Murphy optimistic of Derby success
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy believes Kameko has a strong chance of winning the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday afternoon.
The fourth British Classic of the season gets underway at 16:55 on Saturday, a couple of races after the Oaks, and the 16-strong field is headed by the Ed Walker-trained English King.
Plenty of competition will come from the other 15 contenders and Andrew Balding, whose father Ian saddled Mill Reef to glory in the 1971 edition, will be hoping Kameko can claim the spoils.
The three-year-old produced a brilliant performance to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last month, edging out Wichita by a neck, and connections are positive there is more to come from the colt.
Kameko's latest victory came over a mile and there are question marks over whether he will handle the extra four furlongs on Saturday, but Murphy is still feeling upbeat about his chances.
"We just don't know if he'll stay. When he won the Vertem Futurity at two last year I thought his best trip might be 10 furlongs, while he wasn't stopping when he won the Guineas. But we don't know and we won't know until the final quarter mile in the Derby," he was quoted as saying by the Yorkshire Post.
"What I do know is that his temperament gives him a chance of staying. He can be feisty in his box at home, wanting to get on with things, but as soon as you sit on him he's relaxed and he's very calm. The way he races in the early stages gives him a chance of getting the trip."
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.