Derby Attracts 20 Second Entries

Fresh off of his victory in the G3 Ballysax S. on Sunday, White Birch (GB) (Ulysses {Ire}) leads 19 other colts as second entries for the G1 Derby at Epsom on Saturday, June 3. Owned by Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez and trained by John Murphy, the colt scored a half-length upset in the Ballysax at 22-1.

Several Derby second entries were also made by Charlie Appleby on behalf of Godolphin. Leading the sextet is GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf second Silver Knott (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), while listed winner Naval Power (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}), Military Order (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), Imperial Emperor (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), Flying Honours (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), and Ancient Rules (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) are also nominated.

There is also an American-trained entrant to the Blue Riband, whose connections also paid the £9,000 second entry fee–Ken McPeek entered two-for-two Mendelssohn‘s March (Mendelssohn). Already a winner on turf and dirt after victories at Fair Grounds and Oaklawn Park, he will race in the colours of Harold Lerner, LLC, AWC Stables, Nehoc Stables, and Team Stallion Racing Stable.

Ahmad Al Shaikh’s Group 1-winning Dubai Mile (Ire), by 2018 Derby third Roaring Lion, has been entered by Charlie Johnston, who also declared Group 3-placed Dear My Friend (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) for Middleham Park Racing and Michael Lai.

Dubai Mile, who prevailed in the G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud over 10 furlongs in heavy going in October, will contest either the G1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 6 or the G2 Dante S. at York later in the month.

“Any 2-year-old that can win at Group 1 level leaves you dreaming over the winter about what they could achieve during their 3-year-old campaign,” said Johnston. “He’s obviously going to be a flagship horse for us this year and one we’re going to have realistic Classic ambitions with, so we’re very much looking forward to him.

“You need these horses to compete at the highest level to put you in people’s eyes and minds going forward and he’s a big flagship horse that we need and want a big year from–hopefully he can deliver.”

“The Guineas is still on the table and Ahmad is quite keen for him to go there,” continued Johnston.

“For all the Dante is a significant race and the preeminent Derby trial, this horse has already won a Group 1 so his CV would be enhanced more by a placed effort in the Guineas than winning the Dante.

“He was only just touched off in the Royal Lodge over the Guineas course and distance and although I’m pretty certain he’s going to come into his own over middle-distances this year, I wouldn’t rule out his prep race being in the Guineas.

“They are the best two Derby trials and it will be one of the two races for him. Being a vanquished horse in the Guineas can often be the best Derby trial you can run.”

With these late additions, the total number of nominated horses for the Epsom showpiece has grown to 103. Entries were also released for the G1 Oaks (65 entries) and G1 Coronation Cup (19 entries), both held the day prior to the Derby, on June 2.

Of the latter entries, at least three are Classic winners in the form of Godolphin’s Frankel (GB) pair of Adayar (Ire) and Hurricane Lane (Ire), and Juddmonte’s Westover (GB).

Godolphin’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ and G2 Duchess Of Cambridge S. winner Mawj (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}), GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine Meditate (Ire) (No Nay Never), and G2 May Hill S. victress Polly Pott (GB) (Muhaarar {GB}) are some of the notable entries for the Oaks.

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