Investec Epsom Derby: 12 Colts Added To Entries

A dozen potential Investec Derby heroes have joined the list of entries for the season’s premier Classic, staged over a mile and a half at Epsom Downs on Saturday June 4, worth £1.25 million, among them the Kevin Prendergast-trained Dunboyne Express.  Last year, Workforce became the first Investec Derby winner to have been entered at the second stage.

The addition of the 12 second entries on Tuesday, April 5, at a cost of £8,000 each, are announced today. There are now 134 horses engaged for the 2011 Investec Derby.

Dunboyne Express won two of three starts last term, including the Group Three Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh before closing out the season with fifth in the Group One Racing Post Trophy behind Casamento, who is also among those added at the latest stage.

The three-year-old Shamardal colt returned to action on March 27, with a pleasing victory in the Group Three Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial over a mile and now heads to the Curragh for the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas on May 21.

Referring to the Investec Derby as a potential option for the Shamardal colt, Prendergast revealed: “It would be on the agenda, depending on how he progresses in the Irish 2,000 Guineas – if he runs a good race at the Curragh, the Investec Derby would have to be considered.

“His pedigree says he should get a mile and a half but it’s not written in stone. His dam is a half-sister to the Investec Oaks winner Love Divine, so he’s also related to the St Leger winner, Sixties Icon. Shamardal got 10 furlongs and he was a real class horse, so there’s every chance that Dunboyne Express will get the trip.

“I was very pleased with him at Leopardstown the other day. The runner-up, Exodus had tried to make the running in a Group One in France on very bad ground last year and just got tired the last furlong to finish fourth, so he’s probably decent. I’d say it was a good trial.

“He couldn’t be better after that run the other day.”

Prendergast, 78, has another promising prospect in the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned Mawaakef, who was entered for the Investec Derby at the initial stage in 2009.

The Azamour colt landed a Killarney maiden before finishing runner-up to Casamento in the Group Two Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in September.

The County Kildare trainer reported: “Mawaakef runs in the Ballsax Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday. He had three runs last year – he was fourth first time, then he won and then he was second in the Beresford to Casamento, who went and won the Racing Post Trophy.

“He couldn’t be better. He might just need the run on Sunday but he’s in good shape.”

Also among those added at the second entry is Godolphin’s Dubai Prince, a Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained stablemate to Casamento and the unbeaten winner of the Group Three Killavullan Stakes last term.

Owner/breeder Khalid Abdulla has engaged the Henry Cecil-trained pair of Picture Editor and Midsummer Sun, as well as Sea Moon, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who saddled Workforce to victory for Abdulla in last year’s Investec Derby.

Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien has entered the Galileo colt Marksmanship at the second entry stage following his impressive debut victory at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Owner Fitri Hay has added the Galileo colt No Heretic and the unraced Selkirk colt Strategic Bid, both trained by Paul Cole, successful in the Investec Derby with the brilliant Generous in 1991.

Native Khan, trained by Ed Dunlop, landed the Group Three Solario Stakes and was subsequently fourth in the Racing Post Trophy, while maiden winners Marhaba Malyoon and Loving Spirit, trained by David Simcock and James Toller respectively, have also been entered.

The next and final entry stage costing £75,000 deadlines at noon on Monday, May 30.

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