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Saxon Warrior to face 11 rivals in Epsom Derby

Aidan O'Brien has shown concern for the track conditions at Epsom
Saxon Warrior Derby
2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior heads the market for the Epsom Derby. (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

A field of 12 will line up in Saturday's Group 1 Epsom Derby.

Headed by 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior, the quality field will run on a rain-affected track at Epsom Downs, but conditions are improving.

Clerk of the course Andrew Cooper said there hasn't been much rain over the last few days and the track could play better than expected in some areas.

"It’s been a dry day - there’s been the odd spit-spot of rain but nothing measurable," Cooper said.

"I think the last mile of the course is soft, whereas the first four furlongs are on the better side, and I think there is enough to call it soft, good to soft in places.

"There seem to be some sharpish showers to the south of Epsom and we’ve lived a charmed life thus far.

"I think we are going to be at risk of a shower this evening - I don’t think we are out of the woods until tomorrow, and there’s still a risk then."

On the second line of betting for the Epsom Derby is Hazapour, which hails from the same stable as 2016 winner Harzand. Trainer Dermot Weld believes his runner is a solid each-way play.

"Hazapour has an each-way chance, but I think it could be a really good renewal of the race," Weld said. "I’m happy with my fella. He’s so laid-back. I was satisfied with his work the other day, but Frankie (Dettori) was delighted."

Saxon Warrior is still has a chance to win the Triple Crown and bookmakers currently have the three-year-old as the odds-on favourite to win the Derby.

There are three runners on the second line of betting with every other runner paying over double figures.


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