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French Derby target for Guineas fourth Ghostwriter

French Derby target for Guineas fourth Ghostwriter
French Derby target for Guineas fourth Ghostwriter

They often say fourth in the Guineas, first in the Derby – and Clive Cox hopes that rings true for the French equivalent as well, as he eyes a trip to Chantilly for Ghostwriter following his fine effort in the 2000 Guineas.

Unbeaten as a two-year-old, the son of Invincible Spirit was sent off at 14-1 in the hands of Richard Kingscote for the opening Classic of the summer, overcoming a stumble exiting the stalls and also becoming unbalanced entering the dip to finish a respectable fourth behind impressive winner Notable Speech.

It was a performance that suggested Ghostwriter will thrive once upped in distance and although the colt holds an entry for the Betfred Derby at Epsom, Cox is keen to stick to 10 furlongs and place a bullseye on the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly on June 2.

“I don’t think there was any doubt we saw a very impressive winner, but I’m very happy he ran very well,” said Cox.

“Things didn’t go entirely smoothly for him, but it’s certainly not a disappointing reflection. He just stumbled coming out of the stalls and also got a bit unbalanced coming into the dip as well.

“He’s come out of the race very well and I think as a mile winner at two who has undoubtedly done very well over the winner, I was very pleased with the performance, and I now think he will be helped by going a mile and a quarter at this stage.

“That would be our intention as long as he is fit and well. He’s done a very gentle canter this morning and I’m thrilled he has come out of the race really well.

“I hope he will continue his progress and I would say, after speaking with Jeff (Smith, owner) this morning, that the French Derby is going to be our likely target.”

Ghostwriter also holds an entry in York’s Dante Stakes later this month, but with a short span of time between the the Guineas and his French Classic assignment, Cox is willing to forego a fact-finding mission over 10 furlongs and cross the Channel with a freshened-up Derby contender.

Clive Cox was thrilled with Ghostwriter's Guineas efforts
Clive Cox was thrilled with Ghostwriter’s Guineas efforts (John Walton/PA)

“The Dante comes soon enough and although the Dante would be ideal, we were very keen to run in the Guineas and he justified that with a really solid run,” continued Cox.

“York will come soon enough and then the timeframe between the Guineas and the French Derby is probably going to be much more suitable.

“He’s a very nice horse and I’m just very pleased he has come out of the race well and we can now look forward to him going a mile and a quarter.”

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