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Monday, 19 November, 2018

The most local of local trainers aiming for Derby-day success

Simon Dow: "It'd be amazing if he could do it"
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There are local trainers and then there is Epsom and Simon Dow, whose front door is less than half a furlong from the grandstand and the racecourse stables.

Trainers by nature want to do well at their local course, and for Dow winners on Derby day are incredibly special. In Emenem he has a chance to prove he is The Real Slim Shady.

The three-year-old runs in the Derby day-opening Investec Private Banking Handicap (2.00), which has been the plan since the horse arrived at Dow's yard.

But just what does Derby day entail for the man who could mute the television and still hear the commentary?

Explaining his proximity, Dow, 55, says: "We're a good stone's throw. It's about 100 metres." To emphasise the closeness he adds: "Even my mum could walk it."

On his Derby day routine, Dow says: "Ten years ago we used to take them from the yard to race but there are more stringent procedures in place these days so we'll work three lots and do morning stables, and then try to get Emenem across around 10am before the traffic builds up.

"We'll have a house-full of friends and owners, 30 or 35 people spending the day with us, but I'll be across to the track by 12.30pm to make sure I stay relaxed and have plenty of time to talk to Franny Norton as John Egan knows him inside out but had a bad fall the other day and Franny's never sat on him. If he wins we'll still be there come midnight – next Sunday!

"It'd be amazing if he could do it. Every trainer wants to shine in their back yard – I've had winners on Derby day in the past and it's magical, they're always days you remember. We've had this race in mind for him pretty much since we got him, he's built for this course and I've always thought Epsom's his place."

Dow added: "He's had a busy winter and he's come a long way in a short time. He thinks he owns the Downs so he's been a bit surprised in recent weeks seeing the invasion of structures and people, but if he's going to keep progressing he needs to man up and deal with it.

"Everything's gone perfectly, but he'll appreciate Tuesday, when it's all back to normal; it all just has him a bit on edge."

Every trainer wants to shine in their back yard – I've had winners on Derby day in the past and it's magical, they're always days you remember

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