Investec Derby 2019: Telecaster perfectly tuned to take centre stage at Epsom


Telecaster was supplemented at a cost of £85,000 for the Derby after winning the Dante Stakes at York. (Pic: Courtesy of Great British Racing).

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TELECASTER is taken to win the £1.625-million Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom Downs on Saturday and justify connections’ decision to supplement him at a cost of £85,000.

Telecaster’s trainer Hughie Morrison made the decision on Monday to supplement the Dante Stakes winner after the colt pleased connections in trackwork that morning.

The son of 2008 Derby winner New Approach was slashed in price for the Derby after outgunning the previously unbeaten Too Darn Hot over an extended 10 furlongs at York on May 16 to score by a length after racing close to the pace throughout.

The victory followed a wide margin victory at Windsor in mid-April which was preceded by a promising debut when second to fellow Derby contender Bangkok in a maiden race at Doncaster on March 30.

Morrison’s charge has since been awkwardly drawn in stall two, but big-race jockey Oisin Murphy believes Telecaster – the 9-2 joint second favourite for the Derby – has enough early speed to secure a good position.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic opportunity for Hughie and I, we’ve always thought the absolute world of this horse,” Murphy told QIPCO British Champions Series. “I was extremely happy with him after his run at Windsor in April, obviously his work before the Dante Stakes was next level and he’s come out of that race in really good form.

“You’re always hoping and dreaming for an Investec Derby horse, but it wasn’t until he went and did it on the track at York that we could really be sure that he was up to that level.

“I’d be very hopeful of him getting that step up in trip. The Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante was an excellent renewal and a truly run race and he was certainly not stopping at the line that day. We all believe he will stay, as he is bred to by a winner of this race and has Investec Oaks pedigree on the Dam side.

“When considering whether he should be supplemented or not, the main thing was the horse’s welfare and how he came out of the York race. I sat on him on Monday morning and I was very happy, as was Hughie. After consulting the owners it was decided that he would be supplemented on Monday.

“I’m drawn in stall two. Inside me is Line of Duty who is a Group 1 winner himself. I have two Ballydoyle horses outside me (Sovereign and Circus Maximus) in stalls four and five, so you’d be hopeful of there being some pace there. Telecaster jumps out pretty smart usually so hopefully I’ll be able to sit in where I want to from there. Having not spoken to Hughie I haven’t quite made my mind up about tactics yet. I’ll start to think about that on Friday night and Saturday morning.

“With just the 13 runners, stall two is fine for me. The bigger the field, the more worried you’d be about certain draws. Traditionally people would want a high draw in the Investec Derby but we didn’t get one so we will focus on what we have and do our best.

“Last year I got a good toe into the race from Masar on Roaring Lion, it was ideal following him. However it just depends how fast they go on the day. In terms of the track, I think Telecaster will be absolutely fine, he’s a very well-balanced horse. His mother was second in an Investec Oaks and his father won an Investec Derby so he certainly has the pedigree for the job. They handled the track well and I’d imagine he’d be no different.

“I’ve never given much thought about how I would react if I won the Investec Derby, of course it would be massive. People won’t believe me, but there is no extra pressure coming into a race as big as the Investec Derby with a live contender. I’ve done it all before. I’ve been beaten by a head in a Dubai World Cup. It will either happen or it won’t. Obviously the race holds a lot of extra weight but that doesn’t mean you do anything differently in terms of riding or preparation.

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