By Simon Jackson.
Richard Hannon has said that Humphrey Bogart ‘deserves his chance’ to contest the Investec Derby after a tenacious victory in the Listed Betfred Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.
The son of Tagula was restrained at the rear of the field by jockey Sean Levey in the opening stages and still trailed the field of five as the runners turned for home in the one mile and three and a half furlong contest on Saturday.
The Hannon-trained colt closed in on the leaders approaching the last furlong and continued the momentum to head the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall-owned favourite, Carntop, in the drive to the line and prevail by half a length.
The victory was Humphrey Bogart’s first at this distance and his trainer intimated that his charge has earned a place in the Derby field, for which he is best-priced at 33-1 for the mile and a half contest where the betting is headed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly Minding who is priced at 5-2 with a run.
“I always had questions on his ability to stay, originally thinking that the mile and a quarter was one step too far but for him to win here at a mile and half proves his tenacity,” Hannon said of his charge who at his previous start finished a close second in the Investec Derby Trial over 10 furlongs at Epsom last month.
“He was a winner over seven furlongs as a two-year-old and has never been out of the first four in all eight starts,” the trainer added.
“He is tough as anything and I think if the decision is confirmed to go to the Derby, he deserves his chance.”
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