Connections to wait on weather before Sumbal decision


Epsom: could yet be the destination for Sumbal

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BACKERS of Sumbal will have to wait until almost the last possible moment before finding out which Derby the unbeaten French-trained colt will run in.

Trainer Francis Graffard will declare Sumbal for Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club on Friday morning, but the final choice between Chantilly and Epsom won’t be made until the morning of the French Classic.

Sumbal is 16-1 for the Investec Derby with Paddy Power and BoyleSports, who are both offering non-runner money-back concessions, although he would have to be supplemented on Monday morning at a cost of £75,000.

Graffard has long maintained Sumbal has a preference for some ease in the ground and leaving the decision until Sunday will give connections more time to study the long-range forecasts for Epsom.

David Redvers, racing manager for Sumbal’s owners Qatar Racing, said on Thursday night: “We are going to walk the course at Chantilly on Sunday morning and if the ground is where we want it then he will run. If the ground is on the quick side and we think he would have a better chance in the Derby on good ground over a longer trip then we will go to Epsom.”

Redvers has been quite open about the possibility of adding to Qatar’s Epsom squad, which is currently led by Racing Post Trophy winner Elm Park.

With the forecast for Epsom  suggesting a heavier belt of rain on Tuesday than was originally anticipated, the Sumbal team have been encouraged to wait.

Graffard has yet to saddle a runner in either the Derby or the Jockey Club but is delighted with Sumbal’s form heading into the Classic week, saying: “He did a really nice piece of work last week and I couldn’t have him better.”


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