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West Wind Blows has the class, but experience a worry

A lack of experience is the main worry for Simon Crisford when it comes to his Cazoo Derby contender West Wind Blows.

The Teofilo colt only made his debut in December, winning a 10-furlong novice event at Wolverhampton, and reappeared at Nottingham earlier this month, defying a penalty by five lengths to stay unbeaten.

He was one of a number of Epsom hopes who went through their paces at the track’s Cazoo Gallops Morning on Monday, after which Crisford – who trains together with his son, Ed – said: “The horse is short on experience.

“The intention was to run him at Newbury (in April) then come back for the Lingfield Derby Trial. He got loose at the start at Newbury so we couldn’t run him there and we had to come up with a different plan.

“The plan then was to go into a novice with his penalty and he won that with quite some authority. He is very unexposed and we don’t know how good he is, but we will find out on Saturday week.

“He is short on experience and you would have loved for him to have had a bit more match practice going into a race like this. He can get himself a little bit tense but the idea of coming today was to give him more experience.

“He has been a slow developer and learner, but he is just coming to himself and his work there was very pleasing. He came down the hill on the right leg and switched leads. He quickened up nicely along the straight.

“The hardest bit was pulling him up, as you can see. He has got an outstanding pedigree, a Classic pedigree and he will stay the mile and a half without any question.”

Simon Crisford (right) with son Ed at Epsom
Simon Crisford (right) with son Ed at Epsom (John Walton/PA)

Crisford – who knows all about winning the Derby from his time with the Godolphin operation – added: “He will wear a hood and we will keep him as relaxed and switched off as possible. Coming here today was a key moment. He has taken that very well and he is developing the whole time.

“He is a colt that has lots of potential for the future. He wouldn’t need to lead but we will see how the race unfolds. There is bound to be plenty of pace in there. The horse is bred for a mile and a half plus.

“Over a mile and a half that is when he will come into his own. It is always a fascinating race. I think you will have to stay well and you can’t turn up with a mile and a quarter horse.

“I am excited about this horse, but I just wish we could have got a couple more races under our belt.

“If we can keep the lid on him and stop him getting too excited in the prelims, I think he will run a good race.”

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