and a half US Grade Two winner Grammarian. His dam, Leaping Water, is an unraced half-sister to Group One winners Starborough, Ballingarry and Aristotle. The Montjeu colt made an impressive career debut in a mile maiden at the Curragh on August 16. He returned there to clinch the Group Two Juddmonte Beresford Stakes the following month by a cosy three quarters of a length from Layali Al Andalus, with subsequent Group One winner Passion For Gold in third. He emerged as favourite for the 2010 Investec Derby after a devastating defeat of Elusive Pimpernel in the Group One Racing Post Trophy over a mile at Doncaster on October 24. He is the highest-rated winner of the Racing Post Trophy in recent years, above Authorized, Motivator and High Chaparral who all went on to win the Derby.
ch c Selkirk (USA) - Najayeb (USA) (Silver Hawk (USA))
Owner: Hamdan Al Maktoum
Trainer: John Dunlop
Breeder: Shadwell Estate Company Ltd
Waseet’s finest performance to date came on his latest start when he finished second to Joshua Tree in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot in September, with subsequent Grade One Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victor Vale Of York back in third. That effort confirmed the impression of his impressive four and a half-lengths success in a mile Sandown maiden on August 13. He had finished third first time out over seven furlongs at Newmarket in July. The Shadwell homebred is out of an unraced half-sister to the brilliant Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner and Investec Derby runner-up Sakhee.