Newmarket handler Martyn Meade is hopeful that Investec Derby hope Eminent can run a mighty race in the Epsom Classic on June 3 as he steps up in distance to 12 furlongs following a sixth-placed effort in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month.
The son of Frankel had previously won the Craven Stakes over course and distance at HQ but found the slow gallop in the first British Classic of the season not to his liking as he struggled to get involved at the finish.
Meade was sure that a mile would be the minimum distance for his charge and after working nicely at the Breakfast With The Stars event at Epsom Downs racecourse last Tuesday, in which he seemed to handle the conditions impressively, he is now a general 8/1 shot for the iconic Classic event.
Eminent lags behind Investec Derby Trial winner Cracksman and Chester’s Dee Stakes victor Cliffs Of Moher in the betting for the 12 furlongs Group One, but Meade believes his charge will excel over the longer distance and has a real chance of going close to winning the famous event.
The Newmarket handler said:
This was the first time that the horse has ever been away from Newmarket. He stayed overnight to get used to a different environment, though he will travel on the day for the Derby. I also wanted to see how he would act around this track but I have always had the feeling that he would do well here.
The mile and a half trip is what we have been waiting for with him. He won the Craven and then went to the Guineas which did not work out well. Maybe it came too soon after the Craven. I think 12 furlongs is his distance. I am very nervous. It is just a wonderful privilege to have a horse capable of running in the Derby.