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Rob Hornby relishing Derby chance with Westover

Rob Hornby is excited at the prospect of linking up with Westover in the Cazoo Derby following his victory in the bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown.

The son of Frankel overcame signs of greenness to hold off David Simcock’s fast-finishing Cash, with handler Ralph Beckett stating recently the strapping three-year-old will now head straight for the Epsom Classic, for which he is a best price of 25-1.

Hornby has been aboard Westover for three of his four racecourse appearances and is confident there is still plenty of improvement to be seen from the Juddmonte-owned colt.

He said: “He’s very exciting. We always thought a lot of him as a two-year-old and he did very well to win first time out being such a big horse.

“We always thought he’d improve a great deal and be a better three-year-old and to go and do that on his first run of the year, when we hadn’t really asked to many questions at home, was really good.

“There was always going to be a great deal of improvement from the run and to go and be able to win and put in a performance like that was really taking.”

Beckett provided Hornby with his first Group One win when he partnered Scope to land the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp in October and Westover could continue a blossoming partnership between the trainer and jockey at Epsom, with the pair going within a neck of victory in the 1000 Guineas through Prosperous Voyage.

Epsom Downs Spring Meeting – Epsom Downs Racecourse
Rob Hornby is excited by the prospect of linking up with Westover in the Derby (John Walton/PA)

“For myself it is really exciting and it’s great for the whole yard, there’s a real buzz about the place. The horses are running really well and hopefully it bodes well for an exciting season,” continued Hornby.

“The link up with Ralph has been really fruitful for the past three years now and I’ve always been attached with Andrew Balding since my apprenticeship. Obviously there has become a few more opportunities there this year with Oisin’s (Murphy) absence, so it will be nice to grab as many of those opportunities while I can and keep pushing forwards.”

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