Passenger plans undecided after Derby disappointment

Connections of Passenger will bide their time before making any plans for the colt, who is back in work following a break.

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute and owned by the Niarchos family, the three-year-old son of Ulysses flashed plenty of ability in three runs this term.

A late developer, he saw the racecourse for the first time in April and powered to a three-length victory in the Wood Ditton, a maiden over mile at Newmarket.

Withdrawn from the Dee Stakes at Chester due to soft ground, connections paid £14,000 to supplement the colt into the Group Two Dante at York.

Though keen early in the extended 10-furlong contest, he finished an unlucky-in-running third to The Foxes, beaten a length and a half.

Supplemented for the Betfred Derby at a cost of £85,000 just days before the Epsom Classic and bidding to give the trainer and jockey Richard Kingscote a second successive victory in the blue riband after Desert Crown last June, he was keen again and did not see out the mile-and-a-half trip, eventually finishing 12th of the 14 runners.

Alan Cooper, racing manager to the Niarchos family, said he is likely to revert back to 10 furlongs for the time being.

He said: “Passenger is very well and has come back into work after his race in the Derby, and Sir Michael will make a programme in due course.

“He said that he is now back in work and is very happy with him.

“I think the targets will be clarified when he is ready to run, but I think they are more likely to be over 10 furlongs than 12 furlongs.

“It is way too early to speculate (on any targets). He is a lovely horse and we will give him all the time to mature and then go from there. Good ground is what he would want. He wouldn’t want heavy ground.

“He had three races in quick succession, so the decision was taken to give him a bit more time.”

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