Tenby shows return to form
EPSOM Derby favourite Tenby was back in favour after a pleasing work-out under big-race jockey Pat Eddery at Newmarket yesterday - and remains an odds-on favourite for Wednesday's Classic.
In a separate training spin, Commander In Chief came away from his galloping companion, the four-year-old ''Cup'' horse Allegan, in a typically enthusiastic early morning performance for Mick Kinane, who made the trip from Ireland especially for this vital last work-out.
''Both horses are well, and both have pleased me,'' announced trainer Henry Cecil. ''It just goes to prove you can't believe what you read in the papers.'' Reports of Tenby's lacklustre work-out at the weekend, when he finished last of four and showed little interest, had caused his Derby price to slip to 8-13 from the ridiculously short 2-5 offered by Ladbrokes.
But there was a collective sigh of relief from the favourite's supporters - many of whom attended the work on the Limekilns - as he worked up on the outside of stablemates Wharf and Placerville, and then drew away, three lengths clear.
''For Tenby, that was a very good piece of work,'' said Natalie Cecil, the trainer's wife. ''He can be such a lazy, laid-back horse.'' It is still far from certain how many runners Tenby's owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah, will have in the race. Commander In Chief remains on course for Epsom, although there has been a suggestion that he could be supplemented for the Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly on June 6.
Kinane also partnered Armiger, his probable mount in France but still an Epsom possible if there is soft ground, in yet another training gallop.
There are now hopes that around 14 runners will go to post for Wednesday's Derby, a figure that would be tailor-made for betting purposes when it is simulcast to Happy Valley as the last race of the night.