House shortens as Epsom bid looms

ANTE-POST favourite Carlton House came through his final serious piece of work ahead of the Investec Derby with flying colours.

The Dante Stakes winner, delighted connections with an impressive workout on the gallops at Newmarket ahead of his date with destiny at Epsom on Saturday week.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge was partnered by stable jockey as he easily disposed of his lead horse. “He worked over seven furlongs on the watered gallop. He stretched out really nicely, ridden by Ryan Moore, who was thrilled with the way he went,” said Queen Elizabeth’s racing manager John Warren.

“He’s gone the right way since York and the trainer and jockey were very satisfied and it was very pleasing to watch.

“As far as I know that was his last serious piece of work before Epsom. It’s very exciting.”

Carlton House, who staked his claim for the Premier Classic with victory in the big trial at York earlier this month, is now the 5-4 favourite with Stan James to give The Queen a first Epsom Derby triumph.

Stoute, with five Derby winners to his credit, also expressed his delight at the way things were going.

“I’ve been happy with his preparation. He worked this morning and it was very satisfactory work. He seems in good shape,” Stoute told At The Races.

“Let’s just hope things go smoothly between now and Derby day.

“The Dante was a slowly-run race which is never satisfactory. One would have preferred a truly-run race.

“What we do know is that he does quicken and we hope he’ll stay. He’s a well-balanced horse with good rhythm.”

The main stumbling block to victory Carlton House is likely to come from the Aidan O’Brien stable.

O’Brien has five possibles, including Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Roderic O’Connor, Leopardstown Derby Trial victor Recital and Dante runner-up Seville.

They all are reported to going well, although no final decision on the Ballydoyle team for Epsom has yet been made.

“The work of our Epsom Derby hopefuls Roderic O’Connor, Recital, Seville, Treasure Beach and Memphis Tennessee is all going well so far,” O’Brien’s wife Annemarie said on her Twitter account.

“However it is possible that one of them could be re-routed to Chantilly on Sunday week.”


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