As if he doesn’t already have enough barriers to overcome if he is to provide The Queen with a first Derby success after more than 60 years of trying to win the world’s greatest Flat race, Sir Michael Stoute’s Carlton House has been handed the widest draw of all following the announcement of the final declared runners for Saturday’s eagerly anticipated Group 1 showpiece.
The son of Street Cry will be one of 13 horses set to take their chance in the mile-and-a-half contest at Epsom, four of the original entries having been scratched at the 48-hour stage; Casamento, Roderic O’Connor, Genius Beast and Nathaniel. Carlton House has been drawn widest of all in stall 13 and will have to overcome the stats, as well as a major injury scare earlier this week, as no horse has won from that stall since 1967. Anyone who has placed a Derby bet on the horse will be a little concerned about the way the horse’s luck seems to be going.
Ryan Moore’s mount, (now a 9/4 favourite having been as short as 6/4 market leader at the start of the week), has been on the ‘easy list’ for the last few days after sustaining a bruised joint after galloping in fine style on the Newmarket training grounds on Sunday, and speculation had been rife that he would not be fit enough to take his chance and The Queen’s dream of winning the Derby would be gone for another year.
Carlton House is an intended runner though, and despite massively fluctuating trading on the betting exchanges that saw his odds on Thursday drift out to as big as 9/2, and the probability of possibly having to run a few yards further than those drawn closer to the inside running rail, the British sporting public and news companies around the globe will be hoping that the three-year-old can hit the headlines for all the right reasons.