Grand Prix de Paris plans for Dubai Mile following Derby
Dubai Mile will be aimed at the Grand Prix de Paris with the possibility of a run at Royal Ascot in between.
The Ahmad Al Shaikh-owned colt, a son of Roaring Lion, won twice last season – including in Group One company – and then finished an excellent fifth to Chaldean in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on his three-year-old debut.
Sent off a 25-1 chance on Daniel Muscutt’s first Betfred Derby ride at Epsom on Saturday, he was prominent on the inside rail before fading into ninth once the pace quickened.
Trainer Charlie Johnston said: “I think it was a great position to have got into and saving ground.
“I didn’t think they were going that quick, so you have to be handyish – that is what I felt at the time. The winner (Auguste Rodin) and the second (King Of Steel) have come from a long way back.
“I could feel he was in a bit of trouble about six to five (furlongs) out, just as the pace started to lift.
“He wasn’t sitting there full of horse under him. He was hitting that flat spot he hits and whereas on other tracks you can hit a flat spot and get away with it, here you hit a flat spot and the race happens, then you run on when it is all over.
“The pacemaker couldn’t decide whether to go inside or outside and that didn’t help him, but only cost him a length or two – it wasn’t a significant reason for where he finished.
“Albeit we have had and have plenty of confidence in the horse, he was still a 25-1 shot in the Derby.”
Dubai Mile holds engagements in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 23 and also the Irish Derby at the Curragh on July 2.
However, Johnston is keen to head to ParisLongchamp for the Grand Prix de Paris, over the same mile-and-a-half trip on July 14.
“We will see about Ascot and I’ve always thought the Grand Prix de Paris was a race that would really suit him,” said Johnston. “I’d like to have that as part of his plans.
“Whether or not he goes to Ascot in between, we’ll see.
“If he did everything, it would be three weeks and three weeks – it is six weeks until Paris.”