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Epsom: A pedigree guide to the Derby runners


John Ingles examines the pedigrees of the runners in the 2023 Derby.


Australia – Could It Be Love (War Front)

The Chester Vase runner-up is the first of three entries by 2014 Derby winner Australia. Adelaide River is the first foal of his dam Could It Be Love who finished second in the Irish 1000 Guineas under an enterprising ride but never repeated that form (rated 110), including when dropped in both class and trip. Could It Be Love is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo, her American pedigree more about speed than stamina.


Frankel – Nisriyna (Intikhab)

Like their 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean, Arrest is a son of Frankel Juddmonte bought at auction rather than bred themselves. From an Aga Khan family, Arrest’s unraced dam Nisriyna has produced a variety of winners, including the smart pair Spring Loaded, a sprinter whose wins included the Portland, and Dinozzo, who was effective up to a mile and a quarter in Hong Kong. Arrest’s Chester Vase win shows he stays a mile and a half well.


Galileo – Nechita (Fastnet Rock)

Artistic Star could be one of up to two colts by 2001 Derby winner Galileo bidding to take their late sire’s record number of Derby winners to six. Like Galileo’s Oaks entry Warm Heart, Artistic Star is out of an Australian Group 1-winning sprinter by Fastnet Rock. Nechita’s other winners by Galileo include the useful filly Forbearance, winner of the Galtres Stakes and Princess Royal Stakes, so Artistic Star won’t fail for want of stamina.


Deep Impact – Rhododendron (Galileo)

The late Deep Impact won Japan’s triple crown and has sired a remarkable seven winners of his own country’s Derby. He also had the odds-on favourite at Epsom in 2018 but 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior finished only fourth to Masar. Like Saxon Warrior, Auguste Rodin is out of a Galileo mare who contested the Oaks, Rhododendron finishing second to Enable. That was her only try at a mile and a half – she later won the Prix de l’Opera and Lockinge - but Auguste Rodin should be suited by stepping up in trip from the 2000 Guineas.


Pivotal – Dusty Red (Teofilo)

Dear My Friend has a different pedigree to most of these in that he’s relying on his dam’s side for stamina rather than his sire but it’s a formula that’s worked at Epsom before as Pivotal has sired an Oaks winner Sariska. The lightly-raced Dusty Red’s other winners include fairly useful handicapper Red Force One who stays two miles although by Lethal Force. This is also the family of St Leger runner-up Berkshire Rocco and Irish Derby second Rostropovich.


Roaring Lion – Beach Bunny (High Chaparral)

Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Dubai Mile comes from the only crop of Roaring Lion who was third in the 2018 Derby on his only try at a mile and a half. His smart Irish dam Beach Bunny (rated 114) won at up to a mile and a quarter and dead-heated for second in a Group 3 contest over a mile and a half, being by 2002 Derby winner High Chaparral out of a mare by Arc winner Peintre Celebre. The 2000 Guineas showed he needs further than a mile.


Wootton Bassett – Eldacar (Verglas)

Just the second Derby runner for his sire Wootton Bassett after Royal Patronage who was second to Desert Crown in last year’s Dante but finished a long way behind the same colt at Epsom. King of Steel is a full brother to a mile winner in America but the Derby trip should be no problem if King of Steel takes after his dam Eldacar whose maiden win in France came over 15f and later won over a mile and a half.


Frankel – Anna Salai (Dubawi)

You have to go back to 1896/1900 for the last time a pair of full brothers won the Derby but more recently the half-brother pairings of Blakeney and Morston and Galileo and Sea The Stars have accomplished the feat. Military Order will be bidding to follow in the footsteps of his brother Adayar, successful two years ago; Adayar was second in the Lingfield Derby Trial beforehand but Military Order went one better, albeit on polytrack instead of turf.


Ulysses – Dilmun (War Front)

Passenger has been supplemented after dead-heating for third in the Dante on his second start which gives him one start fewer before Epsom than his sire Ulysses. He finished down the field at 8/1 in 2016 but proved himself over a mile and a half by winning the Gordon Stakes on his next outing. Dam Dilmun won a mile maiden at Dundalk but Passenger’s grandam Pachattack was a smart winner at up to a mile and a half.


Dubawi – Rain Goddess (Galileo)

Dubawi sired last year’s St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov but he’s yet to get an Epsom classic winner. San Antonio’s smart dam Rain Goddess (rated 112) was second in the Irish Oaks, though like Auguste Rodin’s dam that was her only attempt at a mile and a half. The grandam of Rain Goddess was 1000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters and more remotely it’s the family of 1998 Derby winner High-Rise as well as that of Dubawi himself.


Churchill – Lahaleeb (Redback)

2000 Guineas winner Churchill never tackled a mile and a half but he did finish second in the Juddmonte International and he’s the sire of last year’s Arc runner-up Vadeni from his first crop. Sprewell is already the best of his dam’s foals who, encouragingly, include three winners at around a mile and a half. Lahaleeb herself was a very smart filly (rated 121) and winner of the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor Stakes in Canada over a mile and a quarter.


Churchill – Tanaghum (Darshaan)

Also by Churchill, Dante winner The Foxes bids to better the effort of smart close relative Bangkok (by Australia) who ruined his Derby chances in 2019 by pulling too hard. The Foxes becomes the seventh foal of his useful dam Tanaghum to earn a Timeform rating in excess of 100. They include his full sister Perotan, a listed winner at Down Royal last year over a mile and three quarters, and the very smart all-weather/dirt performer Matterhorn.


Australia – London Plane (Danehill Dancer)

By a Derby winner, and out of a Danehill Dancer mare like the 2020 winner Serpentine. Waipiro’s dam London Plane remained a maiden in both Ireland and France but she has bred a high-class miler in Hong Kong, Waikuku. Waipiro has already proved himself over a mile and a half by finishing second in the Lingfield Derby Trial and his useful half-brother It’s Good To Laugh stays further still.


Ulysses – Diagnostic (Dutch Art)

Runner-up White Birch was Ulysses’ other colt placed in the Dante where he put in his best work at the finish, and there’s further encouragement for him getting the Derby trip from his lightly-raced full brother Anatomic who ran his best race over 11f, the furthest distance he tackled. Their useful dam Diagnostic (by Dutch Art, also the sire of 2000 Guineas winner Chaldean’s dam) was altogether speedier and raced only at six/seven furlongs.



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1st Nicola Currie silk 6. STYLE OF LIFE (IRE) 12/113
2nd Oisin Murphy silk nk 9. ISLAND NATIVE (IRE) 7/24.5
3rd Hector Crouch silk 2 3. VOLTAIC 10/34.33f
All 13 ran.


1st Dylan Hogan silk 12. SOMEONE'S WISH (IRE) 13/27.5
2nd Jack Mitchell silk ½ 6. CAPTAIN ST LUCIFER 11/26.5
3rd Oisin Murphy silk nk 4. CASA LUNA (IRE) 4/15cf
J: Dylan Hogan  
11 ran. NRs: 1  3 


1st Cam Hardie silk 6. CHINESE WHISPERER (FR) 7/24.5
2nd Lewis Edmunds silk ns 10. CARAMAY 10/111
3rd Jack Mitchell silk 7. MYSTERIOUS MAESTRO (IRE) 5/16
J: Cam Hardie  
12 ran. NRs: 8 


1st Callum Shepherd silk 10. LIOSA (IRE) 10/111
2nd Neil Callan silk nk 5. ALFRED COVE 25/126
3rd Oisin Murphy silk sh 2. UNDER CURFEW 7/24.5
11 ran. NRs: 12  7 


1st Hayley Turner silk 11. REWILDING 15/28.5
2nd Liam Wright silk ns 6. SUANNI 10/34.33jf
3rd Charlie Bennett silk 1. CORONATION COTTAGE 12/113
10 ran. NRs: 4 


1st Jack Mitchell silk 11. PEN PORTRAIT (IRE) 6/42.5
2nd Robert Havlin silk ¾ 5. CITY HOUSE (IRE) 9/110
3rd Oisin Murphy silk ½ 1. NEZEEH (IRE) 11/82.37f
11 ran. NRs: 12  13 


1st Mr A. P. Ryan silk 2. FLEUR IN THE PARK (IRE) 13/82.62f
2nd Mr J. C. Barry silk 6. PROVE YOURSELF (IRE) 9/25.5
3rd Mr Finian Maguire silk ½ 4. ON THE STEEL (IRE) 15/28.5
J: Mr A. P. Ryan (7)  
8 ran. NRs: 5  8 


1st Saffie Osborne silk 3. VALKYRIAN (IRE) 12/113
2nd George Wood silk 3 11. ASTRONOMICA 5/23.5f
3rd Shane Kelly silk nk 4. ASTRAL SPIRIT 12/113
All 14 ran.


1st Jack Mitchell silk 9. TROPICAL AIR (IRE) 11/43.75
2nd Kevin Stott silk nk 1. BULLDOG DRUMMOND 7/18
3rd Oisin Murphy silk 2. KANDY HOUSE (IRE) 6/17
All 10 ran.
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