Cavaleiro and Turner chasing Derby success
Marcus Tregoning is aiming for a second Investec Derby victory with Cavaleiro at Epsom on Saturday — six years after Sir Percy prevailed in a blanket finish.
Cavaleiro may be an outsider at the weekend, but is guaranteed nearly as many column inches as the hot favourite Camelot as he will be ridden by Hayley Turner, only the second female to ride in the race after Alex Greaves.
He finished third in the Lingfield Derby Trial and returned to the Surrey track to put the finishing touches on his preparations.
“The piece of work Cavaleiro did at Lingfield on Saturday was the best bit of work he has done all year and we were very happy with that,” said Tregoning.
“I really do like him — he will stay very well and hopefully he will be able to go the pace. We can do what we want with him as he is a very straightforward ride and I imagine we will be tracking the pace — they don't normally hang around in the Derby.
“It's extraordinary having such a small field, possibly because people are scared of taking on Camelot, but it's a strange year.
“It's a huge opportunity for Hayley Turner and for everyone.
“I think she is very good for racing and she will give Cavaleiro a very good ride.”
Cavaleiro is one of 12 possible runners in the Derby, which is headed, of course, by the 2000 Guineas winner Camelot.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien, he became Montjeu's first winner of a Classic over a mile which led some to believe he could be a Triple Crown candidate.
O'Brien has also left in Astrology, Father Of Science, Imperial Monarch and Tower Rock.
Andrew Balding, who was victorious in the 2003 Oaks with Casual Look, is represented by second favourite Bonfire, winner of the Dante Stakes at York.
David Lanigan's Main Sequence is defending an unbeaten record after his victory in the Lingfield Derby Trial.
Rugged Cross, Thought Worthy, Minimise Risk and Mickdaam complete the possibles.
The going is currently described as good to firm, good in the home straight, but clerk of the course Andrew Cooper is unsure what to expect in the coming days in terms of rainfall and will be watering.
“There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast, particularly regarding what we might get in terms of rain,” said Cooper.
Meanwhile, Louth-born trainer Alan McCabe recorded the biggest success of his career when his Caspar Netscher landed the German 2,000 Guineas at Cologne.
McCabe said: “Everything went perfectly to plan. Myself and Shane said we'd drop him out last to try and make sure he gets the trip and ride him for a turn of foot.
“He's actually probably ended up in front a bit soon, but Shane said he just took him there and I can't believe how well it went.”