/ Racing

Our Channel secures Derby berth with Epsom win

Updated: Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 21:13 | Comments

Our Channel and Ryan Moore (yellow and black silks) repelled the challenge of the fast-finishing Marzocco
Our Channel and Ryan Moore (yellow and black silks) repelled the challenge of the fast-finishing Marzocco

William Haggas could put his perfect Epsom Derby record on the line after Our Channel's narrow victory in the Investec Derby Trial earned the colt a guaranteed place in the Classic on 7 June.

The trainer's only previous Derby runner was the 1996 winner Shaamit, and he has been similarly pragmatic in the Oaks, with his first starter Dancing Rain galloping to glory three years ago before fourth-placed Vow became his only loser to date in the race in 2012.

Our Channel arrived on the Downs after a low-key juvenile season which culminated in a win at Beverley and even if his head defeat of Marzocco does not look smart enough form at this stage, a bid is strongly backed by connections.

The 14-1 chance was given a clever front-running ride by Ryan Moore, remaining near the far rail while the rest of the field fanned out across the track and holding on from the fast finishing runner-up.

Haggas' wife, Maureen, said: "The owner Abdulla Al Mansoori would like to go for the Derby and he was instrumental in coming here today.

"I'm not sure he'll stay, but there's only one Derby and I don't imagine he'll run again before then."

Asked about the Derby record, she said: "We've not had another runner since Shaamit. We've tried! We just haven't had any good enough, or it hasn't worked out. At least this horse seems to be improving."

Derby quotes for the winner from the fixed odds firms vary from 66-1 to 50-1, while the betting exchanges have yet to add the son of English Channel to their antepost lists.

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