Epsom Oaks - Friday 1st June 2012 

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Fortune Favours Bonfire Derby Mount

Jockey, Jimmy Fortune, has made it clear that while his mount, Minimise Risk, had moved well, on a jaunt around the Tattenham Corner at Epsom, he is not in the same league as his stable companion, Bonfire, the horse Fortune will partner on the big occasion on June 2, writes Elliot Slater.

Photo by Bill Selwyn
© Highclere Thoroughbred Racing


A 66/1 shot to spring a surprise in the coveted mile-and-a-half Group 1 contest, after finishing a disappointing last of five to another Derby contender, Mickdaam, in the Group 3 Chester Vase at the Roodeye, earlier this month, Minimise appeared to handle the descent to the home straight with the minimum of fuss.

However, Fortune was quick to state that his colours remain firmly nailed to the mast of the yard’s No.1 contender, Bonfire, the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing syndicate’s horse who got the better of a fine battle with Ektihaam to land the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York, last week.

Bonfire is a 6/1 second-favourite in the latest Epsom Derby odds, behind the 10/11 market leader and Qipco 2000 Guineas winner, Camelot.

Bonfire had been expected to take his chance at Chester, a week earlier, but Balding eventually took him out of the Dee Stakes on the morning of the event, after judging that the very testing ground would do no favours to his exciting son of Manduro.

The horse had won on his debut as a juvenile at Salisbury, last season, before going on to finish an unlucky-in-running close third to French Fifteen in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint Cloud, in October.

That form has been well and truly franked by the winner pushing Camelot all the way, when failing by only a neck to beat the Ballydoyle star at Newmarket in the 2000 Guineas. Bonfire is judged, by many, to be the main danger to O’Brien’s colt, who could bid for the Triple Crown at Doncaster, if successful at Epsom.

Pick up some gambling tips and other words of wisdom from horse trainer, Paul Nicholls, ahead of the start of the Derby, on June 2.

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