Epsom Derby weekend has been and gone and we sit in the lull before the storm that is Royal Ascot. With only a handful of runners at Epsom and LEGENDARY LUNCH taking the honours on the first day in the Woodcote Stakes, it was time for HUMPHREY BOGART to take his place in the Derby field in the capable hands of Sean Levey.
The crowd roared as the gates opened and HUMPHREY BOGART was settled towards the rear of the field amongst the runners at the top of the market. They went a nice pace all the way to the top of Tattenham Corner upon where Sean gradually wound him up. The son of Tagula began to make a sweeping run on the field and looked at one point as if he was going to make a real race of it. He kept on nicely up the straight and after the eventual second came round him he ran gamely all the way to the line, to finish a solid fifth. 'I couldn't have been prouder of him. He let down really well and at one point I thought here we go. He is a tough, genuine horse who try's his heart out. He has given Chelsea Thoroughbreds so much fun so far and he will continue to do so into the future. He is paid up in the Irish Derby and I think that's were we will head next. He has given the whole team a huge thrill'
On Monday at Windsor and Brighton, two horses won convincingly to continue the solid run of form from Richard Hannon. PAPA LUIGI took the race at Windsor under apprentice Tom Marquand. 'He has really progressed this season and looks one who will continue to as we go along. He is in tonight at Kempton and I can see him winning again under a six pound penalty. BAY OF ST MALO was our other winner on the day and let down nicely. She looks to have found her mark and hopefully she doesn't get put up too much. She appears to run better when she is slightly closer to the pace. She can have a few weeks before running again.'
Today's runners all look to have nice chances. NATIONS ALEXANDER a daughter of Dark Angel ran a nice second on debut. 'She has progressed nicely from her first run and should run another good race again. The horse of Rogers, if ready, should be the one to beat. GEORGE WILLIAM is our other runner at Haydock and appears well after his last start. He has done well having been gelded and ran very well in a competitive handicap last time. He should be right there again.'
Kempton this evening Richard has four runners all with nice chances. 'BIGGER AND BETTER is a big boy who has taken plenty of time to come to himself. He should improve plenty from when he won at Bath. He keeps learning every time. He should run well again. WINTER ROSE ran well on her seasonal reappearance. She had a good blow and should be much straighter here today. PAPA LUIGI as I mentioned didn't have to do much at Windsor and should be hard to beat again.'