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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Gosden on cloud nine after Sevenna Star provides him with another success

Sevenna Star (green cap) knuckles down to deny Ispolini
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There was no repeat of the 14-length romp he completed at Windsor, but Sevenna Star kept himself on John Gosden's long list for the Investec Derby with a victory that had more grit than style.

The colt, who had made all the running 11 days earlier, secured his trainer's second Derby trial of the week, this time coming from behind to nail Godolphin's Ispolini on the line by a short head, with Hunting Horn snatching third.

And that was plenty good enough to keep Sevenna Star, running in the colours of Hurricane Run – who won the Irish Derby, Arc and King George for Gestut Ammerland – on a course towards the Epsom Classic, for which he was cut to 16-1 (from 25) by William Hill but can still be backed at 25-1.

Gosden saddled Crossed Baton to win Epsom's only recognised Derby trial on Wednesday and was capturing Sandown's equivalent for the ninth time.


Watch Sevenna Star's win


"He's a big horse so is still learning a lot," said Gosden. "He didn't really see anything round Windsor last time. He did a piece of work round there.

"That was a good race - the second, third and fourth are smart horses. It was a quality trial and you needed to see out the mile and a quarter in these conditions.

"Frankie [Dettori] said he was a little dreamy early on, learning about the game, and he was only just getting the hang of it in the last part. He could go for another trial, with the Dante an option."

None of Gosden's previous Classic Trial winners followed up in the Derby, although Benny The Dip, beaten at Sandown in 1997, did go on to strike at Epsom.

Dettori, riding Sevenna Star for the first time, offered hope.

"It took a furlong and a half to get him in top gear and it's the first time he's had a proper race," he said. "Ultimately you'll see his very best at a mile a half. He'll get better as the season progresses."

Ispolini was collared only in the last strides and Alex Merriam, assistant to trainer Charlie Appleby, said: "We're happy with Ispolini and he'll come on for that.

"We see him as a middle-distance horse and it looked as if he was coming back at the winner close home. We like him."


Derby entries


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He could go for another trial, with the Dante an option. It was not a weak race at all
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