30th April 2015

Racing returned to Epsom Downs with the Investec Derby Trial won by unbeaten Christophermarlowe ridden by Frankie Dettori

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 – Racing returned to Epsom Downs today, Wednesday, April 22, with the Investec Spring Meeting and the highlight, the 10-furlong £50,000 Investec Derby Trial, was won in great style by the unbeaten Christophermarlowe, owned by Michael Tabor & Rachel Hood, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Frankie Dettori.


The unbeaten Tapit colt is entered in Britain’s premier Classic and richest race, the £1.325 million Investec Derby, which is run over 12 furlongs at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 6, and could be a participant if all goes well.


Christophermarlowe, the 4/6 favourite who was having his third career start after two victories last year, won easily by four lengths from Godolphin’s Future Empire who stayed on to take second inside the final furlong.


Gosden said: “I was delighted with Christophermarlowe because, once he balanced off in the straight, he did it well. He has a lovely long even stride and likes this good to firm ground.


“Frankie said Christophermarlowe really went strong and took him all the way down to the stables so a mile and a half will be his game. He handled the track well enough, he has been here before. 


“I need to step him up in trip so we could look at trials at Chester, which is two weeks to the day and I am not convinced about that, and Lingfield or else bring him back here for a proper bit of work during Breakfast With The Stars (May 26).


“I see no reason why he should not run in the Investec Derby. He has only had three runs during his life and, as Lester (Piggott) said, he is a very good looking horse, out of a Galileo mare and by a top American stallion, Tapit. He has a lovely manner about him, is very honest and a good doer.


“I see him as a big boy with lots of improvement so there is no reason why he won’t be back here on the first Saturday in June.”


Dettori commented: “It was a good performance. It is natural for horses to go left here but he is a great galloper and very well balanced.


“He galloped out really strong which is always a good sign. I pulled him up at the dead-end, which does not happen too often.


“He has passed his first test with flying colours and now will be stepped up a bit more. He has the right ingredients for the Investec Derby – we know he handles the track and he stays so we are half-way there.”


Coral, the official betting partner of the Investec Derby Festival, cut Christophermarlowe’s odds for the Investec Derby to 14/1 from 20/1.


The Investec Derby Trial was part of a six-race card at the Investec Spring Meeting.


The opening £20,000 Investec Asset Finance Handicap over five furlongs went to 7/1 chance Monumental Man, who made all the running to score by three and three-quarter lengths in the hands of David Probert.


Trainer James Unett is now hoping that the seven-year-old can return to Epsom Downs on Investec Derby Day for the £100,000 Investec Corporate Bank ‘Dash’, which also takes place over five furlongs. 


Shropshire-based Unett said: “Monumental Man won here two years ago and has strengthened up and improved since then.


“His style of running is to jump out and make it and that is difficult for those in behind to try and lay up with him.


“These were perfect conditions today. We came down last night and had a walk of the track. There was a great tail wind and good ground – everything seemed right.


“I wasn’t expecting him to win as well as he did. Had he been drawn higher, I would have been more confident. I was confident he would run extremely well, but not win the way he has done.


“He has to go up a bit in the ratings, but in an ideal world I would like to bring him back here for the Dash. He won off 80 and will ideally need to go up about 10lb to get in.


“He is a big bolt of a horse and has taken some time, but I think he is improving.”


Probert achieved a double on the day as the Andrew Balding-trained Collaboration won the £50,000 Investec City And Suburban Handicap over 10 furlongs. He started at 7/2 despite being 4lb out of the handicap.


Andrew Cooper. Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs, said before racing: “It’s great to be back at Epsom Downs. I love this day and it is the start of an exciting season.


“We do a lot of promotion with local residents to get them here on this day, as it is mid-week. There is nice crowd and buzz about the place.


“I have called the Derby course Good, Good to Firm in places and the sprint course Good to Firm, Good in places. I think that the easiest ground on the whole course is coming down the hill on the Derby course, which we never view as a bad thing. The good to firm ground is more in the home straight, on both sides of the course.”