Derby decision for Viren’s Army to be made late on

Silvestre De Sousa riding Viren's Army (C, sky blue)

Viren’s Army (light blue, centre): also entered in the Coral-Eclipse

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

THE majority of owners at Middleham Park Racing are keen to stump up the £75,000 fee to supplement Dee Stakes winner Viren’s Army for next month’s Investec Derby – although a decision is going to be delayed until nearer the deadline of May 30.

The Listed scorer, who may contest the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh the weekend after next, or a race at Baden-Baden at the end of the month if the Derby is swerved, is posing connections “a lovely problem”.

‘It’s not completely unanimous’

Syndicate manager Tim Palin said: “We are still mulling it over but the majority of our owners are keen to supplement him, although it’s not unanimous.

“I think we will leave it right up to the deadline so we can see the other trials, assess the ground and forecast and make an informed decision.

“It’s a lovely problem to have. Our owners are thrilled to have another really nice horse. With John Gosden keen to supplement Linguistic, it seems minds greater than ours are indicating it might be worth going for.”

Eclipse entries

The Middleham Park Racing-owned pair Viren’s Army and Ventura Storm were confirmed on Wednesday as two of 63 entries for the £475,000 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 2.

Key entries in the Group 1 include 2,000 Guineas hero Galileo Gold, 1,000 Guineas scorer Minding and Dubai Sheema Classic winner Postponed.

Palin said: “The Coral-Eclipse may well be slightly less fashionable than the days of Dancing Brave and Pebbles, but it deserves to be supported and we’re delighted to have two entries.

“If things go well for either of them between now and July we would have wished we had entered in the race, so it made sense to make the call now.”


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