When the five day confirmation deadline passed at noon Monday, 13 horses remained in the running for Saturday's 223rd renewal of the £1,380,000 Vodafone Derby at England's Epsom Downs.
Trainer James Chapman has remained busy this year travelling to Dubai and Singapore with Caller One and Western Pride and will saddle the both at the Royal Ascot meet in England in June. His stable recently added an international dimension as well with the acquisition of two formerly South American-based runners.
Light on experience but with a pedigree for the race, Sulamani takes the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien entered four horses to run in Sunday's Prix du Jockey Club -- French Derby (Fr-I) at Chantilly, including Kentucky Derby (gr. I) participant Castle Gandolfo and Black Sam Bellamy, a full brother of Epsom and Irish Derby winner Galileo.
The third time proved lucky, and, at last unencumbered by traffic jams, Tanino Gimlet, got the chance to show his stuff--winning stuff--May 26 at Tokyo Racecourse.
Racing in the colors of Scudero Il Poggio for the final time, Rakti defeated Aidan O'Brien-trained Ballingarry by 1 1/2 lengths in Sunday's Derby Italiano (Ity-I) at the Capannelle.
Rebelline earned her third straight victory while turning the tables on the 1-2 finishers in her most recent defeat, winning Sunday's Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) by two lengths over Bach at The Curragh. Nayef, winner of last year's Dubai Champion Stakes (Eng-I) in which Rebelline finished eighth, came home 2 1/2 lengths farther back in third, with Champion Stakes runner-up Tobougg fifth of eight runners.
Rock of Gibraltar swept to the lead in the final furlong to easily win the Entenmann's Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) Saturday at The Curragh, giving the Aidan O'Brien-trained horse a sweep of the English and Irish Guineas. O'Brien sent out the top three finishers in Saturday's race, giving the trainer an unprecedented sweep of this year's French, English, and Irish 2,000 Guineas.
Fight Your Corner, winner of the Chester Vase, will run in the Vodafone Epsom Derby. Sheikh Mohammed, who bought the colt to race in the colors of his son, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum, made the decision to pay a £90,000 supplementary fee after consulting with Sheikh Hamdan and trainer Mark Johnston.
Dick Hern, who trained such outstanding runners as Nashwan, Brigadier Gerard, and Troy, is dead in England at the age of 81.
Based on pure chances, Aidan O'Brien has the best shot at winning the Vodafone Derby, with eight horses still eligible
Vodafone has renewed its sponsorship of the Epson Derby (Eng-I) for three years and has an option for a two-year extension.
Falvelon established himself as one of the best ever Australian sprinters with a successful defense of the Doomben 10,000 (Aust-I) in Brisbane on May 18.
Tully Thunder failed to parlay her Australasian Oaks victory (Aust-I) into success in the longer South Australian Oaks (Aust-I) at Morphettville on May 18. In the end, the Thunder Gulch filly was outstayed by She's Archie in the $250,000 (Australian funds) contest.
Best of the Bests rebounded from a seventh-place finish in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) to upset Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Banks Hill in the Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) on Sunday at Longchamp.
Aidan O'Brien has entered 13 horses, including his two classic winners so far this season, Rock Of Gibraltar and Landseer, for Europe's premier sprint, the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket on July 11. He has also entered the horse considered by most to be an unlucky loser of the Sagitta 2000 Guineas, Hawk Wing.
Moon Ballad, a 3-year-old chestnut son of Singspiel, earned his first stakes win in Wednesday's Dante Stakes (Eng-II) at York, England. Godolphin's Saeed bin Suroor trainee completed the extended 1 1/4 mile Epsom Derby (Eng-I) prep in 2:07.06 on good to firm ground.
The first southern generation of Pentire belatedly stepped up to center stage as Pantani collected the South Australian Derby (Aust-I) at Adelaide's Morphettville oval on May 11. It was close, the Danny Nikolic partnered Pantani hanging on by just a nose from Silver Baron, a son of former shuttler Defensive Play.
Khalid Abdullah's homebred filly Zenda led early, was headed midway through the mile race, then regrouped to win the Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Pouliches--French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I) by a length over Firth of Lorne (by Danehill) on Sunday at Longchamp. Sophisticat, a daughter of Storm Cat out of Serena's Song closed well to finish third.
The top three finishers from last months Prix de Fountainebleau (Fr-III) again filled the top three spots in Sunday's Gainsborough Poule d'Essai des Poulains--French Two Thousand Guineas (Fr-I), with Landseer winning the French classic by a length over Medecis. Bowman came home third.
Godolphin's Grandera made amends for a fifth-place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) last month at Sha Tin with a win in the Singapore Airlines International Cup at Kranji Racecourse on Saturday.
Two North American horses, and one jockey, will compete Saturday in the international stakes races in Singapore.
The future racing career of Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) runner-up Milan remains uncertain after the 4-year-old suffered a fractured cannon bone during Monday's Peintre Celebre E.B.F. Mooresbridge Stakes at The Curragh.
Johannesburg and Castle Gandolfo, the respective eighth- and 12th-place finishers in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, left Churchill Downs early Sunday morning to be flown back to Ireland.
Godolphin's German-bred Kazzia resisted a late challenge from 28-1 longshot Snowfire to win Sunday's Sagitta One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) by a neck at Newmarket.
Rock of Gibraltar made up for the disappointment his owner, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, felt earlier this week when his soccer team was defeated in the Champions League semifinals with a neck-length victory in Saturday's Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket.
Queen's Logic, the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) future book favorite, may not run in Sunday's race at Newmarket after she was found lame Saturday.
Godolphin's 5-year-old Marienbard earned his first win since last May in Friday's Jockey Club Stakes (Eng-II) at Newmarket in England. Under Jamie Spencer, the son of Caerleon utilized a strong finishing kick to upset favored Millenary in the 1 1/2-mile race. Also at Newmarket Friday, Sheikh Ahmed al Maktoum's Tarfshi upset favored Spring Oak in the listed Dahlia Stakes.
Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) repeat winner Caller One, currently in Singapore preparing for a race there on May 11, may make his follow-up start in England during the Royal Ascot meet. The Jim Chapman trainee is one of four American horses pre-entered in the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I), a six-furlong turf dash for horses 3-year-old and older.
Britain has just three racecourses that stage dirt racing (known as all-weather), but one of them has a surface which "rides like a velvet carpet," according to jockey Martin Dwyer.
One sign that this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is a wide-open affair is that an Italian group II race may have some impact on how handicappers decipher the race. Dupont, third to Kentucky Derby hopeful Castle Gandolfo, will make his next start in Wednesday's Premio Parioli--Italian Two Thousand Guineas (Ity-II).
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) third-place finisher Spring Oak is entered in Friday's Directa Parseal Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket. Should she run, the daughter of Mark of Esteem will be making her 4-year-old debut and her first start for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.
An agreement reached Monday will allow The Racing Network International (TRNI) to broadcast the Kentucky Derby live in the United Kingdom. According to a Sporting Life report, TRNI will also broadcast Friday's Kentucky Oaks.
Jockey David Flores, who had been booked to ride Godolphin's Tempera in the Kentucky Oaks, will be riding for the powerful stable at Royal Ascot in June.
Aquarelliste improved her career record to five wins from six starts with a half-length win over Execute in the Prix Ganay (Fr-I) on Sunday at Longchamp. Under Dominique Boeuf, the French-bred filly completed the 10 1/2 furlongs in 2:11.4 on good turf at the French track.
Silent Honor has been withdrawn from the Sagitta One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) due to an entrapped epiglottis discovered after a Friday morning work at Al Quoz. With Silent Honor out, Godolphin has only Kazzia in the first classic race of the season for fillies.
Rebelline, who upset Kentucky Derby contender Johannesburg in her last outing, is one of four distaffers entered in the first group I race of the season in France, Sunday's Prix Ganay at Longchamp.
Johannesburg may be bound for Louisville, but he's still eligible for a big race on May 4 in England -- the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket.
Considering the entrenched and antagonistic stances, the April 17 agreement for the right of the main British bookmakers to bet on British racing beginning May 1 was remarkable.
Eishin Preston, an American-bred son of Green Dancer based in Japan, defeated Takao Watanabe's Agnes Digital by a half-length in Sunday's Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) on good turf at Sha Tin.
The Oak Tree Racing Association will be the host for the 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Park.
Post positions were drawn Thursday for Sunday's $1.8 million Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) at Sha Tin, the second leg of the 2002 World Series Racing Championship. Five of the 14 horses entered in the 1 1/4-mile race have won a group I race.
Saeed Suhail's King of Happiness overtook pacesetter Della Francesca with a quarter-mile to run, then drew away to defeat that rival by two lengths in Thursday's one-mile Craven Stakes (Eng-III) at Newmarket.
Jockey Michael Kinane was suspended for seven days for his ride on Sahara Desert in the Boadicea Conditions Stakes at Newmarket Thursday and may be unable to ride Johannesburg in the Kentucky Derby.
The new free British racing television channel, run by the "attheraces" consortium, will launch on time May 1 with 14 hours of broadcasting a day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Kentucky Derby contender Essence of Dubai and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls Tempera and Imperial Gesture arrived safely in Kentucky on Wednesday.
Jockey Jerry Bailey may ride either of Coolmore's two Kentucky Derby candidates, according to a report in the Irish Times.
Century City became the second stakes winner produced from the recently deceased broodmare Alywow, when the son of Danzig won Sunday's Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes by two lengths at the Irish track.
With Sophiticat's win in Sunday's Prix de la Grotte (Fr-III) at Longchamp, the first two foals produced from 11-time grade I winner Serena's Song are now stakes winners.
Godolphin's Imperial Gesture upset stablemate Tempera in Saturday's Melbourne Racing Club UAE Oaks at Nad Al Sheba. The 3-year-old daughter of Langfuhr completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.61, 3 1/4 lengths ahead of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner.
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