Breakfast with The Stars
Breakfast with the stars, is one of my favourite events of the year. It gives the trainers of the Investec Derby and Oaks hopefuls a chance to work on the Epsom track, which is crucial heading into the big event. It gives them a chance to see how they handle the track and for alot of them will be a deciding factor on whether or not they run. After the horses have worked the trainers and owners are interviewed and give their thoughts on their potential runners. Oh and most importantly there is an epic breakfast spread put on!
The morning saw CRACKSMAN, HORSEPLAY, EMINENT and BEST OF DAYS work. All connections were interviewed including Aidan O'Brien, who has a whopping 10 potential runners in the Derby and Oaks. For the Derby he has CLIFFS OF MOHER, VENICE BEACH, YUCATAN, DOUGLAS MACARTHUR, and for the Oaks RHODODENDRON, HYDRANGEA, ALLURINGLY and RAIN GODDESS. Aidan was diplomatic and didn't give much away as always, but was pleased with how all his horses are working and is looking forward to the weekend. It looks like Ryan Moore will ride CLIFFS OF MOHER which would make you think this is his best chance but with all horses being impeccably bred and most BY GALILEO they all have a huge chance.
Godolphin will be looking to take on Aidan with their five hopefuls, and Matt Chapman described this year's Derby as Dubai vs Ireland. BEST SOLUTION, ATTY PERSSE, BENBATL, DUBAI THUNDER and BEST OF DAYS who is trained by Hugo Palmer, look to line up for the boys in blue. BEST SOLUTION who is a firm favourite of Derby winning jockey Kierean Fallon, who has won the race three times, Kierean is a notoriously good judge of a horse and if he's put it up I would be keeping a close eye on it. DUBAI THUNDER is only on his second run and John Ferguson said it would be big ask from the horse but not out the question. They may have a shortage of jockeys though as William Buick is trying to get a ban he has be handed reduced to four days from five so jockeys are very up in the air at the moment. BEST OF DAYS who looks like being ridden by James Doyle though is a massive outside chance, it will be his first run this year after suffering a back injury in the spring. This was his second racecourse gallop though and with only 12 days to go, Hugo said he will need everyone of them. Michael Hills who rode it work today was the last jockey to win on a horse who's first time out was the Derby in 96, so hopefully his luck is wit him.
The rest of the field though have not and should not give up hope, with strong contenders from Martyn Meade with EMINENT, who was thrilled with his work. The horse left Newmarket for the first time to come to Epsom and handled the travelling very well and is a relaxed horse. Jim Crowley said he struggled to pull him up which can only be a good sign and would be a career first for Jim and we will be cheering him on! John Gosden, Frankie Dettori and Anthony Oppenheimer were all interviewed about CRACKSMAN, Frankie said he is no Golden Horn yet and as he has only run twice though he can only improve. I personally would be disappointed to see him out of the top three but I guess we will see on the day!
Everyone on the morning said what a big field it will be this year and will be tougher than ever for the Jockeys, I imagine it will be a rough race with a potential 18 in the field, all looking for the best position trying to get the best run. Frankie who has always praised the race agreeing that what makes it so unique and stand out is the class it attracts, the build up is so intense and preparation has been going on for months trying to find the right horse, making it even harder for us to pick a winner!