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Westover to prepare for possible Derby date with Epsom spin

Westover is set for a trip to Epsom for the Cazoo Derby Gallops Morning on May 23 before hopefully taking in next month’s Classic.

Winner of the Sandown Classic Trial first time out this season, trainer Ralph Beckett decided against another prep run with the Frankel colt, who will instead enjoy a spin around the famous Epsom track.

Adayar was beaten in the Sandown race and the Lingfield Derby Trial last year before going on to Classic glory, but connections of Westover opted against turning out in last weekend’s feature as the colt would have had to carry a penalty.

“He’s a legitimate contender and he’s a one of the few horses to have won a Derby trial this year that isn’t trained in Tipperary (by Aidan O’Brien), so that is an achievement in itself!” said Barry Mahon, general manager of Ireland and European racing for owner-breeders Juddmonte.

“He’s a beautiful looking horse, by Frankel who is excelling at present and Ralph is very happy with him. If he continues to be in good form over the next week or two, we’ll take our chance in the Derby.

“Adayar ran at Sandown and went on Lingfield but because he didn’t win he didn’t have a penalty, whereas if we’d done that we would have.

“Ralph is happy and all being well, he’ll go to Epsom for the gallops morning, (what was) Breakfast With The Stars when he can have a look around the track and hopefully we’ll be on our way to Epsom.”

Mahon is confident Westover can handle a range of conditions, but would not want very testing ground.

He added: “The day he ran at Pontefract it was very soft (when beaten in a Listed race last year). On the day there was a massive thunderstorm so he didn’t like it, but good, good to soft, good to firm – anything like that will be fine.

“He’s bred to be a middle-distance three-year-old, so hopefully he keeps progressing.”

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