Harzand ’60-40′ for Derby run after spreading plate

Harzand and Pat Smullen winning from Idaho

Harzand (noseband): generally 8-1 for the Derby but has had a setback

  PICTURE: Alain Barr (racingpost.com/photos)  

INVESTEC DERBY contender Harzand, 8-1 generally for today’s big race at Epsom, has spread a plate and is having his foot iced, but trainer Dermot Weld is hopeful the horse will still be able to run.

Successful in the Ballysax Stakes on his last outing, the Aga Khan-owned son of 2009 Derby hero Sea The Stars is having one of his front feet iced after the scare, but connections have not ruled out him lining up the world’s premier Classic making him “60-40” to run.

Weld said: “He spread a plate ever so slightly. We have taken the plate off and his foot is in a bucket of ice. We didn’t do any damage taking the shoe off so we would be very hopeful.

“He was a little bit sore while the shoe was being removed. The good news was when he walked off the box he walked perfectly sound without his shoe on. Then we put it in hot fomentation to clean it then put it in ice. It’s just when you put the shoe back on.”

Weld, seeking his first Derby triumph, added: “Nearer to the time of the race [4.30] he will examined by one of the vets and myself and if we are happy he will run and if we are not he won’t run. I’d say it’s 60-40 that he will run.”

He added: “He is in superb order and will love the ground and is trained for the day but these freak things happen.”

Derby betting and ground

Wings Of Desire and US Army Ranger are vying for Derby favouritism at 11-2, although the latter is widely available at 6-1.

Harzand had been popular in the betting before news of his setback came out with punters forcing his price into 8-1 from around 14-1.

The ground was among the reasons the colt was being strongly supported with Epsom remaining on the soft side of good.

Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper said: “If it gets up to the forecast 20 degrees it will dry out, but there’s only so much drying out it can do between now and then [racing] and it’s not as if we have a drying wind and it’s already hot.”

“We are not ready for the ‘good in places’ I thought I might be giving, and I can’t see it as anything better than the slow side of good.”


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