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Friday 9 December 2016

Mick Kinane: Dettori to strike for gold in the Epsom Derby

Jack Hobbs (William Buick)
Jack Hobbs (William Buick)

ZAWRAQ'S defection from the field for tomorrow's Epsom Derby was a real shame.

He's a colt that offered real intrigue in the race being unbeaten and he was a real interesting contender for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen who would love to get their name on this race. 

That, unfortunately, is how the wheel turns in racing though I'm afraid and you have to take the lows with the highs and hopefully they'll be able to get him right and possibly bring him back for the Irish Derby at the Curragh later this month.

We are now left with a field of just 12 and although it is small for an Epsom Derby it is still certainly very competitive.

For me, it is very hard to get away from the favourite, Golden Horn. The way he produced his turn of foot and the way he stayed on in the Dante Stakes seems to be the most classy performance that I have seen from anything in the field in any of the trials.

Trainer Gosden has declared that he is going to keep an eye on the ground and maybe take a walk of the track on Saturday morning but he certainly has a very strong hand in the race and one that would be the envy of every trainer this year.

You'd have to say looking at the race that it is very hard to predict anything coming and overturning Golden Horn without something going amiss but if there is anything required to pick up the pieces it would be no surprise if it was his stable mate Jack Hobbs.

Jack Hobbs didn't have as clear a trip around York as Golden Horn had in the Dante Stakes so you could see him getting closer and you never know, but for me, it's hard to see him overturned.

Giovanni Canaletto is the first preference of the Ballydoyle trio and it took him a while to get it together but did finish out strongly in the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh but it's very hard to see him winning on that Curragh form and he looks to be short enough in the betting for what we have seen so far.

It is great for Ken Condon to be going to Epsom with a contender in the Derby courtesy of Success Days.

His best form at the minute has been on very soft ground at Leopardstown and he is a talented colt but a lot more is required on a faster surface to win but it would be great to see him run a good race for connections.

It looks like it is going to be a nicely run affair with Storm The Stars and Elm Park being very close to the pace and it is a very special day for anyone connected to a runner in the race.

There was a time not so long ago when people were casting a doubt over Frankie Dettori's future and now he is back riding the favourite in the Derby and looking to win the race for just the second time and it's amazing how things can turn around.

I suppose it is a shame that Richard Hughes has no ride in the race and with him retiring at the end of the season the Derby is going to be a race that eluded him.

Riding in the Oaks today will be his second last British Classic providing he is involved in the St Leger later in the season and that time is going to close in on him fairly quick now but I don't think Richard will have any regrets.

HEART

Going training is something that he has had his heart set on for some time now and you never know, he may have plenty to cheer about this evening after the Oaks.

I think if Legatissimo settles, she will probably be very hard to beat but she was keen over a mile at Newmarket and if she doesn't settle tomorrow she could be vulnerable to Crystal Zvezda who Hughesy rides now with Ryan Moore on Legatissimo.

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