Prompter Pleases Bell to Secure Investec Derby Trial Entry
Prompter, whose sire Motivator gave his owners the Royal Ascot Racing Club an unforgettable Investec Derby triumph in 2005, is among 10 entries for the £30,000 Investec Derby Trial (3.30pm) run at the Investec Spring Meeting at Epsom Downs on Wednesday, April 21.
The Michael Bell-trained colt, one of four Investec Derby entries among those engaged, could make his seasonal debut in the 10-furlong contest after blossoming in recent weeks. Prompter showed himself to be a smart prospect last season and closed his juvenile campaign at Ascot in October when a head runner-up to Morana in the Group Three Autumn Stakes.
Harry Herbert, racing manager to the Royal Ascot Racing Club, revealed: “The Investec Derby Trial is an option for Prompter. We wanted to have a look at the race because he has come to hand much quicker than we originally thought he would. The plan was to go straight to the Dee Stakes (at Chester) and go from there but he has really blossomed up; he’s working well and we just thought we would make the entry.
“If he could go to Epsom Downs next week, have a good chance of winning and get experience of the track, that might not be a bad idea. Experience is everything at Epsom so if he turns into a legitimate Investec Derby contender that might stand him in good stead.
“He seems in great form, he has come in his coat and is working very nicely so we need to have a look at the race.”
The 2009 renewal of the Investec Derby Trial enhanced its status thanks to the exploits of the winner Debussy, who subsequently triumphed in the Group Two Prix Eugene Adam, and runner-up Midday, who finished a head second to Sariska in the Investec Oaks, won the Group One Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and capped a fantastic season with victory in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
John Gosden, responsible for Debussy last term, could saddle Listed Washington Singer Stakes victor Azmeel, while fellow Investec Derby entry Gomrath impressed when winning a Lingfield maiden in March for trainer Mick Channon. The fourth Investec Derby entry is the Clive Brittain-trained Gumnd.
Dreamspeed from the Andrew Balding yard was fifth in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot in September, while the David Wachman-trained Icon Dream, unbeaten winner of a Tipperary maiden that same month, is the one Irish entry.
The good quality entry also includes a pair of Godolphin hopefuls trained by Saeed bin Suroor. Lion Mountain was a short-head runner-up to the Investec Derby entry Bullet Train on his sole start in a Yarmouth maiden last term, while Namecheck was a head third in a Pontefract Listed race in October.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Togiak was fifth in the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Ascot in October, while David Simcock has engaged Mark Twain.
Wednesday’s exciting six-race card also includes two of Epsom’s most historic handicaps, the mile and a half Investec Asset Management Great Metropolitan Handicap (2.55pm), which has attracted 27 entries, and the 10-furlong Investec Property Investments City & Suburban Handicap (4.05pm) with 21 entries.
INVESTEC AND EPSOM DOWNS UNVEIL NEW PERPETUAL DERBY TROPHY
The new Investec Derby Trophy, designed by exciting young artist Charlie Langton and crafted by Asprey, will be unveiled prior to the running of the Investec Derby Trial at Epsom Downs on Wednesday, April 21.
John Oxx, who saddled the exceptional Sea The Stars to land the 2009 running of the world’s greatest Flat race, will unveil the new perpetual trophy along with the 2010 Investec Derby Festival Guest of Honour, who will be announced earlier that same day.
In recognition of the national resonance and worldwide following of the historic race, Epsom Downs Racecourse and the Festival sponsor, Investec, commissioned Langton to design and sculpt the iconic perpetual trophy.
Tickets for the Investec Spring Meeting and Investec Derby Festival are now on sale. To buy tickets, call 0844 848 0197 or visit www.epsomderby.co.uk