On the team sheet: Dubai Thunder among Godolphin Derby plans

John Ferguson

John Ferguson

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Dubai Thunder, who announced himself with a ten-length victory in a Newbury maiden on Friday, is “on the team sheet” of horses being considered for the Investec Derby, Godolphin racing manager John Ferguson underlined on Saturday.

On his racecourse debut the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained colt, a half-brother to dual Group 1-winner Farhh, took apart a 1m2f maiden to be introduced into the Derby betting at a top-priced 20-1. Ulysses won the same race last year before running at Epsom.

Godolphin have a growing list of potential candidates for the Classic, while Dante winner Permian is owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s son Sheikh Hamdan, who also falls under Ferguson’s management.

Ferguson said: “The options are Permian, Benbatl, Best Solution and Dubai Thunder has now come into the reckoning. As does Best Of Days – Hugo [Palmer] is taking him to Epsom on Tuesday.

“It’s great to be in a situation where we’ve got some genuine chances, and I’d say Dubai Thunder is one but it’s a big ask. Sir Michael [Stoute] tried it last year with Ulysses and he’s ended up being a very good horse but wasn’t on the day at Epsom so we’ll see how it goes.

“He’s on the team sheet but it’s a question of how many we play.”

Godolphin may have to operate at the Derby meeting without William Buick, who collected a five-day suspension (June 2, 3, 5-7) at York on Friday which rules him out of Oaks and Derby day.

Buick could appeal but has made no decision yet.  

He said on Saturday before winning the Lockinge for Godolphin: “I haven’t really looked it at properly yet. I’ve spoken to a few people, but no-one has got back to me yet. I just want to get the immediate few days out of the way first, then see.”

Eminent set for breakfast workout

As well as Best Of Days, who is yet to run this season, Craven winner Eminent is on the cast list for Breakfast with the Stars. The Frankel colt finished sixth in the 2,000 Guineas but was not seen at his best, according to trainer Martyn Meade.

“You’ve got to disregard what happened in the Guineas, because under different circumstances it would have been a totally different result,” he said.

“There was no pace at all and it turned into a sprint. It was awful. I’m not saying we’d have won but we’d certainly have been much closer. 

“I’m really happy with my chap and think he’s come out of it well. He’s doing everything I could have wanted. He didn’t have a hard race and he’s had a nice break – I’d hate to have run in the Dante and then have the Derby just 16 days later.”

Meade continued: “We haven’t seen a stand-out yet in the trials and I don’t suppose Churchill will run, though Ballydoyle won’t be short of runners I’m sure.

“We’ll take him to Breakfast with the Stars for the experience. He’s been a couple of times around Side Hill, and you can put him into it on the wrong leg and he’ll change legs himself round the bend. He has such a wonderful stride and I hope he makes use of it at Epsom.”


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