448 exciting yearling entries are unveiled today for the 239th running of the premier British Classic, the Investec Derby, which takes place at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 2, 2018.
The 2018 Investec Derby will be worth at least £1.5 million, with the prize fund for Britain’s richest race boosted from 2017.
There are two further opportunities for horses to be entered in the mile and a half Group One race – at the second entry stage in April, 2018 and at the supplementary entry stage on Monday, May 28, 2018.
Once again, the yearling entry for the Investec Derby, the greatest Flat race in the world, has broken the 400-barrier and Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs Racecourse, is delighted with the uptake.
He commented: “We are thrilled to see such a strong and numerically high yearling entry for the 2018 Investec Derby.
“We are grateful to all owners and trainers concerned for their continuing support of the Classic which firmly remains as Britain’s richest race.”
The number of yearling entries made for the Investec Derby since 2010 is as follows:
Plenty of the highest-priced yearlings sold at public auction this year feature among the entries, including both of the two 2.6 million guineas (a guinea=£1.05) sale-toppers at Tattersalls in October.
The colts are both sired by Dubawi, with the one owned by Godolphin out of G1 Coronation Stakes heroine Fallen For You and the other owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum out of G1 winner Zee Zee Top and in training with John Gosden.
Godolphin has 34 entries in all, while Hamdan Al Maktoum is not far behind with 31 entered, including a 1.6 million guineas purchase, a Frankel colt out of dual mile Classic winner Attraction, whose trainer Mark Johnston is in charge again.
The Coolmore partners of Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith are the most successful current owners in the Investec Derby, with various combinations responsible for six winners – 2001 Galileo who has gone on to sire three Investec Derby winners; 2002 High Chaparral; 2011 Pour Moi; 2012 Camelot; 2013 Ruler Of The World & 2014 Australia.
Between them, the trio have 58 entries for the 2018 renewal, including a half-brother to Pour Moi and a full-brother to this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Found plus a 1.3 million guineas son of Frankel out of dual G1 scorer Peeress.
Another major owner with a substantial number of entries is the Aga Khan, who increased his Investec Derby haul to five in 2016 with Harzand, following on from 1981 Shergar, 1986 Shahrastani, 1988 Kahyasi and 2000 Sinndar. He has 20 entries.
Three-time Investec Derby-winning owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah (1990 Quest For Fame, 1993 Commander In Chief, 2010 Workforce) goes after a fourth success with 19 entries including a colt by his champion Frankel out of 2009 Investec Oaks runner-up and six-time G1 winner Midday and a Frankel half-brother to the outstanding miler Kingman.
Qatari interests are also to the fore, with 10 entries by Al Shaqab Racing, the operation of Sheikh Joaan Al Thani and eight for Qatar Racing which is owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and his brothers.
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, which specialises in putting together small groups of people to share in a number of racehorses, has six of its syndicates holding seven entries in all.
The Investec Derby is the only British Classic Her Majesty The Queen is waiting for success in as an owner, though she has had a second (1953 Aureole) and third (2011 Carlton House).
She is a regular visitor to Epsom Downs on Investec Derby Day and there are two Royal entries for the premier Classic of 2018 – a Dansili colt out of dual Listed winner Enticement and a Sea The Stars colt.
Europe’s most successful stallion Galileo, winner of the 2001 Investec Derby and sire of three Investec Derby winners to date (2008 New Approach, 2013 Ruler Of The World and 2014 Australia), is responsible for the majority of the Coolmore entries and has the most representatives, 48, among the entries.
Other stallions with yearling entries include 2009 Investec Derby scorer Sea The Stars (32 entries) who as a sire enjoyed a first Investec Derby success with Harzand last year, 2012 Investec Derby victor Camelot (29 entries from his first crop), Frankel (26 entries), Dubawi (24 entries), Dansili (23 entries), Teofilo (19 entries), 2008 Investec Derby victor New Approach (18 entries), Intello (16 entries), Shamardal (14 entries), Declaration Of War (13 entries) and Cape Cross (4 entries), who has already had two Investec Derby successes thanks to Sea The Stars (2009) and Golden Horn (2015).
Other Investec Derby winners with progeny entered for the 2018 edition are Sinndar (2000 winner – 1 entry), High Chaparral (2002 winner – 13 entries), North Light (2004 winner – 1 entry), Motivator (2005 winner – 3 entries) and Sir Percy (2006 winner – 4 entries).
Sariska landed the 2009 Investec Oaks at Epsom Downs and she has a Frankel foal among the entries for her owner/breeder Lady Bamford.
Another eye-catching entry is also a son Frankel out of outstanding Japanese racemare Vodka, who represents Vodka’s owner Yuzo Tanimizu.
There are three fillies in the 2018 entries, although history suggests they have an uphill task. Only six fillies have won the Investec Derby and none since 1916.
Breakdown of 2018 entries by owner with past successes in the Investec Derby
Derrick Smith/Michael Tabor/Sue Magnier (2001 Galileo, 2002 High Chaparral, 2011 Pour Moi, 2012 Camelot, 2013 Ruler Of The World, 2014 Australia)
Hamdan Al Maktoum (1989 Nashwan, 1994 Erhaab)
H H Aga Khan (1981 Shergar, 1986 Shahrastani, 1988 Kahyasi, 2000 Sinndar, 2016 Harzand)
Khalid Abdullah (1990 Quest For Fame, 1993 Commander In Chief, 2010 Workforce)
Al Shaqab Racing
Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum (1998 High-Rise)
Qatar Racing Ltd
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing
Moyglare Stud Farms Ltd
Ballymacoll Stud (2004 North Light)
Saeed Suhail (2003 Kris Kin)
Anthony Oppenheimer (2015 Golden Horn)
Anthony & Victoria Pakenham (2006 Sir Percy)
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