Arrest new favourite for Betfred Derby after Chester Vase victory

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Frankie Dettori. (Pic: Courtesy of Great British Racing).

ARREST is the new favourite for the Betfred Derby after a wide-margin victory on soft ground in the Group 3 Boodles Chester Vase on Wednesday.

The John Gosden trained winner was kept wide throughout by Frankie Dettori who sought fresh ground throughout for his charge who took a keen hold early and then raced in a prominent position. Arrest led three furlongs from home and went clear with two furlongs to run, extending his lead in the closing stages to win by six and a half-lengths.

Bookmakers were impressed with the manner of the victory in the extended 12-furlong contest and he now heads the market at 4-1 (Paddy Power) for the Betfred Derby over a mile and a half at Epsom on June 3.

Dettori believes the soft ground suited Arrest: “He won very easily,” the winning jockey said. “It’s very hard to judge horses on this ground and to know the quality of the field but he can only win by a good margin.

“He’s a good size, he’s going places. We know he stays well and doesn’t mind the ground. What I beat, I don’t know.

“We liked him as a two-year-old, but he was very weak. He’s strengthened up and we knew the ground was no problem and the distance was no problem.

“The race fell apart three out, but he couldn’t have won any easier.

“I spoke to John (Gosden) and the Juddmonte team (owners) and he’s not a horse you would want to run on good-to-firm ground around Epsom, but last year we had a soft ground Derby so you don’t know.

“He’s got alternatives and if I had to be suspicious, because he’s so big he might find it (fast ground at Epsom) a bit of a challenge.

“Who knows what the weather is going to be like? The pluses are he’s a stronger horse who stays really well, this is a good trial and he doesn’t lack pace, so he ticks a lot of the boxes.

“For my last ride at Chester to win is great and at least I can dream a little bit of a Derby ride.”

Juddmonte’s Barry Mahon said: “We’re over the moon, that was great. It (this race) was sort of Plan C, but at least it’s worked out and he’s won and won in good style, that’s the main thing.

“It’s early days, we’ll wait and see how he comes out of this and see what the ground is like.

“We’ll see what way the Derby develops in the next couple of weeks. There’s a good trial in York next week (Dante Stakes), so we’ll see what happens there.

“We’re in a nice position in that he’s in everywhere, he’s won his trial and he’s fit so we can pick and choose where we want to go.

“It was great to see Frankie win the Guineas for us (with Chaldean) and if we could give him his last ride in the Derby we’d be very, very happy.”

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