Australia odds-on for Derby after Dante shock
The Grey Gatsby caused a 9/1 surprise in the Dante Stakes at York, bursting the bubble of Godolphin’s big Investec Derby hope True Story.
The 8/13 favourite, who was ridden for the first time by Kieren Fallon, could finish only third behind Kevin Ryan’s grey in the Group 2 classic trial and was pushed out to 16/1 (from 11/2 second favourite) by Coral for the big race at Epsom on Saturday, June 7th.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor is still keen to let True Story take his chance, and believes quicker ground and a step up to 1m 4f will see the son of Manduro in a better light.
He said: “Kieren said the ground was not perfect for him and that he would be better on good to fast ground. He also said he will be better over a mile and a half, which he will get at Epsom. Hopefully that is where he will go now.”
Arod finished well from off the pace to finish second in the Dante, delighting trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam on just his third run.
The colt, who had previously just won a Windsor maiden, was cut to 20/1 (from 33s) by Coral for the Derby.
Chapple-Hyam, who saddled Authorised to do the Dante/Derby double in 2007, said: “I’m delighted with him. He’s run a very good race. I don’t know if I had him too fresh or hadn’t done enough with him before Windsor, but he was obviously keen and the key today was to get him switched off.
“He keeps improving and if there had been another half-furlong he might have won. Faster ground will suit him as will the step up to a mile and a half. Whether he’s good enough to win the Derby, we’ll find out on the day.”
However, the big mover for the Investec Derby after the Dante was market leader Australia.
The Aidan O’Brien trained son of Galileo, whose sire won the Derby and his dam the Oaks, was cut from even money into 4/6 by Coral.
He is heading to Epsom without another run after putting in a superb trial when a strong finishing 3/4 length third to Night Of Wonder in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Australia is bred to come into his own over middle distances, and with O’Brien rating him “a Derby horse like we have never had before” and the opposition seemingly dropping like flies looks a worthy odds-on shot for the colt’s classic.