x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Dubai's Derby hopefuls top 100

Scores of yearlings have names down for the Epsom classic in 2012 with owners from the UAE leading the way.

Frankie Dettori rides Godolphin’s Mastery to victory in Sunday’s Hong Kong Vase.
Frankie Dettori rides Godolphin’s Mastery to victory in Sunday’s Hong Kong Vase.

LONDON // Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, submitted the largest individual yearling entry to the 2012 Epsom Derby yesterday.

The Sheikh, whose maroon and white colours are yet to win the 231-year-old 1m 4f contest, paid Dh132,300 to enter 46 yearlings out of a total entry of 478.

His Godolphin operation, who scored their 200th winner of the 2010 season on Sunday when Mastery won the Hong Kong Vase, have entered 34, all of which are registered under Saeed bin Suroor, the Emirati trainer.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Sheikh Mohammed's brother, has entered 42 yearlings into the Dh7,196,525 race, which will be run on Saturday June 2. Sheikh Hamdan has won the Derby twice, scoring with the subsequent quadruple Group 1-winning Nashwan in 1989, and then with Erhaab in 1994.

Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who won the Derby in June with Workforce, has 22 entries of his own, while the biggest number of entries is 63 from Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor, the triumvirate behind the Ireland-based Coolmore operation.

The most eye-catching entry, however, is a yearling based in John Oxx's Kildare stable in Ireland called Born To Sea.

The Invincible Spirit colt is a half-brother to the brilliant 2009 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby hero Sea the Stars. The legendary colt subsequently won the Irish Derby, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, the Juddmonte International, the Irish Champion Stakes and the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Like his illustrious sibling, Born To Sea was bred by the Tsui family's Sunderland Holdings and is owned by Christopher Tsui, the Hong Kong nightclub owner.