Investec Derby 2016: Mickael Barzalona bids to maintain 100% Derby record with Cloth Of Stars

By Simon Jackson.


Derby Day at Epsom Downs. (Pic: Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses).

Mickael Barzalona won the 2011 Derby on Pour Moi on his sole ride in the Epsom Classic and hopes to maintain his 100 per cent record when he teams up with Cloth Of Stars on June 4.

Like Pour Moi, Cloth Of Stars is trained by France’s multiple champion trainer Andre Fabre. He has won both of his starts this season that includes an emphatic victory in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe over 10 furlongs at Saint-Cloud on May 8.

The son of Derby winner Sea The Stars, who still needs to be supplemented for the Derby, experienced Epsom for the first time when working at Breakfast with the Stars on May 24 where he impressed Barzalona.

“Cloth Of Stars handled the track very well today – we did very easy work and I was very pleased with him,” the jockey said immediately after the workout.

“In France, most of the tracks are really flat, while at Epsom Tattenham Corner and the undulations make a big difference.

“In France too during a race, once you get a position nobody changes or fights and it is not going to be the same thing in the Investec Derby.

“So I think it was very important for the horse to come and have a look at Epsom.

“Cloth Of Stars, who is very well balanced, always travels a bit keenly but today he never had a bad action.

“It is very hard to compare him with Pour Moi who had very strong acceleration, while Cloth Of Stars is more workmanlike.

“Hopefully, he is good enough – he has proved himself in France this year, winning both his starts, and we are really sure he will stay a mile and a half so fingers crossed.

“We have been trying to teach him how to settle and last time he settled really well. So, with a good draw, he should be fine. He is very fast out of the gates which is a big help to get a position.

“The Investec Derby is a most prestigious race – a really old Classic which is very hard to win. I have the horse to win the Derby again and I will try my best again.”

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