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Epsom Derby: Are we in for a junior Balding win at last?



Concerned, indeed, was the Racing Breaks office, when our Wednesday edition of the Racing Post arrived to news of Frankie Dettori's imminent arrest. Thankfully, it emerged, this was but a humorous endorsement of his Chester ride that afternoon, aboard the John and Thady Gosden Arrest, who'd scored a double at Sandown last season, and was beaten only by a head in October's G1 Critérium de Saint-Cloud. Waving farewell to the Roodee, our ambassador (in his career-long synonymous Juddmonte colours) duly bore down on Aidan O'Brien's Adelaide River, pushing Hadrianus, Duke Of Oxford and Galactic Jack behind them.


But Galactic Jack's defeat was to be a Balding blip, as he arrived north in triumph from a second 2,000 Guineas victory on Coronation Saturday. This time, felictiously, Chaldean still had our ambassador aboard by the finishing line, the pair wading past O'Brien favourites Little Big Bear and Auguste Rodin, dumping them unceremoniously in last and third last respectively. The rain lashed, the umbrellas unfurled. But the Rowley Mile stayed celebratory. Many punters, no doubt, were there not only to see our new king crowned, but to join the rapture of Dettori's farewell tour, as it hits our shores with all the force of a tornado, careering through the country from a Californian pillage, with Epsom in sight and Ascot thereafter.