Sandiva out for Classic glory

Frankie Dettori can look towards the Guineas weekend with a positive feeling about at least one Classic ride after the courageous performance of Sandiva in the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket yesterday.

Starting his first full season as the retained jockey of Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab Racing, Dettori has many fine horses to choose between on both sides of the Channel and even treated Rowley Mile visitors to a flying dismount with the broken ankle from last October firmly healed.

Richard Fahey had already prepared Sandiva to win a Group Three in France as a two-year-old, and while bookmakers were not falling over themselves to cut her in 1000 Guineas market, she closed strongly to finish half a length up on Euro Charline and Majeyda when plenty went against her.

“I’ve got about 35 unraced three-year-olds to ride and there’s a lot of travelling, but I’m enjoying it,” said Dettori.

“We haven’t seen the main ones yet, like Rizeena and the (Aidan) O’Brien ones, but at least my filly has come and done it.

“Where she was drawn (four) was a one- or two-length disadvantage and there was no cover, so it was a good performance. She is entitled to go to the Guineas with a good chance.”

Sandiva is still as big as 25s with Betfred for the main event and could yet be joined by Marco Botti’s Euro Charline, who also looked like she would appreciate a little further than this seven furlongs.

Barry Irwin, who runs the owning Team Valor syndicate, said: “She was finishing very fast and I very pleased. Marco wants me to supplement her for the Guineas.

“I will think about it but she is also in the Irish Guineas, so we will see.”

Charlie Appleby will delay a decision on whether Majeyda joins her on May 4.

Dettori’s ex-employers Godolphin, and Appleby’s colleague Saeed bin Suroor, could have a legitimate Investec Derby colt on their hands as True Story (5-2) mauled his opponents in the ebm-papst Feilden Stakes.

The July course maiden winner stretched seven lengths away from 15-8 favourite Obliterator, who showed great promise himself to finish well ahead of the remainder.

Now just 14-1 for Epsom with Ladbrokes and Coral, the son of Manduro will take in a Derby trial.

“I think a mile and a half will be his best trip and he will go to the Dante at York, or Lingfield,” said the trainer.

“For the future, I think he is a Derby horse.”

Ger Lyons said of Obliterator: “He was first off the bridle but we never have them fully revved up first time out and I am expecting him to come on bundles for the run.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox