Beckett has no concerns over running Artistic Star in the Epsom Derby
Trainer Ralph Beckett has no concerns over Artistic Star after giving the unbeaten colt the green light to run in Saturday’s Derby at Epsom after just two runs
- Artistic Star has run twice, at Nottingham in October and Sandown this month
- Ralph Beckett could have saved son of Galileo, who will be ridden Rob Hornby
- Beckett saddled Westover who finished third last year and won the Irish Derby
Ralph Beckett does not feel inexperience will be an issue for Artistic Star after giving the only unbeaten contender left in Saturday’s Betfred Derby the green light to run at Epsom.
Artistic Star has only run twice, winning a maiden at Nottingham in October and a novice event at Sandown earlier this month.
Beckett could have saved the son of Galileo, who will be ridden Rob Hornby, for Royal Ascot but the trainer also been influenced by the competitive spirit of owner Jeff Smith.
Smith’s best Derby finish was Norse Dancer’s fourth in the 2003 showpiece won by Kris Kin.
But that horse would later finish second at 50-1 in the 2005 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the same odds as Smith’s Arabian Queen when she landed the Juddmonte International Stakes at York in 2015.
Artistic Star (right) has only run at Nottingham in October and Sandown earlier this month
Beckett, who saddled last year’s unlucky Derby third Westover who went on to win the Irish Derby, said: ‘Last year’s winner (Desert Crown) was only having his third run and when we won the (2008) Oaks with Look Here it was only her third start. Artistic Star is a very different shape to Westover but that is not a negative in any sense.
‘For us it has always been about whether the horses are balanced enough to handle Epsom and we think he is. He has also been a quick learner.
‘The combination of the two means the track is unlikely to hold any fears for him. It is just a question of whether he is good enough. We think he has improved for the Sandown run.
‘If you train for Jeff you are encouraged to have a go. We all remember when that paid off with Arabian Queen. Hopefully, it will pay off for him on Saturday.’
Sixteen possibles are left in the race after Monday’s penultimate declaration stage with Charlie Appleby’s Lingfield Derby Trial winner Military Order and Aidan O’Brien’s 2,000 Guineas disappointment Auguste Rodin the 3-1 joint favourites.
As expected, the unlucky Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dante Stakes third Passenger has been added to the line-up at a cost of £85,000. Passenger is the 9-2 second favourite.
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