Viren’s Army will not be added to the Derby field

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

Viren’s Army (light blue) won the Dee Stakes at Chester

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

DEE STAKES winner Viren’s Army will not be supplemented for the Investec Derby after owners Middleham Park Racing failed to justify paying £75,000 to add the Richard Hannon-trained colt to the race.

His next appearance in public is likely to be at the Goffs London Sale on the eve of Royal Ascot, where he will go under the hammer with an entry for the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes.

Middleham Park spokesman Tim Palin said: “It took us more than a week to weigh up the pros and cons, see the rest of the trials, and get all the votes in, but after deliberating long and hard, it was decided that while he would be a worthy runner, the maths didn’t quite add up in terms of risk and reward.

“We fully appreciate there’s only one Epsom Derby, and it’s almost our own fault we weren’t in earlier, but there are other Derbys out there and the £75,000 just proved too prohibitive considering our market position –  we were 6-1 a place.”

Going through the sales ring

The Irish Derby, for which the supplementary entry is considerably cheaper, is an option now, but Palin confirmed that Viren’s Army is likely to be seen in public next in the sale ring at Kensington Palace on June 13.

He said: “He won’t go to Goodwood on Friday or to the Curragh on Sunday, which we only considered to top up the prize-money for a supplementary if they looked a penalty kick, and his next time in public will probably be at the Goffs sale, where he will have a Tercentenary entry. If he meets his reserve the new owners can look forward to a big run at Royal Ascot, and if he doesn’t we will happily race on with him.”

Humphrey Bogart to be supplemented

While Viren’s Army is no longer in the running for the Derby, Hannon had good news of his Lingfield trial winner Humphrey Bogart, whose owners remain set on supplementing.

Hannon said: “He’s been in good form since Lingfield and the plan still is to supplement him. He didn’t do much between Epsom and Lingfield, and he’s only cantered since then, but I’m very happy with him.

“He won’t be going to Breakfast With The Stars though. He’s been to Epsom already, so knows what it’s all about.”

Hannon also revealed that Southwell maiden winner Melfit, who was included in some ante-post Derby lists, sliced a tendon earlier this spring and had to be put down.

Irish Derby additions

Viren’s Army and Humphrey Bogart have both been added to the field for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, which is set to be run at the Curragh on Saturday, June 25.

Impressive London Gold Cup winner Imperial Aviator and Dante Stakes hero Wings of Desire have also been given the option of running in the Curragh Classic.


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