News flashes: new Derby sponsor, Sir Dragonet joins Randwick clash, Battaash Royal Ascot doubt and more …

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Horse Racing Cazoo Derby sponsorship promo
Cazoo has agreed a multi-year agreement to sponsor the Derby. Photo: The Jockey Club/

GB Cazoo is new Derby sponsor

Online car retailer Cazoo has been unveiled as the new sponsor of the Derby and will also sponsor the Oaks plus six other races over the two-day Derby Festival at Epsom on June 4-5. The company replaces Investec, whose 12-year association with Britain’s richest horse race ended after last year’s running.

Cazoo, which is making its first foray into horse racing, sponsors Aston Villa and Everton plus the English Football League, The Hundred in cricket, the 2021 Rugby League World Cup and various snooker tournaments. In a “multi-year” deal the company has also secured year-round exposure on the Jockey Club’s 15 racecourses.

Jockey Club chief executive Nevin Truesdale said: “Cazoo is a highly ambitious and successful growth brand that matches our ambitions for the future of the world’s most famous Flat race. You cannot overstate the importance of the Cazoo Derby to our sport globally and it’s vital we work with a partner passionate about bringing that to life in the years ahead.”

• Read more on the Jockey Club website

Australia Sir Dragonet back in Queen Elizabeth hunt

“It’s game on,” exclaimed jockey Glen Boss after Sir Dragonet came back to form to land the G1 Tancred Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday [April 3] to earn another crack at Verry Elleegant and Addeybb in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, A$4m highlight of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday week.

Now trained by the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace partnership, the former Ballydoyle five-year-old became only the seventh horse to pull off the Cox Plate-Tancred double, joining a list that includes the likes of Kingston Town, Makybe Diva, Octagonal, Might And Power and Bonecrusher.

Looking ahead to the Queen Elizabeth, Maher said: “It’ll be a good race, let’s put it that way – on his day, depending on conditions. I’m not saying he can’t beat them. The more racing, the deeper into a prep, the better he is.”

• Read more at and the Ciaron Maher website

Horse Racing Sir Dragonet
Sir Dragonet: has earned another crack at Verry Elleegant and Addeybb after Tancred win. Photo: Racing and Sports/Steve Hart

GB Battaash suffers setback

Europe’s top sprinter Battaash is in danger of missing Royal Ascot after suffering an injury over the winter at Shadwell Stud. The seven-year-old sustained a small fracture in a joint and, though cantering again, he has not yet returned to training with Charlie Hills.

“He’ll be a month later going into training than normal, but Sheikh Hamdan did say to try him again as long as he was sound,” said racing manager Angus Gold, quoted by At The Races. “Because he is going back in later than normal, it’s not guaranteed he’ll get to Royal Ascot.”

• Read more on the At The Races website

Horse Racing Battaash Goodwood King George
Battaash: seasonal comeback may be delayed after a setback. Photo: Racenews

USA Straightforward for Gamine

On her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Gamine enjoyed little more than an exercise gallop in landing the G3 Las Flores Stakes by five lengths at odds of 1-20 at Santa Anita.

The partial lifting of lockdown rules allowed a limited number of spectators onto the grounds to see the filly win for the fifth time in seven starts.

“They saw one of the greatest fillies I’ve ever trained going one turn,” said trainer Bob Baffert. “Hopefully, we’ll stretch her out.”

• Read more at the Santa Anita website

Australia Arcadia Queen vacates throne

Star Australian mare Arcadia Queen has been retired as a result of a tendon injury while being prepared for the Championships in Sydney. “I’ve made the decision on her career, I don’t think she’ll be ever racing again,” owner Bob Peters told TAB Radio.

Under trainers Grant and Alanna Williams the five-year-old won the G1 Caulfield and Mackinnon Stakes last year, either side of a fifth in the Cox Plate. She won eight of her 16 starts and nearly A$4 million (£2.2m) in prize-money.

• Read more at the Racing and Wagering Western Australia website

GB Winning start for Sean Woods

The first runner sent out in Britain by Sean Woods in 20 years came back a winner when newcomer General Panic, bred by his family’s Brook Stud, won a novice race at Southwell on Sunday [April 4]. Woods trained over 250 winners in his first stint in Britain before he moved to Hong Kong in 2002 where he stayed for 16 years.

• Read more at the Racing Post website

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