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Epsom Downs

  • 14:50 Investec Derby Trial 1m 2f 18y

  • (Conditions Race) (BOBIS Race) £50,000 added 3yo 9 ran
  • Winner £31,125 2nd £9,320 3rd £4,660 4th £2,330
  • Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 2m 10.57s
  • Off time: 14:55:33

Mark Johnston-trained duo declared for Epsom Derby Trial

Last Updated: 22/04/14 12:42pm

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Mark Johnston: Saddles two promising colts in the Epsom Derby Trial

Mark Johnston: Saddles two promising colts in the Epsom Derby Trial

Mark Johnston admits he would prefer not to let his two exciting colts Hartnell and Stars Over The Sea lock horns in the Investec Derby Trial at Epsom on Wednesday.

Hartnell made huge progress towards the end of his juvenile campaign, registering impressive victories at Doncaster and Newmarket before signing off with a fine third at Group One level in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

Stars Over The Sea was also successful on a couple of occasions in 2013, but fluffed his lines on his final appearance in Listed company at Haydock.

Hartnell could potentially skip tomorrow's conditions event to run at Sandown later in the week.

Johnston said: "We also entered him (Hartnell) for the Classic Trial at Sandown, but unfortunately that race was reopened, so we didn't get a good chance to look at the entries before we had to declare for Epsom.

"We'll look again at the Sandown race and if it looks like it's going to cut up we could switch, but the odds are now that he will run at Epsom along with the other horse.

"He's the highest rated horse in the race and at the end of last season it looked as though he was going the right way.

"It's a drop down in class for him, but there are some unexposed horses in there who could potentially be better than their marks suggest.

"Although he has run his best races on softer ground, better ground doesn't worry me."

The winner of the Investec Derby Trial will be guaranteed a starting berth in the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 7.

Hartnell already holds an entry in the mile and a half Classic, but Stars Over The Sea does not.

"Stars Over The Sea very much deserves his place in the field," said Johnston.

"He flopped once at Haydock last year, which brought his progress to a halt, but he has been very well over the winter and I'm very happy with him.

"It's a shame we've got to run the two of them against each other, but it looks like that's the way things are going to work out.

"Hartnell is in the Derby and Stars Over The Sea is not. If Stars Over The Sea was to win tomorrow, he would then get a free entry into the Derby, so it would probably be more important to him to win tomorrow."

John Gosden has started the season in sensational form and saddles once-raced maiden winners Marzocco and Nonno Giulio.

Stable jockey William Buick gets the leg up on Marzocco, with Robert Havlin booked to ride Italian recruit Nonno Giulio.

The Mick Channon-trained Arantes is the only horse in the line-up who has had the benefit of a run already this season, winning at Wolverhampton before filling the runner-up spot back on turf at Leicester.

Charlie Appleby's Godolphin runner Moontime, William Haggas' Our Channel, the Andrew Balding-trained Signposted and Trip To Paris from Ed Dunlop's yard complete the nine-runner field.

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