Ed Dunlop is looking forward to the Kazoo Derby with John Leeper following an impressive racecourse gallop on Monday at Epsom.
The three-year-old has earned himself a place at the premier Classic with spring wins at New market and Newcastle.
With only three career tournaments under his belt, Ed Dunlop was eager to give his charge a feel for the display of Epsom before the derby day and was glad about what he saw, and using racing free bets, he might get even more excited.
Ed Dunlop said his team will not do too much whether the ground is nice or not, as he only ran the weekend before last. He stressed it was about bringing him to get a bit more experience with Adam Kirby on him. He admitted the ground was soft, almost heavy, but he looked to enjoy himself at the end.
He said: “Hopefully everything will be OK and we will be back here on the first Saturday in June. He is an inexperienced horse, but what I was pleased to see today was that he has been very relaxed doing the whole thing.
“He is not a baby, but everything was new to him today. I was thrilled with the way he behaved and he wasn’t keen on going down the hill, which was good as they were only going slowly.
“He has got to step up markedly to be competitive in the Derby, which at the moment the Irish look like they have a stranglehold on. We will just keep him fit, healthy and sound leading up to the race and the rest will be up to the Gods.”
Considering the exciting colt is named after John Dunlop, there are possibly to be a lot of tears in the winner’s enclosure should he win the Derby gold on Saturday.
Dunlop said it is probably one of the more interesting stories of the race.
“Having a horse named after my father is very exciting, and it creates a little bit of pressure for everyone, but at the moment the horse has no idea there is any pressure on him, so hopefully we can enjoy it.
“Of course it is quite emotional and it would be a great day if he could go on and win the Derby” He added.
Adam Kirby will ride on John Leeper, who also partners in the Cazoo Oaks, Saffron Beach.
He said he’s got two nice horses to ride at Epsom, while also hoping luck is on his side.
He said: “It was brilliant when I got the call to ride John Leeper. I didn’t know whether Ed was winding me up as he has got that in him, but luckily he wasn’t! It is a great ride to pick up and thanks to Ed and all the connections.
Charlie Appleby-trained One Ruler is another Derby hopeful to enjoy a Monday morning spin over the popular Downs.
Ed Dunlop has admitted it appears Irish-trained horses have a “stranglehold” on the Epsom Derby but is fully prepared to lead the home side with John Leeper.
The Derby winner with Erhaab and Shirley Heights – impressed in training around Epsom on Monday.