PERFECT START FOR BALDING ON DERBY DAY
Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding got his Investec Derby Day 2019 off to the best possible start with a four and a half length success by Le Don De Vie (5/1) in the Investec Private Banking Handicap over one mile and two furlongs. The three-year-old gelding was doubling up at Epsom Downs Racecourse after breaking his maiden over a mile at the Investec Spring Meeting on April 24.
"He's tough and he's pretty talented too, he's got a pretty good way of galloping and Martin (Dwyer) gave him a perfect ride. You always have to be a bit worried when Silvestre looms upsides, but we had enough in the tank thankfully and he is going the right way," said Balding of the three-year-old.
"We thought another furlong and a half would suit him today. He's got ability, which is half the battle and he was bred by Kirsten Rausing ¬- she has bred some good horses over the years and he is a typical stamp of the type of horses she breeds.
"We always hoped he'd take a step forward, we liked him a lot last year, and he disappointed us on his last start so we gelded him and that has been the making of him," added the trainer, who will be represented by Bangkok (9/1) in the Investec Derby.
"We might have a handicap on the agenda now, there is a chance we might go a mile and half now, but he is a pretty valuable horse now so we will have to see what interest there is."
Le Don De Vie's success is the 50th winner for owners Mick and Janice Mariscotti with the Baldings, the couple having had horses at the Kingsclere yard for 14 years.
DON PROVES THE GODFATHER
The Andrew Balding-trained Le Don De Vie (5/1) made all of the running to land the opening race on day two of the Investec Derby Festival, the £50,000 Investec Private Banking Handicap.
Ridden by Martin Dwyer, the three-year-old son of Leroidesanimaux repelled the challenge of Mark Johnston's The Trader (7/2) throughout the home straight to score by a length and a half in the 10-furlong contest.
Dwyer said: "Le Don De Vie has won on this track and is an improving horse. Andrew was very confident and the race was easy - doing the 8st 2lb was the hard bit for me! It's worth it on days like this.
"It's a 50th winner for the owners, Janice and Mick (Mariscotti), so I am delighted that I could ride it for them on Derby Day.
"Look at this place. There is no better place to be in the world than Epsom on Derby Day. It's just brilliant.
"It's quick ground but it's nice. There's no jar and I think every horse should handle it."
To view sectional times for this race, please click HERE
Morning gamble The Trader flatters but is well held
Morning gamble The Trader (Silvestre de Sousa, 7/2 favourite) looked poised to deliver when moving upsides front-running Le Don De Vie (Martin Dwyer, 5/1) starting up the straight, the pair clear of the rest, but he could not get past the leader and was beaten four and a half lengths into second after hanging sharply right in the closing stages.
De Sousa said: "We gave it a good go, but the winner looks like he's well in."
Trainer Mark Johnston, who ran three in the race, said: "The Trader is obviously in fairly good form, but he couldn't get past the winner and is a bit quirky. It's just the way it goes."
He added: "Victory Command has run very well in fourth and got the trip well, but is a bit of a bridesmaid these days. Nayef Road (fifth) didn't seem to come down the hill all that well."
The William Haggas-trained Alkaamel (Chris Hayes, 6/1) was a respectable third and Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "Chris said he slipped coming out of the stalls, and although he stuck on well he had too much to do from where he was.
"He's a bonny little horse and keeps improving. Back in November he was for the chop, as he was showing nothing at all, but we kept him and he's already had a great year. There's a good handicap in him, but not on a track like this."
GOING AFTER THE FIRST
Martin Dwyer, rider of the 5/1 four and a half-length winner Le Don De Vie, said: "It is quick, but with no jar."
Silvestre de Sousa, jockey of the second placed 7/2 favourite The Trader, said: "Firm."
Chris Hayes, partner 6/1 third Alkaamel, said: "Beautiful quick ground."
Ryan Moore, rider of Nayef Road, said: "Quick ground."
Joe Fanning, partner of Victory Command, said: "Fast ground."
Barry McHugh, on board Red Hot, said: "It is on the quick side of good."
John Egan, jockey of Politicise, said: "Good quick ground."
Hollie Doyle, on board Kheros, said: "Quick ground."
NEW COURSE RECORD IN THE DASH?
The £100,000 Investec 'Dash' (3.45pm) is one of the finest sights in racing and there is cause to think that today's renewal could see a new course record for the world's fastest five furlongs.
The course record was set in the 2012 renewal of the Investec 'Dash' by the John Best-trained Stone Of Folca. The 50/1 shot won the contest in 53.69 seconds.
With the straight course at Epsom Downs being described as riding Good to Firm this afternoon, there is a possibility of a new record being set today.
A maximum field of 20 sprinters line up for the cavalry charge which is downhill almost all the way.
The market for this year's renewal is headed by Irish raider Hathiq, trained by Denis Hogan and the mount of Rory Cleary.
Other horses in the contest include three-time winner Caspian Prince (Michael Appleby/Alistair Rawlinson) and 2013 scorer Duke Of Firenze (David Griffiths/Nathan Evans).
ALL WELL FOR BANGKOK
The name of an Investec Derby runner is written on a wishing well at The Amato Pub in Epsom before the race.
The famous pub named after the 1838 Derby winner now forms part of The Grumpy Mole franchise.
This year, the name etched onto the well is the Andrew Balding-trained Bangkok.
Unbeaten this season, the King Power Racing-owned colt defeated fellow Investec Derby contender Telecaster in a Doncaster maiden on March 30 before capturing the G3 Classic Trial at Sandown on April 26.