Peslier takes Sheik's High-Rise to new heights in Epsom Classic

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 June, 1998, 12:00am

THE 20-1 shot High-Rise, ridden by Frenchman Olivier Peslier, gave trainer Luca Cumani his second English Derby win yesterday - 10 years to the day since Kahyasi gave the Italian-born master his first triumph.

Hot favourite Cape Verdi failed in her bid to become the first filly since Fifinella in 1916 to win the Blue Riband of the turf but jockey Frankie Dettori explained that she didn't stay.

The filly's owners, Godolphin, had some compensation as their second string City Honours, ridden by John Reid, was second at 12-1, while the Ian Balding-trained Border Arrow, ridden by Ray Cochrane, was third at 25-1.

'We came here with an unbeaten horse, we were all very relaxed and there was no hype about the horse,' Cumani said. 'He showed a terrific turn of foot, especially at the three furlong marker and he battled on well. This feels just as good as my first Derby. Every lad, owner and trainer wants to win the Derby. I've been lucky enough to win two.' Peslier, who has won the past two Arc de Triomphe's, did a Dettori-style vault from the saddle in the winner's enclosure - to claim another victory.

'Sheik Mohammed al Obaid Maktoum's racing manager bet me to do it,' Peslier said.

'High-Rise travelled really well during the race but I didn't think I'd won the race after going past the post . . . when I realised I had I thought 'Oh man, I've won the Derby'.' The four-pronged Irish assault was surprisingly spearheaded by the 250-1 chance Sunshine Street, trained by Noel Meade in County Meath, who led from the gate to the final furlong marker until Jonny Murtagh could not get any more out of him.

In Hong Kong, Derby fever did not exactly sweep Sha Tin but more than 25,000 stayed to watch the world's premier race and bet, including last-race doubles, more than $40 million on the Epsom Classic.

Reuters More racing, Pages 16 & 17