Andrea Atzeni picks up ride aboard Highland Chief in Investec Derby

Sun 28 Jun 2020

Andrea Atzeni has been booked to partner lively outsider Highland Chief in the Investec Derby on Saturday.

The Gleneagles colt was having just the fourth run of his life in the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot, but came from almost last to first in the straight.

He was ridden by Rossa Ryan on that occasion, providing the jockey with a first Royal Ascot winner and also creating a piece of history as the first horse trained under a joint licence – Paul and Oliver Cole – to win at the meeting.

Paul Cole won the Derby in 1991 with Generous, the same year in which he was champion trainer, but now the responsibility is shared with his son, who told Racing TV’s Luck On Sunday: “We’ve got Andrea Atzeni, he’s taken the ride.

“Obviously Rossa is a very good jockey, but on the big occasion like this, you really need someone who has the experience and Andrea has an amazing record at Epsom.

“Having him on board is a real bonus as no one will give an inch and Andrea seems to scrape through everywhere on everything.”

Epsom clerk of the course Andrew Cooper is delighted with the current condition of the track and described the ground as “perfect”.

He said: “It’s perfect. We’ll be giving our first going report ahead of the meeting as good later this morning.

“We had about five millimetres of rain yesterday, it has been breezy with sunny spells since then.

“I don’t think we’ve got any extremes of anything this week – temperatures in the low 20s which is good and no discernible rain, so we’re on top of things conditions-wise.

“If it was dry completely we might need to put a couple of millimetres on from midweek, but we’re really happy with where we are.”

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