Palavicini spoils Father Time prospects for Derby

Palavicini further reduced the meagre British challenge for the Investec Derby by beating Father Time at Newmarket on Saturday.

Palavicini further reduced the meagre British challenge for the Investec Derby by beating Father Time at Newmarket on Saturday.

One of only six home-trained colts remaining in an Epsom market dominated by the Irish, Henry Cecil's Father Time would have needed to take the Listed Spillers Horse Feeds Fairway Stakes convincingly to cause even a ripple for next month's Classic.

However, the photogenic Palavicini (2-1) always seemed to have the measure of the 13-8 favourite despite just holding on by a neck.

The winner has likeable form, despite not quite fulfilling his promise quite yet, and may now head to Royal Ascot.

Trainer John Dunlop said: "There's a mile-and-a-quarter Listed race, the Hampton Court Stakes, that we might look at. Eddie Ahern felt that trip is as far as he wanted.

"He's a beautiful-looking horse but has had a couple of hard races, so I will be mindful of that."

Father Time, whose attitude may be questionable, could travel to the Royal meeting too.

Owner Prince Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: "He won't go to the Derby but if we didn't try here we'd look silly.

"The Hampton Court or King Edward VII Stakes would be options. There was no jar in the ground, so we can't blame that."

Cecil and Abdullah gained more than adequate compensation in the Sprint with feisty filly Bouvardia (4-1), who put her best foot forward for Tom Queally on the course to repel Akhenaten.

Grimthorpe continued: "She didn't want to go into the paddock or the stalls and when they do that it's usually a bad sign!

"There's not a lot for three-year-old filly sprinters at Royal Ascot - she could go for the Wokingham I suppose - otherwise we will look for some black type."

Another bubble was burst in the King Charles II Stakes as Breeders' Cup winner Donativum was only fourth on his Godolphin debut behind Barry Hills' Alyarf.

No praise should be deflected from the winner, who burst away before the distance pole and had plenty in hand over the running-on Nasri.

The 2-1 shot had been fourth to Delegator on his previous start in the Craven Stakes.

Hills' son Charlie said: "He has loads of speed and would definitely be in the picture for the Jersey Stakes, although Sheikh Hamdan (owner) has one or two others in that.

"He's in the Golden Jubilee too, although that would be a hard race for three-year-olds."

Donativum's new trainer Saeed Bin Suroor said: "He needed the run and he will want further soon. He'll come on for it and might go to the Jersey Stakes now."

Mark Johnston's trip down from Middleham paid off as 11-10 favourite Step In Time grabbed the second chance offered by Fantastic Prince in the EBF Anne Scriven Maiden Stakes.

"I thought he might have picked up better than he did but the other horsed drifted across the course and it was nice to see him fight back," said Johnston.

Many trainers would covet the vein of form David Simcock has hit and Suruor (4-1) provided the stable with a fourth win in five days by sprinting clear in the Home Of Racing Handicap.

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