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Telescope: faces a race against time to be fit for the Derby next month

Telescope: faces a race against time to be fit for the Derby next month

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham (  

Derby focus falls on Telescope

TELESCOPE will attempt to get his Investec Derby bid back on track when Britain's leading hope for the Classic gallops at Newmarket on Sunday.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt, who is a best-priced 8-1 for the Derby, has not been seen since winning a mile maiden in September having been forced to miss the Dante Stakes at York after he grazed his legs in a horsebox.

Stoute is said to have been pleased with Telescope at home since and if the horse comes through his gallop on the Limekilns he is expected to be sent for a racecourse gallop in the next week.

Joseph O'Brien has given his strongest hint yet that he will remain loyal to Battle Of Marengo at Epsom on June 1.

Battle Of Marengo won the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown, and while the victory was not overly impressive, the Galileo colt beat Group 1 winner Loch Garman.

Since then his trainer Aidan O'Brien has dominated the Derby trials, winning them all bar the Dante.

O'Brien junior said: "We're very lucky with some nice colts and a couple of them won nicely, albeit in below-average trials you could say.

"Battle Of Marengo is a tough horse, he keeps winning and gets the job done. He might not be very stylish but he's tough and he stays.

"Nevis won well in Lingfield and Ruler Of The World and Magician in Chester, so we have a couple of nice horses to go to war with."

Asked what horse he is likely to ride, O'Brien told Channel 4 Racing: "Strictly on form you can't get away from Battle Of Marengo. He beat a Group 1 winner in his trial and beat him nicely by a couple of lengths without having a hard race."

O'Brien continued: "In all the other trials I think you would go a long way to find a Group One winner other than the couple of winners of them.

"He's tough, he's genuine and he's had plenty of racing and at the moment he looks one of the principals."

Listen to Joseph O'Brien talk by clicking here

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