Edited Epsom Downs release
The combination of owners Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor have 72 early entries between them for the 2010 Epsom Derby (Eng-I) that will be run June 5, 2010, at Epsom Downs. A total 388 entries were made for the classic, which will have a purse of £1,250,000.
The Coolmore team has enjoyed Derby victories with Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002) and their entries include the 650,000 guineas Montjeu colt who jointly topped the Tattersalls October Sale and a US$2 million Storm Cat colt bought at Saratoga in August.
The cost of an initial entry at the yearling stage was £325, with the next forfeit stage on March 2, 2010, when connections pay an additional £1,000 to remain engaged. There is another confirmation stage on May 21, 2010, when a payment of £3,000 is required with a final payment of £2,500 at the five-day confirmation stage. The are two other options to enter a horse in the 2010 Derby. The first is to pay £8,000 at the second entry stage on April 6, 2010, followed by £10,000 on May 21, 2010 and £2,500 at the five-day confirmation stage. The final method of entry is to pay the supplementary entry fee of £75,000 on May 31, 2010.
The Maktoum family's Godolphin is responsible for a total of 31 entries, while Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, successful with Nashwan (1989) and Erhaab (1994), has 35 representatives at the initial entry stage.
There are 25 entries from the Aga Khan, the most successful current owner in the Derby who has gained four victories courtesy of Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1986), Kahyasi (1988) and Sinndar (2000). All of the Aga Khan’s 25 entries are trained in either Ireland or France (split between Alain de Royer Durpe, Jean Claude Rouget and John Oxx) and include an Azamour half-brother to this year’s outstanding filly Zarkava.
Other owners with entries who have won the classic in the past are Ballymacoll Stud (North Light 2004, three entries), Saeed Suhail (2003 Kris Kin, six entries) and the Royal Ascot Racing Club (2005 Motivator, one entry).
The Derby is the only British classic in which the Queen has not seen her colors carried to victory, has three entries for 2010.
Prolific-spending Australian owner Nathan Tinkler has entered the 770,000 euros Galileo colt who topped the Deauville August sale, while other expensive purchases include a 500,000 guineas owned by Sir Robert Ogden.
No filly has won the Derby since Fifinella landed the wartime substitute of the race when it was run at Newmarket in 1916 while the last to triumph at Epsom Downs was Tagalie in 1912. There are five fillies entered for the 2010 renewal, including daughters of the high-class performers Mezzo Soprano, Petrushka, Zahrat Dubai and Zibilene, all of whom hail from the Maktoum family’s Godolphin operation.
Another high profile owner with a 2010 entry is Abba band member Benny Andersson has an entry. Trained by John Dunlop, the Montjeu colt was a 650,000 guineas purchase at Tattersalls in October.
"In recent years the general trend has been for owners to make fewer entries at the yearling stage for the Derby and the figure of 388 for 2010 is down against the 474 received for the 2009 renewal," said Andrew Cooper, director of racing at Epsom Downs. "It would appear that this year some smaller owners have decided not to enter their yearlings at historic levels, happy in the knowledge that if they have a horse good enough then a Derby entry can be made in April of his or her 3-year-old career. We saw a record 13 horses enter the Derby at that stage this year, when the fee is £8,000 compared to £325 at the yearling stage.
"The Derby entry system is reviewed internally on an annual basis," Cooper continued. "It has three fundamental objectives -- to assist in ensuring that the race remains the most valuable classic in Europe, to ensure that the opportunity exists for the best horses of their generation to compete, however late their development into Classic contenders, and to enable smaller owners to buy into the 'Derby dream' at a comparatively low price. One can only judge the success of the system against these criteria once all stages, including the supplementary entry in race week itself, have taken place. The system will be kept under review going forward but has served Epsom and the race well for many years."
DERBY 2010 EARLY ENTRIES
Previous winning owners - number of 2010 entries (number of 2009 entries in parenthesis):
Ballymacoll Stud (2004 North Light) - 3 (5 in 2009)
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum (1989 Nashwan, 1994 Erhaab) - 35 (46 in 2009)
H H Aga Khan (1981 Shergar, 1986 Shahrastani, 1988 Kahyasi, 2000 Sinndar) - 25 (27 in 2009)
Royal Ascot Racing Club (2005 Motivator) - 1 (1 in 2009)
Saeed Suhail (2003 Kris Kin) - 6 (5 in 2009)
Derrick Smith/Michael Tabor/Sue Magnier (2001 Galileo, 2002 High Chaparral) - 72 (71 in 2009)
Other leading owners
Jaber Abdullah - 5 (5 in 2009)
Benny Anderson - 1 (0 in 2009)
Godolphin - 31 (32 in 2009)
HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah - 5 (1 in 2009)
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing - 9 (9 in 2009)
Niarchos Family - 6 (6 in 2009)
The Queen - 3 (5 in 2009)