448 entries for 2018 Derby

Connections of 448 yearlings have taken the opportunity to enter their horse for the 2018 Investec Derby at a cost of just £560, after the initital entries were unveiled on Wednesday for the 239th running of the premier British Classic.

Michael Tabor: Involved with no less than 58 entries for the 2018 Derby.

The 2018 Investec Derby will be worth at least £1.5 million, with the prize fund for Britain's richest race boosted from 2017.

There are two further opportunities for horses to be entered in the mile and a half Group One race – at the second entry stage in April 2018 and at the supplementary entry stage on Monday May 28 2018.

Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs Racecourse, said he was delighted with the uptake.

He commented: "We are thrilled to see such a strong and numerically high yearling entry for the 2018 Investec Derby.

"We are grateful to all owners and trainers concerned for their continuing support of the Classic which firmly remains as Britain's richest race."

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Plenty of the highest-priced yearlings sold at public auction this year feature among the entries, including both of the two 2.6million guineas sale-toppers at Tattersalls in October.

The colts are both sired by Dubawi, with the one owned by Godolphin out of Coronation Stakes heroine Fallen For You and the other owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum out of Group One winner Zee Zee Top and in training with John Gosden.

Godolphin has 34 entries in all, while Hamdan Al Maktoum is not far behind with 31 entered, including a 1.6million guineas purchase, a Frankel colt out of dual mile Classic winner Attraction, whose trainer Mark Johnston is in charge again.

The Coolmore partners of Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith are the most successful current owners in the Investec Derby, with various combinations responsible for six winners – 2001 Galileo who has gone on to sire three Investec Derby winners; 2002 High Chaparral; 2011 Pour Moi; 2012 Camelot; 2013 Ruler Of The World and 2014 Australia.

Between them, the trio have 58 entries for the 2018 renewal, including a half-brother to Pour Moi and a full-brother to this year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Found plus a 1.3million guineas son of Frankel out of dual Group One scorer Peeress.

Another major owner with a substantial number of entries is the Aga Khan, who increased his Investec Derby haul to five in 2016 with Harzand, following on from 1981 Shergar, 1986 Shahrastani, 1988 Kahyasi and 2000 Sinndar. He has 20 entries.

Three-time Investec Derby-winning owner/breeder Khalid Abdullah (1990 Quest For Fame, 1993 Commander In Chief, 2010 Workforce) goes after a fourth success with 19 entries including a colt by his champion Frankel out of 2009 Investec Oaks runner-up and six-time Group One winner Midday and a Frankel half-brother to the outstanding miler Kingman.

Qatari interests are also to the fore, with 10 entries representing Al Shaqab Racing, the operation of Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, and eight for Qatar Racing which is owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and his brothers.

The Investec Derby is the only British Classic Her Majesty The Queen is waiting for success in as an owner, though she has had a second (1953 Aureole) and third (2011 Carlton House). She is a regular visitor to Epsom Downs on Investec Derby Day and there are two Royal entries for the premier Classic of 2018 – a Dansili colt out of dual Listed winner Enticement and a Sea The Stars colt.

There are three fillies in the 2018 entries, although history suggests they have an uphill task. Only six fillies have won the Investec Derby and none since 1916.

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