Racing: Oaks may be key to Boudot’s Derby bid

Pierre'Charles Boudot: Tipped for success in Saturday's Derby. Picture: Getty
Pierre'Charles Boudot: Tipped for success in Saturday's Derby. Picture: Getty
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ROOKIE jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot has been backed to seize the moment aboard Ocovango in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday.

The 20-year-old has partnered Andre Fabre’s colt to victory in all three career starts, but has never ridden in a race at the complex Surrey circuit.

To compensate for his relative lack of international experience – he has only had one ride in Britain, when Brigantin finished third in the 2011 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot – Boudot’s team are endeavouring to find him a mount in Friday’s Investec Oaks.

Parallels can be made with jockey Mickael Barzalona, who had his first taste of Epsom in the Oaks, when the Aidan O’Brien-trained Why finished 12th as a 100-1 chance. Barzalona, who was 19 at the time, then won the premier Classic 24 hours later when the Fabre-trained Pour Moi struck in dramatic fashion.

Ted Voute, racing and bloodstock manager for Ocovango’s owner, Prince Faisal, said: “Pierre-Charles is a very good jockey and is third in the championship in France.

“Andre Fabre did a similar thing with Mickael, and look what happened there. We are trying to find him a ride for Friday, but it’s very difficult. Either way, we’re very confident we have the right man for the job.”

Ocovango, like Pour Moi, won the Group Two Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud on his last start before heading to Epsom. Many observers feel the Monsun colt requires ease in the ground at Epsom to be fully effective, but Voute is not convinced that is the case. He said: “He’s a lovely mover and the covering at Epsom is just magical. Everyone says he needs cut in the ground, but I walked the course when he ran at Saint-Cloud on his last two starts and it was perfect ground both times, especially in the Greffulhe.

“We appear to be coming in under the radar, which is just how we like it. He’ll have a quiet week and will come to England later in the week with a companion he always travels with.

“We are slowly getting more and more excited. It’s very special to get a horse good enough to run in the Derby – it’s what we aim for in our business.”

Hopes are also high of a big show from Irish challenger Galileo Rock. The David Wachman-trained colt has had just three career starts, winning by seven lengths on his debut at Leopardstown before finishing fifth to Trading Leather in a Group Three at Newmarket. His reappearance this season saw him beaten less than a length in third in the Sandown Classic Trial, with subsequent Dante Stakes winner Libertarian immediately behind him.

Wachman said: “He’s a well- balanced colt who likes fast ground. The favourite [Dawn Approach] has the best form from the Guineas but Epsom is a one-off place and we think our horse will run well.”



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