The Belmont Stakes (gr. I), when Funny Cide will bid to win the Triple Crown, is not the only major race being run on June 7. The 224th running of the Vodafone Derby at Epsom Downs in England will be run earlier the same day.
Unbeaten Refuse To Bend will attempt to become the first Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) winner since 1989 to win the Derby.
Current second-choice Alamshar comes into the race with impeccable credentials. His trainer John Oxx has a 100% record in the Derby while the Aga Khan, in whose colors Alamshar runs, bids to become the joint most successful owner in the race's history.
The Aga Khan has already won the race with Shergar (1981), Shahrastani (1986), Kahyasi (1988), and Sinndar (2000), and he seeks to emulate his grandfather, the third Aga Khan, and the Earl Of Egremont who each won the race five times.
Monday is the supplementary stage for the Derby and three or four horses appear to be ready to supplement at a cost of £90,000, among them Kris Kin, the mount of champion jockey Kieren Fallon. Also Dutch Gold, who bids to give veteran Newmarket trainer Clive Brittain a first Derby success. Norse Dancer, rated by owner Jeff Smith as potentially the best horse he has ever had, could also be added to the field while the Marcus Tregoning-trained High Accolade is a possible but far from certain fourth supplementary entry. All supplementary fees are added to the purse.
Shield, winner of the Sandown Park Classic Trial, had a workout at
Epsom Downs on Wednesday under Eddie Ahern.