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Article 24th April 2024 Epsom Downs

Bellum Justum (9-1) put in an impressive performance to come out on top in the Listed Betfred Blue Riband Trial at Epsom Downs today, The Spring Meeting.  

Partnered by Oisin Murphy, the son of 2009 Derby hero Sea The Stars overhauled leader Chief Little Rock (4-5 Favourite) entering the final quarter mile. The King Power Racing-owned colt ran on well to hold off the late challenge of Defiance (10-1) and win by three-quarters of a length.

It was a third victory in the 10-furlong contest for trainer Andrew Balding following Goldoni (2012) and Dreamspeed (2010).

Betfred make Bellum Justum a 25-1 chance for glory in the Betfred Derby. The premier Classic takes place at Epsom Downs on Saturday 1st June.

The only horse to win the Blue Riband Trial and go on to success in the Derby was Blue Peter in 1939.

Andrew Balding said: “He showed some promise last year but had a little setback about a month ago.

“I think he is bound to come on for the run and we thought that whatever happened today, we would go to the Dante Stakes next and see where we are with him.

“Obviously, I need to talk it over with the owners but if all goes well there then the Derby would be the plan.

“He is very well-balanced and professional and will improve a lot for today. He has really come on in the last fortnight. Oisin was impressed with the way he galloped out.

“It is nice to have an exciting horse for the owners, who have been such big supporters of the yard. Bangkok and The Foxes didn’t quite come up to the mark but I know they would love to have another go (at the Derby).”

The Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes takes place over 10 furlongs at York on Thursday 16th May.

Elsewhere on the card, there were two historic handicaps with the Lilley Plummer Risks City & Suburban Handicap going to Crystal Delight (5-2) and the Weatherbys Global Stallions App Great Metropolitan Handicap being won by Champagne Piaff (5-2 Favourite).




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