Foundations laid for tilt at French derby

The Grey Gatsby and trainer Kevin Ryan won the French Derby in 2014.
The Grey Gatsby and trainer Kevin Ryan won the French Derby in 2014.
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All roads lead to the French Derby for Foundation after his solid effort at York on Thursday.

The John Gosden-trained colt ran a fine race in the Dante Stakes, finishing third behind stablemate Wings Of Desire after being hampered when the field turned into the home straight, but Chantilly rather than Epsom is his intended destination.

Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, said: “He ran a great race.

“Unfortunately, William (Buick) wasn’t able to extricate himself when he needed to, but he ran very well and was only beaten a length and three-quarters by the winner.

“William felt we should stick to a mile and a quarter, for the time being, and the French Derby looks a very good target for him.

“It will be very exciting for everyone involved to have a runner in the French Derby – I don’t think Highclere have ever had a runner in the race before – so we’ll certainly look forward to that.”

The French Derby, won by the Kevin Ryan-trained The Grey Gatsby for Yorkshire in 2014, takes place on June 5 a day after Epsom’s showpiece race.

Unlike Epsom’s race which is run over a mile and a half, the Prix du Jockey Club is staged over a shorter 10 furlongs – the same distance as the Dante.