17:34 Well that is it from the 2009 Derby Festival and I am sure new sponsors Investec must be delighted with the action over the last two days.
Yesterday saw a plethora of close finishes, including the exceptionally close finish in the Coronation Cup where Ask, Youmzain and Look Here crossed the line in unison.
Then the battle between Sariska and Midday in the Oaks.
Today we saw Sea The Stars become the first dual Guineas / Derby winner since Nashwan.
Two days of high class action and we hope you have enjoyed our coverage – please let us know using the contact button on the bottom of the page.
Our next live coverage will be on Monday and will be from either Folkestone or Windsor (check the homepage from Sunday afternoon to find out which one).
On Wednesday we will be at Beverley and next Friday York.
Meanwhile, from a still overcast Epsom Downs, a very good evening.
17:26 OK backers of the winner can breath a sigh of relief, the result stands.
17:23 Well Dandy Nicholls may have had six runners but the best he could manage was third place with Something.
We had another tight finish and it looked as though Mac Gille Eoin was going to take this contest for the second year running.
However Liam Jones on Baldemar battled hard up the hill and managed to get his head in front on the line.
Nicholls took fourth place with Northern Dare.
However backers of the winner are being kept on tenterhooks as the Stewards are taking a look at possible interference at the furlong marker.
17:04 Well the final race of the festival, a six furlong handicap and the sprint King Dandy Nicholls has six of the sixteen runners - ho hum!!
16:56 More John Oxx reaction. By the way he now has a fantastic Derby record, three runs, two winners and a third.
"I was never very anxious at any time during the race because he was going so well and as he improved down the hill I could see Mick was waiting, waiting, waiting.
"When he sent him on I knew he wouldn't stop as he'd been going too well for too long. He idles a bit in front, he's the same at home.
"He could win at any distance. He could go back to a mile, and 10 furlongs is probably perfect for him."
However he offered a word of caution concerning the triple crown, "I think the St Leger might be a bridge too far.
"I'm a believer in the Triple Crown, I think it will be won within the next 10 years with all these good middle-distance stallions about, but if we were worried about the trip for the Derby I think we'd be very worried going into the Leger if we had him entered!
"We'll have to talk about it of course but this lad will be very good over a mile, and 10 furlongs.
"The International at York and the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown are obvious races and there is also the Irish Derby to think about."
16:52 Some more Derby reaction. Kevin Manning reported Gan Amhras did not handle the track.
Brian Meehan was pleased with Crowded House’s performance and he will be heading for the Eclipse at Sandown.
16:48 Back to handicaps following the excitement of The Derby, this one over the full Derby distance and, like the big race we saw the winner come with a late run to grab the spoils.
Coin Of The Realm, under Paul Dobbs, did have some luck in gaining victory as a gap appeared against the far rail and he needed no second asking and overtook the pair who were battling out the lead.
The pair in that battle were Martyr, who had set the pace with Press The Button and top weight Drill Sergeant, who was expected to set the pace but was settled behind the leaders by Frankie Dettori.
In their private battle for the runners-up spot it was Dettori who prevailed by half a length.
Stroryand was another late finisher and he took fourth spot from War Party.
15:38 Well the answer is an resounding YES – Sea The Stars does get 1½ miles as he came home the convincing winner of the 2009 Investec Derby.
In doing so he became the first colt since Nashwan in 1989 to win the 2000 Guineas / Derby double.
Also being of a certain age myself it was good to see the winning jockey Mick Kinane win the contest at 50 years of age, he first won the Derby back in 1993 on Commander In Chief, than again in 2001 on Galileo – quite a record.
Golden Sword set off in front at a steady, rather than frenetic pace, stablemate Age Of Glory tracked him and as they reached Tattenham Corner the pair had a good lead on their rivals.
The main bunch were headed the eventual winner, along with Kite Wood, Debussy and Fame And Glory.
In the home straight the field compressed and quite a few were in with chances.
Golden Sword still had the lead a furlong out but
Kinane sat patiently, waiting until the right moment to make his move. When he pressed the button the colt responded and it was race over, the winning margin being 1¾ lengths.
There was a mini-battle for third with Masterofthehorse getting the call over Rip Van Winkle.
Debussy unseated Jimmy Fortune after they had crossed the line - both were OK.
15:43 A late betting change as late money sees Fame And Glory being backed into favouritism.
15:41 They are going down for The Derby and the jockeys are wearing black armbands as a mark of respect for Vincent O'Brien.
15:38 From the Stewards Room.
Neil Callan picked up a two day careless riding ban for his ride on Little Perisher in the Woodcote Stakes.
Christophe Soumillion also picked up a two day careless riding ban for failing to take corrective action when Alnadana drifted to the left in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes
15:23 Some more from our earlier races. Connections were pleased with the run of Spacious and she will be heading to the Windsor Castle stakes at Ascot.
Paul Quinn, who rode Indian Trail to victory in the Dash has an extra reason to celebrate as this is his first Epsom winner.
15:22 It’s the big one next and the feeling here in the press room is it is the most open Derby for years.
Sea The Stars has been well backed today but even his trainer does not seem convinced the 2000 Guineas winner will get the extra half mile.
The Ballydolye challenge is huge and many think Johnny Murtagh may have picked the wrong one in Rip Van Winkle.
With Vincent O’Brien passing away this week many, think a Ballydoyle winner would somehow be appropriate tribute to the great man.
15:16 Watching eighteen sprinters charging towards you down the Epsom Hill is an awesome sight.
The one race of the day where Richard Hoiles really earns his keep and, as always an excellent call.
As usual the action was on the stands side and in a single group, as Darren Owen reminded me just before the off this is one big sprint where they tend not to spilt.
The favourite Wi Dud had a great break against the rail, although it was Captain Dunne who managed to grab the lead.
Of course one name always associated with these big sprints is Dandy Nicholls and it was his seeming first string Strike Up The Band who was up with the leaders.
A furlong out the front runners were still there but so were the late finishers but it was Captain Dunne who still held the advantage, whist the favourite was beaten.
However it was another Nicholls runner who came with a late run as Indian Trail rattled home to win by a length. In hindsight a handicapping coup as the nine year old has dropped down the weights.
Captain Dunne was second, for the Tim Easterby stables, with Nicholls Strike Up The Band third and Oldjoesaid fourth.
Crimson Fern was pulled up with a burst blood vessel.
14:55 The fastest five furlong sprint in the world next. Some impressive looking runners in the contest, none more so than Wi Dud, a very muscular horse.
Top weight Hogmaneigh was really on his toes and, to a lesser extent, so were Strike Up The Band, Group Therapy and Merlin’s Dancer.
Little Pete was mounted on the course.
14:45 Tom Danscome, trainer of Woodcote runner-up Walkingonthemoon had no complaints about finishing second, “Look he has run a great race, we were beaten by the better horse.
“Richard (Kingscote – the jockey) reported back the horse hated the course.
“He will not be going to Ascot, the Newmarket July meeting is an option.”
14:40 Time for the girls to take centre stage on Derby day in the one mile Princess Elizabeth Stakes.
After once again seeing Youmzain pipped in yesterday’s Coronation Cup, the race proved to be some consolation for trainer Mick Channon, as Eva’s Request took the contest by a length from French raider Alnadana.
The pair had the contest between them and it looked as though the result may have been different a furlong out as Alnadana seemed to be running the better of the pair, having been settled last in the early stages. However the French raider clearly did not know what to make of the infamous Epsom camber and she was soon hanging hard left, looking as though she was going to career into the rail at one point. This certainly handed the advantage and the race to the Channon runner.
Favourite Spacious ran a strange race, she handled the hill better than expected and seemed to be running on well before hitting a flat spot there out, before rallying again to take third spot, albeit 4½ lengths behind the front pair.
14:25 Now I have five mins, some more reaction to the ground:-
Eddie Ahern “it is good – a bit loose on top”
Catherine Gannon - “lovely” (talking about the ground )
Neil Callan “The new strip of ground is definitely the best place to be, the old turf is a bit poached. The new strip rode good”
Ryan Moore, “Mainly Good”
14:14 Some feedback from the opener. Trainer Sylvester Kirk says the winner, River Captain, may well head for the Britannia at the Royal meeting.
14:12 A good contest which saw a cracking finish where Corporal Maddox under Jim Crowley dispelled the theory that the ground is not going to suit latecomers, as he passed eight rivals in the final furlong to grab victory from Walkingonthemoon by a neck.
Red Avalanche and Fratellino set the pace tracked by Mon Brav, Little Pereisher and Walkingonthemoon.
By the furlong marker Walkingonthemoon looked to have stolen the race, taking a couple of lengths on his rivals and backers were surely counting their money.
However the late charge of Corporal Maddox thwarted his chances.
It was close for third place with Red Avalanche just getting the better of Fratellino.
Winning trainer Karl Burke was grinning from ear to ear, looking as surprised as anyone and doing an O’Brien with a mobile clamped to his ear.
13:58 The view of the jockeys after the first is the ground is generally good, although loose on top.
13:55 Our first sprint of the festival next, the 6f Woodcote Stakes with a dozen going to post, Yeadon is the non-runner.
By rights I should be in the parade ring taking a look but in this weather I shall wimp out - I had enough problems with my notes on the first contest almost turning into papier maché.
13:47 It is still raining here and, understandably, The Hill seems to be a great deal quieter than usual.
13:45 On paper a very competitive handicap, named in memory of the late Sir Clement Freud, for our opener. However the 1m 2f contest resulted in a somewhat easy win for Sylvester Kirk’s River Captain, who came home the somewhat easy five length winner.
Tepmokea set a good pace in front, a position maintained until turning out of Tattenham Corner and into the straight.
It looked as though Tepmokea was going to be swallowed up by the field but onlt River Captain managed to get past him.
The royal runner History Lesson was with the pace throughout but only managed to finish fourth, thwarted by an impressive late run from Lasso The Moon under Catherine Gannon.
The first race has also sent out mixed messages about the going. The time of 2’ 07.07” is fast but they were kicking up an awful lot of turf in the home straight, indicating the surface may be loose.
13:17 Trainer John Oxx has warned the Derby favourite Sea The Stars ha sonly a 50-50 chance of staying the mile and a half of the Derby.
“He has only a 50-50 chance of staying – there is always a big worry about a 2000 Guineas winner in The Derby – will they or will they not stay the distance? It is just the same with this fellow – a big, big doubt there.”
13:04 The Queen has just arrived, in the rain, could this be why she did not go to the D-Day commemorations?
12:26 Just an hour before the opener and in that contest there has been money for Marching Time 5/2 from 100/30.
In the 2:25, The Princess Elizabeth Stakes, there has been some each way money for Badiat Alzaman 28/1 into 20/1.
In the Dash no single horse attracting support although Wi Dud, Siren’s Gift, Little Pete and Hogmaneigh have all attracted some money.
In the Derby there has been some each way money for Golden Sword.
11:56 Only one horse is being backed in The Derby and that is the 2000 Guineas winner Sea The Stars 11/4 from 7/2 with William Hills and a similar story with the other layers.
Rip Van Winkle is drifting.
11:51 Some images from a damp Epsom.
11:30 Michael Fish eat you heart out - I am a terrible weather forecaster - it has just begun raining again.
11:21 My feet have finally dried out and the rain is even staying away - indeed dare I suggest even the sun is trying to break through.
10:41 First of all it has stopped raining.
have also just walked the full 1½ miles of the Derby course, ruining a decent pair of shoes in the process.
So here is a comprehensive going report.
However before that a comment about the configuration of the course. Many go on about the climb after the Derby start. It does not look to be horrendous at first glance, however it is a steady uphill climb for the first three quarters of a mile and I must admit I was feeling it on my legs, as well as getting very warm, after the first half mile.
The going for the first quarter mile is perfect.
Between the mile and a quarter and mile posts has been cut up following yesterdays racing and the rain has got in – leaving a patch about four horses wide with a bit of cut. Further in the ground is OK.
After the mile post the ground improves again until the seven furlong start, where there is again a strip they used yesterday, again cut up.
However from the six pole there is a fresh stretch of ground which is perfect, meaning the cut off ground now comes about five or six horse widths off the fence.
It is the same around Tattenham corner.
In the straight it is different. The ground is definitely firmer – partly because there is a shorter cut of grass on this section of the course and, in parts it changes with the slope.
From Tattenham Corner to the three marker the ground seems firmer on the stands side where it is, I would say good to firm, whereas it is nearer good against the inside rail.
From the three pole to the finish I would say there is little difference across the course with it being just the firmish side of good.
Even the ground cut up from yesterday is no worse than good.
09:22 Good morning from a very miserable Epsom Downs, again we have a leaden sky and it has been raining, albeit lightly, for a couple of hours now.
Not sure if it is enough to get into teh ground, whiich is still officially Good, Good to Firm in places.
We have a few more non-runners, full details on the right
Our selections for Saturday are:-
|Black Bear Island
|Mac Gille Eoin
Return to race archive:
The time in brackets is the time the horse was officially declared a non-runner.
SC - Self Certificate
VC - Vet's Certificate
13 Yeadon (Stiff - SC 08:55 Fri)
10 Biniou (going 08:12)
16 Everymanforhimself (coughing - VC 12:14 Fri)
13 South Easter (bad scope - SC 08:39 Fri)
12 Conquisto (bad scope - SC 09:27)
17 Legal Eagle (horse claimed - 09:26)
1:25 Heritage Handicap 1m 2f 18yds
1st 6 River Captain 16/1
2nd 16 Tepmokea 8/1
3rd 14 Lasso the Moon 12/1
4th 5 History Lesson 16/1
Distances 5 & 2 1/2
Fav 9 Marching Time 3/1 (5th)
Places £4.60 £2.90 £4.10 £3.20
Time 2' 07.07"
1:55 Investec Woodcote Stakes 6f
1st 3 Corporal Maddox 14/1
2nd 12 Walkingonthemoon 8/1
3rd 10 Red Avalanche 5/1
12 Ran Nr 13
Distances neck & 2 3/4
Fav 4 Desert Auction 9/2 (Upl)
Places £5.40 £3.10 £2.00
Time 1' 09.39"
2:25 Stakes 1m 114yds
1st 2 Eva's Request 4/1
2nd 1 Alnadana 4/1
3rd 4 Spacious 13/8 fav
Distances 1 & 4 1/2
Places £1.70 £1.80 £1.20
Time 1' 43.84"
Investec Dash Heritage Handicap 5f
1st 20 Indian Trail 11/1
2nd 8 Captain Dunne 8/1
3rd 4 Strike Up The Band 16/1
4th 5 Oldjoesaid 16/1
19 Ran Nr 16
Distances short head & 1 3/4
Fav 3 Wi Dud 5/1 (upl)
Places £3.30 £1.90 £4.50 £5.30
3:45 Investec Derby 1m 4f 10yds
1st 12 Sea The Stars 11/4
2nd 5 Fame And Glory 9/4 fav
3rd 9 Masterofthehorse 16/1
12 Ran Nr 13
Distances 1 3/4 & neck
Places £1.50 £1.50 £5.00
Time 2' 36.74"
4:30 Handicap 1m 4f 10yds
1st 13 Coin Of The Realm 6/1
2nd 1 Drill Sergeant 6/1
3rd 6 Martyr 13/1
4th 10 Storyland 9/1
Distances 2 & 1/2
Fav 16 Hot Diamond 5/1 (upl)
Places £2.20 £1.80 £1.70 £2.40
Time 2' 38.20"
5:05 Handicap 6f
1st 15 Baldemar 33/1
2nd 8 Mac Gille Eoin 5/1
3rd 5 Something 9/1
4th 11 Northern Dare 16/1
Distances head & 1 1/4
Fav 12 Aye Aye Digby 10/3 (6th)
Places £7.30 £1.80 £2.40 £5.70
Time 1' 08.36"