17 May 2021

Tasman Bay not certain to head for Derby

17 May 2021

Sir Mark Todd has until midday on Tuesday to decide whether or not to target the Cazoo Derby with his promising colt Tasman Bay

The three-year-old was a winner on his seasonal debut when taking a novice race at Newcastle, after which he finished third in a high-quality Newbury contest won by subsequent Dante winner Hurricane Lane.

Tasman Bay’s next run was the Listed Betway Fairway Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, where he was beaten a length and a quarter by Ed Dunlop’s John Leeper.

The latter horse is a 7-1 chance for the Derby after the performance and Hurricane Lane is valued as a 6-1 shot – but Todd is still undecided as to whether keep his colt in the mix for the permier Classic.

“I’m having a conversation with the owner,” the trainer said.

“We have to make up our minds on whether we’re going to press on with the Derby by Tuesday lunchtime.

“At this stage the Derby is quite unlikely, I would say, after that I guess we would look at going to Ascot for the King Edward, the mile-and-a-half Group Two.

“We’ve got to decide whether we go for the Derby or not first, and then we’ll decide where else we’ll go from then.”

Though the form from Tasman Bay’s three runs this season has looked increasingly strong as time has passed, with Newbury fourth River Alwen also going on to win, Todd is still hopeful that there will be further improvement from the three-year-old when he contests a race run with more early speed.

“River Alwen, who was fourth that day, he’s won since, so the form around him (Tasman Bay) is very good,” said Todd.

“John Leeper started favourite in our next race and he won like a good horse, too.

“Unfortunately for us, all three runs have been in races where there’s been no pace.

“We certainly didn’t want to have to make the pace the other day and it was a bit of a muddling race, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“He’s come through the run on Saturday well, he’s just spent the day in the field yesterday and he seems very well.”

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