2.00pm DEE STAKES SPONSORED BY ABERDEEN MURRAY JOHNSTONE
AND HALLIWELLS LLP
O’Brien Dee-lighted By Gypsy Win
Gypsy King earned quotes ranging from 3/1 (Cashmans) to 7/1 (totesport) for the Vodafone Derby after an eventful short-head success in the Group Three Dee Stakes sponsored by Aberdeen Murray Johnstone & Halliwells which saw the three-year-old Sadler’s Wells colt come from the rear of the field to fly at the finish and deny 33/1 chance Im Spartacus in a photo.
“I’m actually surprised he won because a lot went wrong,” said winning trainer Aidan O’Brien. “He was slowly away and wil have learned a lot today, it would have taken two months to teach him the same at home. I knew he was going to be green because there’s no good ground we can work on.
“He was working great before he had a big setback when he scoped badly and then the whole place got flooded. We really came here because he needed some respectable ground and had to learn a bit.
“When all the trials are over everyone will talk about Epsom but you can certainly say he’s joined the list of definite possibles after this.”
Jockey Kieren Fallon added: “He had not been showing much at home but felt really good today. He was a different horse going down to the start and will have learned a lot. He’s got everything for Epsom.
“Four out he had to go on a bit and I switched him to the outside where it’s softer but virgin ground. We always used to go round the outside at Chester there when it was soft.”
David Flood, trainer of runner-up Im Sparatacus, said: “Every year you get a classy unfurnished horse like the winner in this and you can sometimes bring a hardened streetfighter like my fellow along to come and nick it. I’m gutted to have been beaten so narrowly - that would have been my first Group winner.”
Athos Christodoulou, owner of third-placed Zalongo, said: “It was a bit of a messy race and the jockey said he would do much better on a galloping track and the King Edward VII Stakes must be a possibility.”
Dee Day For King
The Sadler’s Wells colt won on his only start in a Leopardstown on October 31 and has been the subject of positive reports from Ballydoyle through the winter. He - along with Excusez Moi, Forward Move, Jack The Giant and Mordor - is one of five Dee Stakes declarations entered in the Vodafone Derby.
Excusez Moi, who cost $410,000 as a yearling, is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s son Hamdan and trained by Clive Brittain. The Fusaichi Pegasus colt scored at Yarmouth on April 4 before finishing seventh behind Indesatchel in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
The Queen’s home-bred Forward Move, trained by Richard Hannon, was only beaten around a length when sixth in a close finish to the Craven Stakes at Newmarket last month while Jack The Giant - whose trainer Barry Hills has won the Dee Stakes no less than 11 times before - will need to improve considerably on his two juvenile runs to figure.
Sir Michael Stoute sent out Kris Kin to win the Dee Stakes en route to victory in the Vodafone Derby two years ago and he has two runners tomorrow. Mordor, owned by the Niarchos family, made a winning racecourse debut in a division of the Wood Ditton Maiden at Newmarket’s Craven Meeting, while Zalongo was beaten a head into second in a handicap at the same fixture.
The David Flood-trained Im Spartacus, who spent the early part of this year in Dubai, will be having his 15th start tomorrow while Thunderwing, trained by Karl Burke, heads to Chester having finished second in a Newbury conditions event on his seasonal debut last month.
The field is completed by the Brian Meehan-trained Zohar, who finished
sixth in the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven Meeting
on his seasonal debut.
The Dee Stakes Sponsored By Aberdeen Murray Johnstone And Halliwells
The Group Three £65,000 Dee Stakes sponsored by Aberdeen Murray Johnstone and Halliwells, run over 10 furlongs and 75 yards, is held tomorrow Friday, May 6, the final day of Chester’s historic May Festival, and provides an ideal opportunity for unexposed colts to show their true potential. The new sponsors this year are Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity, the private equity division of Aberdeen Asset Managers Limited, and Halliwells, one of the UK’s leading commercial law firms with offices in Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield.
The 2003 renewal was won by Kris Kin, who captured the Derby the following month from 19 rivals at Epsom Downs. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, he was the second Dee Stakes winner in the last six years to go on to victory in the world’s premier classic. The 1980 winner Playboy Jubilee might not have been anything out of the ordinary but the horse he beat at Chester, Prince Bee, collected victories in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, Great Voltigeur Stakes at York and the Prix Niel at Longchamp in France. Kirtling, the 1981 Dee Stakes victor, was unfortunate to be around in the same year as Chester Vase winner Shergar but still won the Group One Premio d’Italia in Milan. He also finished fourth to Shergar in the Irish Derby.
The Barry Hills-trained Infantry, the 1985 Dee Stakes winner, was fourth behind Law Society in the Irish Derby while Faraway Dancer, triumphant at Chester in 1986, went on to take fourth place to Shahrastani in the Derby. Sir Harry Lewis, triumphant in 1987, also came fourth in the Derby for Barry Hills before improving further still to win the Irish Derby at the Curragh. Barry Hills trained the 1989 Dee Stakes winner Free Sweater and the Chester specialist was also triumphant the following year. The 1990 Dee Stakes proved a classic pointer with the winner Blue Stag only finding Chester Vase second Quest for Fame too good in the Derby, while the runner-up, Saumarez, won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe later in the season.
Geoff Wragg, another trainer with an excellent record at Chester, sent
out Beneficial to success in 1993 with the Barry Hills-trained Blues
Traveller four lengths back in second. Beneficial did not contest any
of the classics but triumphed in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal
Ascot and has gone on to be a useful jumping stallion. Blues Traveller
ran in the Derby, belying his 150/1 odds to finish a fine third to Commander
In Chief. Geoff Wragg enjoyed further success in the 1995 Dee Stakes
when Pentire defeated Sanoosea by a length and a quarter. Like Beneficial,
Pentire did not run in a classic, but went on to take the King Edward
VII Stakes, Great Voltigeur Stakes and Irish Champion Stakes that season,
as well as finishing second to Lammtarra in the King George VI & Queen
Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot - a race he would win as a four-year-old
in 1996. Henry Cecil, successful with Ivano in 1982 and Cicerao in 1994,
was represented by the promising colt Oath in 1999, who produced a dazzling
display at Chester to defeat Little Rock by five lengths. He then headed
to Epsom and won the Derby in stylish fashion.Dr Greenfield just got
the better of Grandera by half a length in 2001. Grandera was subsequently
purchased by Godolphin, for whom he landed Group One races like the Singapore
Airlines International Cup, Ascot’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
and the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. Last year Peter Chapple-Hyam’s
African Dream landed the odds by three-quarters of a length from Putra
Sas, although the winning distance did not really reflect his superiority
in a tactical affair.
ROLL OF HONOUR 1980-2004
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