Injury scare leaves second-favourite Zawraq’s Derby plans in the balance

Biggest market mover of the week Giovanni Canaletto is now the shortest priced of Aidan O’Brien’s three likely starters in Saturday’s big race

Giovanni Canaletto, just edged out by Curvy in the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh on May 24th, is the big mover in the Derby market this week. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Giovanni Canaletto, just edged out by Curvy in the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh on May 24th, is the big mover in the Derby market this week. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

 

Dermot Weld believes he will know by final declaration time tomorrow if Zawraq is able to take his chance in Saturday’s Investec Epsom Derby after the colt’s late injury scare.

The longtime Derby second-favourite was slightly lame after a workout yesterday, but scans and X-rays to his leg showed up nothing and Weld hopes Zawraq just knocked himself and will be able to line up in the Epsom blue-riband.

“Hopefully it is just bruising. He worked six furlongs under Pat Smullen and seemed 100 per cent afterwards, but when he cooled out he was slightly lame in front,” the Curragh trainer said.

“We took scans and x-rays and everything’s clean and good on that score. The scans and x-rays are all negative. So we’ll see. We will play it by ear over the next 48 hours and after 48 hours we should know, up or down, if he’s OK to run.”

Slight setback

“Hopefully he’s just given himself a bang, but we will obviously know more over the next 36 hours or so. It was his final piece of work, so he’s done everything he needs to do and is a fit horse,” Gold said.

Initial bookmaker reaction was to ease Zawraq slightly in ante-post betting lists, but the big mover in the Derby market was Giovanni Canaletto who is now the shortest of Aidan O’Brien’s three likely starters in Saturday’s big race.

The brother to the 2013 Derby hero Ruler Of The World returned to action just 10 days ago when edged out by Curvy in the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh.

“We had planned he would go to Chester but we didn’t get him there in time. He seems to be in very good form,” O’Brien reported.

“Obviously it’s a little quicker than ideal, but he seems to have come out of the race in good form. We were very happy, our horse finished very well. Maybe the line just came a shade too early but our horse ran a great race,” he added.

Giovanni Canaletto dropped to 8-1 with Paddy Power, whose spokesman said: “Giovanni is the plunge of the week and was into 10-1 even before the Zawraq news broke. It’s a little surprising given he rather fluffed his line in the Gallinule. But I suppose punters are willing to forgive as it was his first start for over half a year.”

Positive updates

“He was always likely to run at Epsom after his Derrinstown performance and the closer it got, the more certain he was,” said trainer Ken Condon. “Any rain that falls will help us but you can trust Epsom, even in a dry summer, to produce beautiful ground.”

Frankie Dettori will try and win a second Derby on the favourite Golden Horse, but the Italian is taking nothing for granted with Ballydoyle’s three-pronged challenge.

“Their forte is that they are all good stayers, so I’m sure they’re going to make a race of it,” he said. “The Chester Vase winner [Hans Holbein] looked a good stayer. You can never dismiss Aidan O’Brien; he’s a master and whatever he runs you have to respect.”

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