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2015 Investec Derby news: Zawraq out, ground conerns for Jack Hobbs

Zawraq will miss the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday having failed to recover from a setback earlier in the week.

The Dermot Weld trained colt had been Coral’s 5/1 joint second-favourite for the premier Classic, and his defection has resulted in favourite Golden Horn being clipped into 6/4 (from 13/8).

Angus Gold, racing manager for Zawraq’s owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said today: “It’s bad news. He did a bit of work this morning and moved beautifully under Pat Smullen, but by the time he got back to the yard he was definitely not right again. It’s very bad timing.”

Jack Hobbs, who like Golden Horn is trained by John Gosden, is now 4/1 behind the favourite for the Group 1 contest over 1m 4f.

However, his handler revealed today that he is planning to walk the course on the morning of the race to ensure that the ground is not too quick for the colt who finished runner-up to his stable companion in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York when last seen in action.

Gosden said: “I’ll walk the track on Saturday morning. The ground is perfect right now, but we’ll see what the weather does and whether they get a thunderstorm. I’m happy with all the horses.”

Giovanni Canaletto, the choice of jockey Ryan Moore from three Aidan O’Brien trained runners, is now into 7/1, having been available at 16/1 earlier in the week, whilst Dante third Elm Park remains the same price.

A total of 12 remain in the line-up after Best Of Times and Rocky Rider, along with Zawraq, were withdrawn at today’s final declaration stage.

Hans Holbein (14/1), Success Days (16/1) and Storm The Stars (also 16/1) stay in the middle of the betting, alongside French-trained colt Epicuris and Kilimanjaro (both 20/1).

Moheet (33/1), the curiously named Rogue Runner (50/1) and Carbon Dating (200/1) are all outsiders to land the Derby.