Will he or won’t he? Saturday’s Epsom Derby is all about one horse, Dawn Approach, and whether or not he will stay the Derby distance of a mile and a half. Jim Bolger’s runaway 2000 Guineas winner certainly wasn’t stopping at the end of the race at Newmarket, and hopes are high among race fans that hot favourite Dawn Approach can follow up in the Derby.
On the face of it there shouldn’t be any doubts about Dawn Approach’s stamina when you look at his sire, New Approach, who won the Derby in 2008 having been narrowly touched off in the 2000 Guineas. However, Dawn Approach’s dam didn’t show any worthwhile form beyond six furlongs in a brief career on the racecourse, which doesn’t inspire confidence.
There are some touch looking opponents to Dawn Approach in the Epsom Derby. Battle Of Marengo is one such horse. Since finishing third on his debut last year he has gone from strength to strength, winning five races on the trot including the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial last time out, a race won in the past by such luminaries as Sinndar (2000), High Chaparral (2002) and Battle Of Marengo’s own sire, the exceptional racehorse and stallion Galileo in 2001. Battle Of Marengo is one of five Aidan O’Brien runners in the Derby.
Another worth looking out for is Ococango. This French-trained colt is trained by the French master trainer Andre Fabre, who more than knows the time of day. His runners in Britain are always worth a second glance, and Ocovango is no exception.
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Enjoy the 2013 Epsom Derby!