Heretic gets on right track for glory
No Heretic was bred to win a Derby and he managed a passable impression of Camelot in the amateur riders' version at Epsom on Monday.
The Amateur Derby is staged over the same mile-and-a-half as the real thing, albeit for any horse up to 85, and David Simcock's colt was the one potential improver in the field.
A 260,000 guineas purchase by powerful owner Jim Hay, the handsome son of Galileo had made steady progress in his two runs since moving from Paul Cole and had the assistance of Phil Collington, who is Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's retained jockey for Arabian racing.
The 4-1 favourite needed to be bustled along, but took off once in front of King's Troop in the final furlong and soon created a gap of three-and-a-half lengths.
“It's nice to ride such a good horse,” said Collington. “I won it in 2010 for Lucinda Featherstone on Maybe I Wont and it's something you always want to win.”
Simcock's assistant, Tom Clover, said: “He's a big, good-looking horse who cost a fair bit and he has just got better and better.
“He has only beaten a horse rated 66, but you'd like to think he can go onwards and upwards.”
Lyssio (12-1) made a mockery of the figures to defeat a horse rated 22lb superior to him in the Conditions Stakes.
The German recruit, who is trained by Michael Attwater at Tattenham Corner, should have had no chance with Group Three winner Rockinante, but the pair pulled acres clear of their other two rivals and jockey Mark Coumbe was on the top of his game to thwart Richard Hughes by three-quarters of a length.
“His mark of 83 meant nothing here and I've told everyone he's a good horse,” said Attwater.
“I've never seen him look so good and Mark gave him a brilliant ride. He might have one more run on the Flat, but we're thinking of schooling him over hurdles now.”
Hughes looks ever more likely to secure his first jockeys' championship and he put number 105 on the board in the totepool Handicap.
David Barron's Yorkshire raider Long Awaited (8-1) was caught near the line on his most recent outing at Glorious Goodwood but was delivered with typical panache to score comfortably from 5-1 favourite Fair Value.
Nile Knight won the Epsom & Ewell Borough 75th Anniversary Maiden Stakes at 11-4.