A brother to this year’s Investec Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture, who became the most expensive yearling colt ever sold in Europe at public auction, headlines 409 entries for the 236th Investec Derby, run over a mile and a half at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 6, 2015.
The prize fund for Britain’s premier Classic and richest race will be at least £1.325 million.
The son of Galileo realised an unprecedented 3.6 million guineas (£3.78 million) at Tattersalls in Newmarket on October 8 and is one of 54 entries for Coolmore partners Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, who have captured the last three renewals of the Investec Derby, thanks to Ruler Of The World, Camelot and Pour Moi.
Their strong entry also features a Montjeu colt out of dual 1,000 Guineas heroine Finsceal Beo, who was knocked down for €2.85 million at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale in October, and a Galileo half-brother to four-time Group One scorer Mastercraftsman bought for $1.4 million at Keeneland in September.
Other notables for the Coolmore team, who also landed the Investec Derby with Galileo (2001) and High Chaparral (2002), include a brother to Ruler Of The World, a Galileo three-parts brother to Pour Moi and a Montjeu half-brother to French 2,000 Guineas victor Clodovil.
Godolphin is responsible for 71 entries, the most of any owner, headlined by a brother to this year’s QIPCO Champion Stakes hero Farhh, a 300,000 guineas Oasis Dream colt out of 2000 Investec Oaks heroine Love Divine and a €200,000 son of 1,000 Guineas winner Speciosa.
Hamdan Al Maktoum has enjoyed two Derby triumphs, courtesy of Erhaab (1994) and the brilliant Nashwan (1989), and is represented by 47 entries, including Alnashama – a Dubawi colt out of Classic-winning miler Ghanaati – who goes into training with Charlie Hills.
The Aga Khan, whose famous green and red silks have been carried to victory at Epsom Downs in the premier British Classic by Sinndar (2000), Kahyasi (1988), Shahrastani (1988) and Shergar (1981), has a Galileo colt out of the unbeaten, champion racemare Zarkava starring among his 21 entries, while other notables include Edelpour, a son of Irish Oaks winner Ebadiyla, and a pair of Shamardal colts out of Group One-winning mares Daryakana and Shalanaya.
Khalid Abdullah, triumphant with Workforce (2010), Commander In Chief (1993) and Quest For Fame (1990), has 15 entries, including a Dansili colt from the family of Group One winners Passage Of Time and Timepiece.
Qatar Racing, whose driving force is Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, has put 15 yearlings into the 2015 Investec Derby.
His cousin Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani is represented by 12 entries, headed by the €1-million Dubawi half-brother to Falmouth Stakes winner Nahoodh.
Other stand-out entries include Bjorn Nielsen’s Galileo colt out of globetrotting star Alexander Goldrun and a Shamardal half-brother to multiple Group One scorer The Fugue, who is in training with John Gosden.
Former England footballer Michael Owen has entered a brother to his Group Two scorer Brown Panther, while Manchester United’s now-retired manager Sir Alex Ferguson could be represented by a Dansili colt out of the Listed-placed Dusty Answer, who was purchased for 250,000 guineas.
The figure of 409 entries is three up on last year and, for the fifth year in succession, the number of entries is over 400. The recent entry numbers for the Investec Derby are as follows: 2014-406; 2013-442; 2012-478; 2011-444
Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs, commented: “It is satisfying to once again see more than 400 yearlings entered for the Investec Derby.
“Yearling entry is still the most cost-effective route of having a runner in the Investec Derby and is the beginning of a dream for owners both large and small.”