Carlton House, owned by Queen Elizabeth II, is one of 13 declared runners for the $2 million Investec Epsom Derby (Eng-I), which takes place at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 4.
The 3-year-old Street Cry colt is an intended runner in Britain’s richest race after picking up a slight injury earlier this week. He worked four furlongs at Newmarket June 2 in preparation for the 1 1/2-mile event. Trained by Michael Stoute, a five-time English Derby winner, Carlton House won the totesport Dante Stakes (Eng-II) at York May 12.
The Queen has had nine runners in the Derby, coming closest with the first of them, Aureole, who finished second to Pinza in 1953.
Carlton House will be ridden by Ryan Moore, who was successful last year in both the English Derby (Workforce) and Investec Oaks (Snow Fairy). He is the 7-4 favorite with William Hill, the official betting partner for the Investec Derby Festival.
The Andre Fabre-trained Pour Moi, who ran a good trial when the decisive winner of the Prix Greffulhe (Fr-II) at Saint-Cloud May 7, is next in William Hill’s market at 7-2. The colt worked under jockey Mickael Barzalona at Epsom last week during Breakfast With the Stars. He is Fabre’s first Investec Derby runner since 2006.
The other French runner is Vadamar (16-1), trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre for the Aga Khan. He also ran in the Prix Greffulhe and finished third as the favorite.
Ireland’s top trainer, Aidan O’Brien, has four runners, headed by Recital (5-1), who won the group III Stud Trial by 1 1/2 lengths from Memphis Tennessee (20-1) at Leopardstown May 8. Seville (13-2), second to Carlton House in the totesport Dante, and Treasure Beach (25-1), who took the group III Chester Vase over the Derby distance by a head from Nathaniel May 5, complete the team.
O’Brien said it would be very hard to pick between his four runners because it was difficult to judge how far they have come on from their last races and added: “I would probably pick the wrong one. The Derby is an unbelievably special race; it is the ultimate test of a Thoroughbred. We are just so lucky to have some horses to run in it.”
Godolphin relies on the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained Ocean War (16-1), unbeaten in two starts this year, with Frankie Dettori taking the mount.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Native Khan (10-1) has Classic form, having finished third to Frankel in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) over a mile at Newmarket April 30. Johnny Murtagh is up.
John Gosden’s runner is Masked Marvel (25-1), a three-length winner of the listed IBA Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood May 18.
Pisco Sour (100-1) is a first Investec Derby runner for trainer Hughie Morrison, who has booked Jimmy Fortune to ride.
The other two Investec Derby hopefuls are outsiders Marhaba Malyoon (200-1) and Castlemorris King (500-1).