Investec Derby 2014: John Oxx has no ground concerns with Ebanoran in final field of 16 runners

The going at Epsom is good, good to soft in places ahead of the first of the two-day Oaks and Derby meeting.

The going at Epsom is good, good to soft in places ahead of the first of the two-day Oaks and Derby meeting.

By Simon Jackson.

The going at Epsom today (Thursday) remains good, good to soft in places, as the final field of 16 runners was confirmed for the Investec Derby on Saturday.

Lingfield Derby Trail winner Snow Sky was the sole absentee from the 17 potential runners that remained at the five day confirmation stage on Monday.

“I changed the going description to good, good to soft in places yesterday and it remains so today despite drying conditions,” Epsom’s head of racing and clerk of the course, Andrew Cooper said.

“We had eight millimetres of rain through the 24 hours yesterday and it was welcome. The drying conditions should continue through to after racing on Friday. Therefore, the ground is likely return to good before racing tomorrow.

“What is going to happen from Friday evening into Saturday morning is unclear. There is an unsettled forecast and we could have rain before racing on Saturday.”

The projected forecast should cause no problems for the John Oxx-trained Ebanoran, who was first to cross the line in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, only to be disqualified and placed second after moving right in the closing stages.

“Ebanoran has had a good preparation, thankfully we have had a clear run with him with no setbacks,” said Oxx who has won the Derby with Sinndar and Sea The Stars.

“He was a bit green on his last run as it was only the third start of his life but overall we were delighted with him. We were very happy with the way he measured up at that level – it was another jump forward and showed a good deal of improvement from his previous run.

“As far as handling the track at Epsom is concerned, all these horses are still relatively new to the game and you can never be sure how they will react to different situations.

“When he wandered around in the Derrinstown it was not that he became unbalanced, it was just greenness. And there were some mitigating circumstances. There was a photographer standing at the top of a step ladder near the line and we think he swerved away from that.

“I don’t think the ground will be an issue for him but if it rains it will not be to his disadvantage. He certainly handles soft ground.

“The longer trip is a new test and Epsom is a very demanding track. You cannot be certain but he has so much stamina on the dam’s side of his pedigree that there must be a good chance that he will stay the extra distance.”

The two day meeting at Epsom commences tomorrow at 1.35pm with a seven race card where the feature race of the day is the Investec Oaks at 4.00pm.

Investec Derby – Coral bet: 6/4 Australia, 6/1 Geoffrey Chaucer, 7/1 Kingston Hill, 10/1 True Story, 12/1 Ebanoran, Orchestra, Western Hymn, 16/1 Arod, Fascinating Rock, Romsdal, 50/1 Pinzolo, Sudden Wonder, 66/1 Kingfisher, Our Channel, 100/1 Impulsive Moment, 125/1 Red Galileo ¼ the odds 1-2-3

Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.

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