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A Review Of Saturday’s Derby At Epsom: 2000 Guineas Form Overturned As Masar Comes Out On Top In Derby

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Once again the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket proved the best guide to the outcome of the Investec Derby at Epsom. But it was the horses who came home in third and fifth places at headquarters who turned the table on the winner of the season’s first Classic – Saxon Warrior –  who could do no better than fourth spot in the ‘ Blue Riband ‘ of the turf behind Masar, Dee Ex Bee and Roaring Lion.

Sent off the hot 4-5 favourite on the back of his comprehensive victory over Tip Two Win, Masar, Elarqam and Roaring Lion at Newmarket Saxon Warrior was expected to take the world’s most famous Flat race before attempting to become the first winner of the triple crown since Nijinsky in 1970, a long-term plan which has now been shelved after the son of Deep Impact was found wanting on the Epsom Downs.

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It is difficult to find any excuses for the mount of Ryan Moore who was matching strides behind the leaders with 16-1 chance Masar rounding Tattenham Corner but whereas William Buick in the blue of Godolphin quickened well to take over from leader Hazapour approaching the final furlong before staying on stoutly to see off the challenges of Dee Ex Bee and Roaring Lion, the Ballydoyle colt could only stay on at one pace, four and a half lengths behind the winner passing the post.

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Whether the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt underperformed due to a lack of stamina or the inability to act on the track may be resolved at the Curragh later this month when the principles could renew rivalry.

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Just why Ladbrokes have the Ballydoyle horse as their 4-5 market leader ahead of Masar at 7-4 and Dee Ex Bee at 100-30 is hard to fathom however, while John Gosden’s Epsom third Roaring Lion is likely to prove better at a mile and a quarter, making the 5-1 offered by 888sport for the Coral Eclipse an attractive proposition.

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