x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Derby target for Rewilding

Rewilding is poised to fly the Godolphin flag in England on Saturday week as they strive to end their barren spell in the Epsom Derby.

Rewilding on his way to victory at the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood this month.
Rewilding on his way to victory at the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood this month.

Rewilding is poised to fly the Godolphin flag in England on Saturday week as they strive to end their barren spell in the Epsom Derby. Godolphin have not won the premier English Classic since 1995, when Walter Swinburn rode Lammtarra to victory, but this year have a genuine contender in Rewilding. The three-year-old colt, trained by Mahmood al Zarooni, is likely to be supplemented for the race following his runaway Goodwood triumph.

Frankie Dettori, who ended his own Derby hex aboard Authorized two years ago, is expected to be in the saddle. Rewilding will be joined in the line-up by Saeed bin Suroor's Al Zir - but the participation of fellow Godolphin candidates Chabal and Simon De Montfort is less clear cut. Simon Crisford, Godolphin's racing manager, said: "We'll definitely supplement Rewilding for the race on Monday as he was impressive at Goodwood and ticks all of the right boxes.

"Both he and Al Zir will do a bit more work this week and jockey decisions will be made early next week. "It's quite likely Frankie will ride Rewilding. "They gelled well at Goodwood, but Frankie wants to sit on Al Zir in a piece of work tomorrow - after that it will all be a little clearer. "We'll keep Chabal in the race on Monday and see how the ground and weather develop. It doesn't look like we're going to get enough rain to give him a realistic chance.

"Simon De Montfort will do a bit of work at the weekend and we'll make a final decision if he goes to France or whether we'll supplement him for Epsom." Aidan O'Brien is excited by his Derby squad as he prepares to challenge for a first win in the race since High Chaparral in 2002. The Ballydoyle trainer has Racing Post Trophy winner St Nicholas Abbey, one of four major chances for the Coolmore operation, among his runners for the event.

O'Brien said: "St Nicholas Abbey was always going to the Guineas and the Derby, and that has not changed. "Midas Touch was always down for the Derrinstown and then the intention was to go to the Derby, while Cape Blanco and Jan Vermeer have the option of either France or Epsom. "St Nicholas Abbey and Midas Touch are the two definites [for Epsom] at the moment." * PA