By Simon Jackson at Epsom Downs.
Golden Horn is likely to contest the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on July 4 after his emphatic win in the Investec Derby in front of a record crowd at Epsom on Saturday.
The attendance of 125,000 people at Epsom on Saturday was 5,000 more than last year. It was the highest one day crowd at any British sporting event as the John Gosden-trained 13-8 favourite Golden Horn scored by three and a half lengths for Frankie Dettori.
Jack Hobbs (4-1) – a stablemate of the winner – was second and 16-1 shot Storm The Stars third in the 12 furlong contest that carried total prize money of £1,434,000.
The victory was the second Epsom Derby win for Gosden who won it with Benny The Dip in 1997. The trainer has since indicated that the Coral-Eclipse (over 10 furlongs at Sandown) is the immediate target for Golden Horn who has won all of his four starts.
“He’s in the Eclipse, he’s not in the Irish Derby, it was something we discussed at the supplementary stage that we wouldn’t put him in,” Gosden said of the son of Cape Cross who travelled towards the rear of the field in the Derby before challenging a furlong out and winning easily.
“The Eclipse in July looks like the direction we’ll go and then possibly on to York for the Juddmonte [International],” the trainer said.
“He’s come out of the race well and it is fair to say the Eclipse is uppermost in my mind.
“For Jack Hobbs he’ll run in the Irish Derby and then we’ll give him a holiday as he’s a big, rangy horse that will make a nice four and five-year-old. As you could see in his frame yesterday, he’s not yet fully furnished.”
Golden Horn’s victory also provided a second Derby win for the Newmarket-based Italian jockey Dettori who was having his 20th ride in the world’s most important horse race.
“I still can’t believe that I have won the Derby again. What a feeling, what a feeling! Fantastic!” Dettori said.
“I knew this was a good horse, it was up to me to mess it up and everything went right.
“It was brilliant, the horse was magnificent. I was just a passenger. He flew into the last bit, it was good.
“He hit a flat spot and I thought: ‘My God, never mind staying, I can’t get him going’ and then, once he found top gear, that was it, he was off. It was a brilliant feeling and I had to pinch myself, I couldn’t believe it.
“When you are younger you do it, you don’t really appreciate the full force of the Derby. It’s a huge race and you don’t understand the meaning of the pressure, the importance. It means a lot.”
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