Authorized ‘better than before the Derby’

PETER Chapple-Hyam is oozing a quiet confidence that Vodafone Derby winner Authorized will hold his own against his elders and enhance his sky-high reputation in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday.

Although acknowledging the fact none of the last four winners of the premier Classic subsequently won a race, he has the utmost faith in his Montjeu colt, who dished out an impressive five-length beating on the Epsom Downs last month under Frankie Dettori.

Chapple-Hyam said: “Derby winners might not have gone on the last few years, but it is such a hard race and horses have to be so wound up for it and they are often over the top afterwards.

“Luckily for me, Authorized has been working exactly the same now as before Epsom.

“Every horse does get beat, but I have him in slightly better form than before the Derby, and he’s there to run his race.

“People say to wait for the King George to take on the older horses but you have to do it sometime. A lot of good horses have won the Eclipse, so let’s see if he is that good.

“It is very tough for three-year-olds, but I am happy to take the risk.”

Connections had mulled over the possibility of running in last weekend’s Irish Derby instead of the Eclipse, but Chapple-Hyam is happy with the decision he and the owners made, and insists the drop back in distance will prove no barrier to success.

“The Irish Derby was probably the easy option and I think he would have won, but looking at the ground it was the right decision not to go as it would have torn the guts out of him,” he explained.

“I believe he is just as good at a mile and a quarter as a mile and a half, and he might even be better at the trip as he has speed.”

Authorized will clash with the mercurial George Washington this weekend and Chapple-Hyam is relishing the challenge after watching his Classic winner breeze along Newmarket’s Long Hill in a workout this morning.

He said: “He worked well but he is not an extravagant worker, although it takes a good horse to go with him. He came back a bit stiff after Epsom but you would expect that after the Derby. I gave him a week off afterwards to freshen him up.

“I knew he would win it though, and I had never been so confident about something in my life. When he hit the front the relief was enormous.

“I think George Washington is a great racehorse and I think it will be a great race and that is what racing is all about – competition and finding out who is best.”

Following the Eclipse there will be no rest for Authorized – who will retire to Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud at the end of the year – with an outing at Ascot at the end of the month on the cards. Chapple-Hyam added: “If he wins the Eclipse he will prove himself a true champion and it will then be on to the King George. He will then have a break before the Arc.”

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