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Record entry for 2005 Vodafone Derby

A record 648 yearlings were entered for the 2005 Vodafone Derby at the initial yearling entry stage on Wednesday, 3 December, 2003.

The previous record since yearling entries were restarted for the premier classic in 1993 was 634 in that first year.

The 2005 Vodafone Derby, run on Saturday, 4 June, will have a guaranteed prize fund of £1.25m and is the richest race in Europe.

Members of the Maktoum family dominate the list with the highest number of entries. Godolphin, responsible for the 1995 Vodafone Derby winner Lammtarra, accounts for 67 of those engaged, Sheikh Mohammed has 73 entries, Hamdan Al Maktoum, successful in 1989 with Nashwan and in 1994 with Erhaab, has 37 entered, while Maktoum Al Maktoum has nominated a further 32.

The Aga Khan, who has won the world's greatest Flat race more times than any other current owner with four victories (Shergar 1981, Shahrastani 1986, Kahyasi 1988 and Sinndar 2000), has 27 entries while Dubai-based Saeed Suhail, successful in 2003 with Kris Kin, is responsible for 11 entries.

Sue Magnier, no stranger to Vodafone Derby success with Galileo carrying her colours to victory in 2001, bids to continue her run in 2005 with 32 entries. Michael Tabor, who races many of his horses in partnership with Mrs Magnier including the 2002 Vodafone Derby winner High Chaparral, has 27 entered.

The classic entry of 648 yearlings also sees a new high of 199 different owners. Over 60 different syndicates, partnerships and studs have entered yearlings, showing that the dream of winning is not confined to just the big owners.

" We are very grateful for the continued support of the Vodafone Derby from all the major owners," commented Epsom Downs Racecourse managing director Stephen Wallis. "But we particularly welcome the growing number of smaller owners and syndicates who have joined in pursuit of The Derby Dream and very much hope to see them and their horses on Epsom Downs in 18 months' time."

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