It looks as though the most crucial of all the Investec Epsom Derby trials could be set to take place at York on May 12 when the three leading ante-post candidates for the blue riband contest may all be in opposition bidding to land the prestigious Group 2 Totesport Dante Stakes, writes Elliot Slater.
The extended mile-and-quarter contest has proven a fine testing ground for future Derby winners over the years, and in the last decade North Light (2004), Motivator (2005), and Authorized (2007) have all won on the Knavesmire before going on to glory in the big one at Epsom a few weeks later. This year there appears every chance that Henry Cecil’s World Domination, Sir Michael Stoute’s Carlton House, and Aidan O’Brien’s Seville, could all put their respective reputations on the line in what will be a race worth travelling a long way to see. Anyone following the Derby betting should certainly keep an eye on the event.
Since the confirmation that his brilliant stable companion Frankel will not run at Epsom World Domination (9/2f) has been the leading ante-post fancy for The Derby on the strength of his tremendously impressive Newbury maiden win last month. He still has something to prove on the track but is clearly held in high regard by the team at Warren Place.
The Queen’s Carlton House (5/1) looked a classic contender when bolting up in a good Newbury maiden last October but hasn’t been out so far this term. Gallop reports have been encouraging but he will have to be on the top of his game to win first-time out, whilst Seville (8/1), second in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy definitely last October, has the best form in the race and could be the one they all have to beat if he has trained on. With the outstanding form of O’Brien’s team at the Chester meeting there appears every chance that Seville will be more than ready to do himself justice at York.