Horse Talk with Simon Jackson:
Top horse-racing tips and the latest news.
ENGLISH King is taken to justify his place at the head of the market and win the £500,000 Investec Derby behind closed doors at Epsom Downs on Saturday.
Trainer Ed Walker’s charge was made favourite for the Derby after an impressive win in the Listed Betsafe Derby Trial Stakes over one mile and three and a half furlongs at Lingfield on June 5.
The son of 2012 Investec Derby winner Camelot won the second of his two starts last term and was sent off the 5-2 second favourite at Lingfield where he was held up in the rear in the early stages by jockey Tom Marquand. He gained ground six furlongs out and was travelling easily when shaken up in the final furlong, racing clear of his rivals in the closing stages to score by two and three-quarter lengths.
Connections have since announced that Frankie Dettori will take the ride at Epsom where English King heads the Derby betting at 3-1.
“I am massively excited by English King and I would not swap him for anything else,” said trainer Ed Walker ahead of saddling his first runner in the Investec Derby.
“I know that sounds mad with a Guineas winner [Kameko] in the field, but I wouldn’t.
“I always vowed that I would not run a horse in the Derby if he didn’t deserve his place.
“I think he will have learnt a lot at Lingfield and hopefully he can cruise round Tattenham Corner.
“Whether he is good enough – we will find out, but he ticks an awful lot of boxes. I think that is why he is at the top of the market, because he ticks all the boxes.
“At home, he was always a nice, good looking athletic horse. He is not a horse you expect to see blasting past his lead horse in Frankel style. He does what he has to do; he is not a flashy workhorse.
“Anyone who says they don’t think about winning the Derby is surely lying. I have been thinking about it since I discovered horseracing when I was 13-years-old, so of course you think about it in this position. It would be a great day if it happened.
“Frankie sat on him last week and just wanted to come down and have a feel of the horse. He really wanted to get inside the horse’s head, which is a mark of Frankie’s professionalism and he was very happy.”
The 241st Investec Derby (Group 1)
4.55pm, Epsom Downs, Saturday, 4 July, 2020. 1m 4f 6y
1) (5) Amhran Na Bhfiann (IRE) (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 William Buick
2) (4) Emissary (Khalid Abdullah) Hugo Palmer 3-9-00 Jim Crowley
3) (1) English King (FR) (Bjorn Nielsen) Ed Walker 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori
4) (16) Gold Maze (The Long Wait Partnership) Jessica Harrington IRE 3-9-00 David Egan
5) (13) Highland Chief (IRE) (Fitri Hay) Paul & Oliver Cole 3-9-00 Ben Curtis
6) (11) Kameko (USA) (Qatar Racing Limited) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Oisin Murphy
7) (14) Khalifa Sat (IRE) (Ahmad Al Shaikh) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Tom Marquand
8) (7) Max Vega (IRE) (The Pickford Hill Partnership) Ralph Beckett 3-9-00 Harry Bentley
9) (2) Mogul (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Ryan Moore
10) (15) Mohican Heights (IRE) (Sun Bloodstock SARL) David Simcock 3-9-00 Andrea Atzeni
11) (10) Mythical (FR) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 James Doyle
12) (3) Pyledriver (K & W Bloodstock Limited & Roger Devlin) William Muir 3-9-00 Martin Dwyer
13) (6) Russian Emperor (IRE) (Laurie Macri/Sue Magnier et al) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Seamie Heffernan
14) (12) Serpentine (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Emmet McNamara
15) (8) Vatican City (IRE) (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith) Aidan O’Brien IRE 3-9-00 Padraig Beggy
16) (9) Worthily (USA) (George Strawbridge) John Gosden 3-9-00 Martin Harley
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