Saxon Warrior headlines Derby possibles for Aidan O'Brien after latest forfeits

Thu 8 Mar 2018

Ante-post favourite Saxon Warrior is one of the key names in the 131 horses to stand their ground following the first scratchings stage for the Investec Derby at Epsom on June 2.

One of 26 remaining entries for Aidan O'Brien, Saxon Warrior won the Racing Post Trophy on his final start of 2017 and he could be joined by stablemate and second-favourite The Pentagon in the mile-and-a-half Classic as the Ballydoyle trainer shoots for a seventh win in the race.

Doncaster runner-up Roaring Lion is among John Gosden's 11 entries, while Godolphin trainers Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor have 16 contenders between them, headed by the Appleby-trained Ghaiyyath. 

Elarqam created quite an impression in winning both of his outings for Mark Johnston last year and is one of four for the Middleham handler, with Roger Varian boasting the same number of contenders, including Willie John, who was bought out of William Haggas' yard for 1.9 million guineas at Tattersalls in February.

Harry Dunlop is hoping Knight To Behold can secure his place in the Classic line-up with victory in a trial event after winning one of his two starts last term.

He said: "We are aiming to start him off in a Derby trial of some description, with a view to going to Epsom if he proves good enough.

"We have said that the bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown Park (April 27) could be a good place to start, although nothing is set in stone yet.

"He will be entered in a few trials and we will see how he is closer to the time."

The remaining French acceptors are Freddy Head's Near Gold and the Pascal Bary-trained Study Of Man, with the next deadline on May 22.

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