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Epsom Derby Dilemma For Golden Horn Team

Author: David Jones

May 15 - The Dante at York is seen as one of the key Epsom Derby trials and this year was to be no different.

Plenty of horses prominent in the market for the third Classic of the season rolled up on the Knavesmire for the 1m2f contest and a ding-dong battle for victory in the Group 2 duly unfolded.

After a three-way battle to land the prize was won by Golden Horn, another huge dilemma was soon laid bare.

For the owner of the Cape Cross colt, a huge decision is now in store as to whether or not his runner will take his chance at Epsom in early June.

Of the three horses that fought out the finish, Jack Hobbs and Elm Park filled the places, Golden Horn was the only one not to have an entry for the Epsom Derby to his name. Such was the majesty of his powerful winning surge that his owner, Anthony Oppenheimer, faces the kind of dilemma most racehorse owners can only dare dream about.

The cost of supplementing Golden Horn into the field for Epsom is £75,000 but on the basis of his York performance he would have strong claims of winning the Derby. At the time this article was produced, Golden Horn is a 9/4 chance with Betfair to win the Derby if he makes it into the line-up.

His owner had intended on sending his charge to the French Derby at Chantilly where, crucially, there is a furlong-and-a-half less ground to cover. For Mr. Oppenheimer it is now a straightforward case of stick or twist?

Few would deny that the French Derby doesn't quite possess the same level of prestige as its English counterpart. As an owner with not just a potential live contender, but the ante-post favourite for the race, is it possible to look the other way?

Trained by John Gosden, Golden Horn and William Buick were the supposed second string in the Dante for the yard, who also saddled the 2/1f Jack Hobbs, ridden by Frankie Dettori. The classy nature of the front three was not wasted on Gosden in the aftermath of the race, neither was the fact they had left the remainder of the field some 13-lengths in their collective wake.

Elm Park, himself a Group 1 winner over a mile last season, threw down the challenge with 3f left to run in the Dante. Jack Hobbs quickly attempted to cover that rival but there was no mistaking the menace with which Golden Horn picked the duo off and scooted clear to win the race. There was certainly plenty suggestion in the manner he did so to merit the belief another 2f at Epsom will not derail him.

The question now is ? stick or twist?

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  • 2015/05/15 04:45:27 PM
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