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Total of 26 remain in running for Investec Derby

23 May 2017

Dante Stakes winner Permian also expected to be supplemented at cost of £85,000 next week

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs Of Moher remains among nine entries left in the Derby by Aidan O’Brien. Picture:

A total of 26 contenders remain engaged in the £1.5 million Investec Derby, the premier Classic and Britain’s richest race, at Epsom on Saturday week.

Aidan O’Brien, seeking a sixth Investec Derby victory, has left in nine possible challengers for the QIPCO British Champions feature and indicated at the Breakfast With Stars event at Epsom on Tuesday that he was on course to run seven of them – Cliffs Of Moher, Douglas Macarthur, Yucatan, Capri, Venice Beach, Wings Of Eagles and The Anvil.

O’Brien’s son Joseph, who partnered his father’s Investec Derby winners Camelot (2012) and Australia (2014), could saddle his first runner as a trainer with Rekindling, winner of the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown in April and fourth in the Dante Stakes at York last week.

John Gosden is seeking a third Investec Derby success and has a quartet of entries going forward headed by the unbeaten Cracksman, who proved his ability to handle the track when taking the Investec Derby Trial by a short head from Permian in April.

Gosden’s other possible starters are Glencadam Glory, Crowned Eagle and Pealer.

Cracksman and Pealer worked together over about a mile at the Breakfast With Stars event this morning. Afterwards Gosden, Frankie Dettori and owner Anthony Oppenheimer expressed their satisfaction.

Godolphin have six entries going forward – Benbatl, Best Of Days, Best Solution, Dubai Thunder, Tamleek and Thunder Snow.

John Ferguson, chief executive of Godolphin, said todthere were five names on their “teamsheet” although that number included Permian, the Dante winner, who will need to be supplemented at a cost of £85,000 on Monday. He is officially owned by a son of Sheikh Mohammed.

The two not on the teamsheet appear to be Best Of Days and Tamleek.

Andre Fabre was the last French-based to train to saddle an Investec Derby winner when Pour Moi was successful in 2011. This year Fabre could be represented by Waldgeist.

Others still in the mix are Eminent, sixth in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, and Mirage Dancer, a staying-on fourth in the Dee Stakes.