December 13 2013 Latest news:
Simon Jackson, London24 horse racing correspondent, at Epsom
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Horse Talk: Top horse-racing tips and the latest news
Aiken belied the deteriorating ground conditions at Epsom on Wednesday to bag his fourth straight win on an afternoon where steady rain necessitated three changes to the going.
The projected surface of soft, good to soft in places, was amended to soft before racing. It was then changed again to soft, heavy in places, ahead of the John Gosden trained four-year-olds victory in the second race – the Class 3 Investec Great Metropolitan Handicap – and finally altered to heavy before the third race.
“He’s done well to win on this ground first time out – it was a good effort. He has only been on good ground so I think to come here and do that was good,” said Gosden who admitted that he has no fixed targets for the son of Selkirk.
“He won three races and got rated 90+ and there are few suitable races,” the Newmarket handler continued. “It’s a big problem with three-year-olds that have gone up to 90+ on the ratings as you can’t find a [suitable] race for them.
“This is a lovely race to win and we’ll just see what the handicapper does. We’ll take it step by step, time will tell, but it is too early to be talking about Royal Ascot.”
Cadeaux Pearl’s trainer Scott Dixon is also keeping his options open, after his charge’s length victory in the Class 3 five furlong dash at odds of 25-1.
“With there being so much rain we didn’t know how he would handle it if it was heavy,” Dixon admitted. “But he absolutely loved it and Kieren [Fallon – jockey] was really impressed with him.”
“We’ll have to have a look at where to go next. I have got nothing lined up for him yet but I think he is a horse that runs best fresh so we will see how he comes out of the race and make a decision then.
Contrastingly trainer Andrew Balding already has a race in mind for Goldoni, winner of the feature race of the day, the Class 2 Investec Derby Trial, but who is ineligible to run in the Epsom Derby as he is a gelding.
“Goldoni will possibly go for the Derby trial and Lingfield,” Balding said. “He is a decent horse and can go on any ground. This fellow will be running in some nice races.
“This is a very honest horse and he has always done it pretty nicely. He was gelded over the winter which has been the making of him and hopefully will have a long career ahead of him.
“He is pretty versatile ground-wise, so while he may not be running in the Derby, he will be running in some pretty big races.
The Derby trial was the first of a brace of Class 2 contests on the six race card, the second of them, the Investec City and Suburban Handicap, secured what trainer Alan Jarvis considered a deserved victory for his 14-1 winner Right Step.
“This horse has always been so genuine,” Jarvis said. “He has been second to Group 1 winners and was second here on Derby day. He may come back here [on Derby day] or go to York for a one mile three furlong handicap. He will go over hurdles next year and eventually he might even go chasing.”
Later the Stuart Williams-trained Jane Lachatte was always travelling strongly when landing the Class 5, one and a half furlong finale at odds of 14-1 on her handicap debut.
Valley Of Destiny from the Richard Hannon stable had earlier stuck to his task well over the same distance to land the Class 5 maiden.