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Dawn Approach: given a second entry in the Investec Derby

Dawn Approach: given a second-stage entry for the Investec Derby

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch (  

Dawn Approach heads record 17 added to Derby

DAWN APPROACH is one of three Godolphin-owned colts among a record 17 second-stage entries made for the Investec Derby, which will be run at Epsom on June 1.

The unbeaten son of New Approach was added to Britain's richest race, with a prize fund of £1.325 million, at a cost of £8,000 and is big as 12-1 with Ladbrokes in the ante-post betting.

As well as the Jim Bolger-trained Qipco 2,000 Guineas favourite, Godolphin have also added the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained pair Secret Number and Steeler.

Also adding three to the Derby was Sir Henry Cecil whose trio included Morpheus, a half-brother to Frankel.

Willie The Whipper was given a Derby quote of 50-1 by Coral after the Group 1 Criterium De Saint-Cloud runner-up was put into the mix by trainer Ann Duffield.

She said: "We're looking at the Investec Derby for Willie The Whipper. It's obviously tilting at windmills but he has got decent form - second in that French Group 1 - and we've always thought he's a very nice horse so he is entitled to have an entry.

"He's fine at the moment and will probably start off in the Chester Vase. He has strengthened up over the winter and come out of it well so we are very hopeful."

Willie The Whipper was bought by Qatar Racing Limited after his win in the Listed Silver Tankard over a mile at Pontefract in October and Duffield added: "We never got the opportunity to run him on anything over than heavy ground last year and, although he handled it well, we've always thought he would be better on better ground, but time will tell.

"He's out of a Slip Anchor mare, who won over a mile and five furlongs, so I don't think the step up to a mile and a half will be a problem."

The third and final opportunity to enter the Derby comes at the supplementary entry stage on May 27 when the fee rises to £75,000. The winner of the £50,000 Investec Derby Trial at Epsom on April 24 will receive a wild-card entry into the Derby, if not already holding an entry.

Together with the remaining yearling entries, 125 three-year-olds in total go forward.

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