Part of the reason may be that all his three races to date have been in France, but his form stacks up well given he was not beaten far in the Group Two Prix Greffulhe last time out.
Andre Fabre used the Saint-Cloud race as a stepping stone to Epsom glory with Pour Moi in 2011 and when Menuisier’s Lionel won the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood last week, he stated he did not regret taking that colt out of the Derby because he had the winner at home.
“I had my tongue in cheek when I said I had the Derby winner at home, but he’s not a 66-1 shot, that’s all I know,” said the Pulborough handler. “If he handles the track he will run a big race.
“His fractions in his last race were exceedingly fast if you look at the statistics of the race. He covered the last three furlongs in 34.71 (seconds), which is very fast for a big horse like him.
“He’s a bit like Lionel in that he wants pace in his race and he was beaten by the slow early pace. He’s a very decent horse.
“I won’t be going there with my head down, I promise that. The Greffulhe was a good race, we finished next to the filly who was talked of as being very good (Agave) and he ran green as well.
“That day he showed me two things, that he needs pace and he wants a mile and a half – to me there’s only one race that springs to mind and that is why we are doing it.”
🇬🇧 Update from Charlie Appleby!— Godolphin (@godolphin) May 25, 2022
🗣️ Nations Pride has impressed in his work at Moulton Paddocks this morning with William Buick on board. A decision will be made in the next 48 hours whether he will be supplemented for the G1 Derby @EpsomRacecourse 💪 pic.twitter.com/Fl0UXqUfUG
Sir Bob Parker was nibbled at in the Derby betting on Wednesday with bet365 cutting him from 66-1 into 40s while Sky Bet are as low as 33s.
Godolphin’s Nations Pride who came through a workout on Wednesday morning and a decision on whether to supplement him will be made in the next 48 hours.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said on Godolphin’s Twitter account: “Nations Pride has impressed in his work at Moulton Paddocks this morning with William Buick on board. A decision will be made in the next 48 hours whether he will be supplemented for the G1 Derby @EpsomRacecourse.”
Meanwhile, Royal Patronage will carry the hopes of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing after connections ruled out running the promising Lysander at Epsom.
Having finished second to Derby favourite Desert Crown in the Dante Stakes at York a fortnight ago, Mark and Charlie Johnston have given Royal Patronage the green light to take his chance in the premier Classic.
Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert has since made no secret of the regard in which the William Haggas-trained Lysander is held and hoped he too might book his ticket for Epsom with victory in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood.
But having come up narrowly short on the Sussex Downs – beaten three-quarters of a length into third – his sights have now been turned towards Royal Ascot.
Herbert said: “We had high hopes for Lysander and we still do, it was just very frustrating when the rain arrived at Goodwood.
“I think this horse has such a good action and he was slightly all at sea off that slow pace when they really quickened it up, but he still ran a hell of a race.
“We’re not going to the Derby with him now and will head to either the Hampton Court or the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
“He had a hard race the other day in sticky ground and William just feels going to Epsom would be the wrong move for the horse right now.
“He’s very talented and we never like turning down the Derby, but we’ll take a longer term view.”
Despite being beaten just over three lengths by 9-4 Epsom favourite Desert Crown at York, Royal Patronage is a general 25-1 shot.
Herbert is not necessarily expecting the Highclere runner to reverse that form, but does feel he has been underestimated in the market.
He added: “He’ll definitely run there, all being well. I spoke to Charlie Johnston on Tuesday morning and he tells me he’s in very good form.
“He won impressively at Epsom last year, so he’s handled the track pretty well and we’re hopeful that he’ll stay the mile and a half. If he does, he could give everyone a lovely shout.
“We feel the rhythm of the Dante possibly didn’t suit him as they went slow and then really sprinted, but take nothing away from the winner, who won well and deserves to be Derby favourite.
“It’s a difficult race and anything can happen, as we’ve seen so many times before.
“I think we’re probably too big a price for a talented horse who is proven on the track.”
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