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City Of Troy tops 20 in Derby contention

City Of Troy tops 20 in Derby contention
City Of Troy tops 20 in Derby contention

City Of Troy is one of 20 left in Saturday’s Betfred Derby after Tabletalk was supplemented for the Classic at Monday’s confirmation stage.

The open nature of this year’s race seems sure to lead to a big field at Epsom, but last season’s champion juvenile City Of Troy is still favourite despite disappointing in the 2000 Guineas.

He is one of six left in by Aidan O’Brien, including the unbeaten Los Angeles, a Group One winner at two and successful in Leopardstown’s key Derby trial.

Diego Velazquez, Euphoric, Illinois and Portland could also represent the Ballydoyle handler, although the first-named colt is the ante-post favourite for Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.

Adrian Murray’s Dallas Star is another trained in Ireland in the mix after winning the Ballysax Stakes.

Tabletalk, a Chelmsford winner last time out for Tom Clover, was supplemented at a cost of £75,000.

Ambiente Friendly, the subject of plenty of talk in the last week due to connections switching jockeys from Callum Shepherd to Robert Havlin, holds strong claims based on his win at Lingfield, while Roger Teal’s Dancing Gemini, second in the French Guineas, is another with top-class form.

Charlie Appleby relies on Ancient Wisdom, having once looked like having three strong contenders, and Ralph Beckett is due to run Macduff.

Deira Mile, God’s Window, Kamboo, Mr Hampstead, Padesha, Sayedaty Sadaty and Voyage have also been left in.

Connections of Blue Riband Trial winner Bellum Justum believe this is the year to take a chance.

With the Guineas winner Notable Speech sticking to a mile, the placed horses from Newmarket running in the Irish equivalent and the impressive Dante winner Economics skipping Epsom, the Andrew Balding-trained colt is a live outsider.

Bellum Justum booked his ticket for the Derby by winning the Blue Riband Trial
Bellum Justum booked his ticket for the Derby by winning the Blue Riband Trial (John Walton/PA)

“All is good, we’re happy with him and it looks a very open year. It’s quite hard to assess the form lines this year,” said Alistair Donald of owners King Power Racing.

“At least we know he can go around the track and I think we’ll stay the trip. I’ve said before I don’t know if he’s quite good enough to win it, but I do think he’ll run a good race.

“This is the year to take a chance with a horse like him, as there are question marks over so many of the runners, it’s a very interesting Derby.”

The only two horses not confirmed were Roger Varian’s Defiance and O’Brien’s The Euphrates.

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