Trainer David Menuisier plots Classic route for Contrapposto
Aidan O'Brien dominates 129 entries for Epsom
Trainer David Menuisier is convinced there is more to come from Contrapposto this season and has backed up his judgement by confirming the three-year-old alongside 128 others for the Investec Derby at Epsom in June.
Contrapposto chased home subsequent Champagne Stakes and Racing Post Trophy winner Rivet in the Convivial Maiden at York's Ebor festival, but struggled behind the same rival at Doncaster on his final start.
However, Menuisier, who enjoyed his best season last year, believes there were reasons for that below par performance, and said: "We were a bit disappointed with his run in the Racing Post Trophy at the end of last year but I don't think he ran up to form that day.
"The horse was slightly intimidated by other horses in his races last season, so when they came a bit close to him in the final furlong at Doncaster, he was of kind of surprised and lost ground, which you cannot do in a Group 1. I would draw a line through his run at Doncaster, as on form I think he should have finished closer."
He added: "He has done really well over the winter - he has grown a bit and strengthened up a lot. He is going really well at the moment. We will see how he progresses - he needs to prove himself in the next few months and then we will see where we go. It is all very exciting."
Aidan O'Brien dominates
Aidan O'Brien holds the strongest hand numerically and in terms of the betting. The five-time Derby winning trainer has 27 horses engaged for the £1.5 million contest, including favourite Churchill, second favourite Sir John Lavery and third favourite Capri.
The next scratching deadline for the Derby is on May 23. Andrew Cooper, head of racing and clerk of the course at Epsom, said: "It is very pleasing to see 129 horses going forward. There are no surprise defections, with strong representation from Ireland and France
"We are delighted to be staging the race with the richest prize fund ever in Britain, as the Investec Derby is worth £1.5 million at Epsom Downs on June 3."