News flashes: Bolshoi Ballet new Epsom favourite, Explosive Jack claims Derby treble and more …

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Horse Racing Aidan O'Brien trainer of Bolshoi Ballet Derby favourite
Aidan O’Brien: has another strong hand in the Derby after Bolshoi Ballet claimed favouritism. Photo: Coolmore

Ireland Bolshoi Ballet new Derby favourite

After a series of inconclusive trials in Britain, the Derby gained a new favourite when Bolshoi Ballet was a resounding winner of the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The Aidan O’Brien trained-colt displaced stablemate High Definition at the head of the market for the Epsom Classic with a six-length victory under Ryan Moore, completing a Ballysax-Derrinstown double previously secured by Derby winners Galileo and High Chaparral.

“We’ve always loved him and thought a lot of him,” O’Brien told the Racing Post. “We couldn’t have asked for any more from him.”

Cazoo Derby betting (Ladbrokes): 7-4 Bolshoi Ballet, 9-2 High Definition, 5 Mahaafteh, 8 Third Realm, Van Gogh, 10 Mac Swiney, 14 Sir Lamorak, Wordsworth, 16 Hurricane Lane, 20 bar.

• Read more on the Racing Post website

GB Green light for return of spectators

Racing behind closed doors is set to end in Britain from May 17 after the government confirmed it would move to the next phase of its roadmap out of lockdown. Up to 4,000 spectators will be allowed to attend race meetings with owners allowed into parade rings. It is hoped tracks will be able to fully reopen with a further easing of restrictions scheduled from June 21.

• Read more at the British Horseracing Authority website

Australia Explosive Jack wins third Derby

Explosive Jack became the first horse in 44 years to win three Derbys in a season – and he could chase a fourth in the wake of his victory in the South Australian Derby in Adelaide.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt added the G1 event at Morphettville to wins in the Tasmanian and Australian Derbys. He provided jockey Johnny Allen with his fourth success in the race in six years.

Maher and Eustace said they would see how well Explosive Jack recovers from his latest race before making a decision on him contesting the Queensland Derby on May 29 at Eagle Farm, for which he has been installed favourite.

• Read more at the Racing South Australia website

USA Knicks Go to return at Lone Star

Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go, who has not run since finishing fourth in the Saudi Cup, could return to action at the end of May with trainer Brad Cox considering the G3 Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park.

Since finishing 8½ lengths behind Mishriff in Riyadh in February, the five-year-old has been training at Churchill Downs under the eye of trainer Brad Cox. Cox favours Lone Star because he believes Knicks Go is better around two turns.

• Read more at the Bloodhorse website

Horse Racing Knicks Go Pegasus World Cup
Knicks Go: Pegasus World Cup winner could reappear at Lone Star Park in Texas. Photo: Gulfstream Park

GB Saliva test launched to screen jockeys for cocaine

A programme of saliva testing is under way to screen jockeys for above-threshold levels of cocaine or other banned substances.

Under the two-month pilot scheme, launched by the British Horseracing Authority, on-the-day oral swabs are being taken from jockeys at race meetings with any riders who do not test negative being stood down for the day.

• Read more at the BBC website

USA France Go De Ina arrives for Preakness

Japanese challenger France Go De Ina has arrived at Pimlico in Baltimore, where on Saturday he will become the second horse saddled by trainer Hideyuki Mori to start a US Triple Crown race.

Sky Captain, who finished 14th in the 1995 Kentucky Derby, was the first of six horses that Mori has brought to the US to compete in Grade 1 stakes. France Go De Ina, who most recently finished sixth in the UAE Derby, is due to be ridden by Joel Rosario.

• Read more at the Pimlico website

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