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Epsom Derby 2021: Ante-Post Favourite High Definition Doubt After ‘Unsatisfactory Blood Tests’

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Epsom Derby 2021: Ante-Post Favourite High Definition Doubt After ‘Unsatisfactory Blood Tests’

High Definition, the long-term ante-post favourite for the Derby at Epsom next month, is a huge doubt for the race - after he was pulled from Saturday's Lingfield Derby Trail due to unsatisfactory blood tests.

Lingfield's Derby Trail was the launchpad for Anthony Van Dyck's Epsom triumph in 2019 and trainer Aidan O'Brien had indicated on Monday that this weekend's race was set to feature the eagerly anticipated return of High Definition.

However, the unbeaten son of Galileo - last seen storming home from off the pace at the Curragh in September to win the Beresford Stakes - will not be making the same trip to the Surrey course, O'Brien confirmed on Wednesday.

High Definition was last seen storming home from off the pace at the Curragh in September to win the Beresford Stakes
High Definition was last seen storming home from off the pace at the Curragh in September to win the Beresford Stakes
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The Ballydoyle handler had hoped to test the unbeaten colt's Epsom credentials in the trial, but announced that the three-year-old would not be travelling across the sea after his pre-race blood tests "just weren't 100 per cent".

After Japan's success in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester yesterday afternoon, O'Brien affirmed that the Dante Stakes at York next Thursday remains a possible target for High Definition - but only if the results of what are currently daily blood tests on his colt continue to improve.

The blood marker causing concern is for Serum Amyloid, often an indicator that a horse has inflammation or infection.

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Racing fans have taken to Twitter to comment on the news, too.


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It is now feared that High Definition, who was as short as 5/2 for next month's Classic, will miss the Derby at Epsom next month - with some firms pushing him out to 7/1.

Jordan Cox, trader at Star Sports, said: "It is looking ever more likely that long-time ante-post favourite for the Epsom Derby is not going to make the engagement.

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"Originally intended to make his seasonal debut this weekend in the Lingfield Derby trial, High Definition was pulled out of the Lingfield Derby Trial yesterday after trainer Aidan O'Brien revealed that his bloods weren't 100 per cent.

"He has since been pushed out from 5/2 to 7/1 as a result, no longer making him the red hot favourite.

"We are seeing lots of money for the other runners in the Derby, with Bolshoi Ballet now 5/1 joint-favourites with last weekend's impressive winner Mohaafeth."

O'Brien, who has already won the Derby a record eight times, has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds the 115-rated performer.

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"He's a big horse and we just need to give him a run," he told Sky Sports Racing earlier this week.

"The Derby has always been his plan and it would be very hard to go into the Derby without a run.

"For us, we need to be getting out, because with the travelling you'd like a bit of time between their first and second run.

"Hopefully it might come together in the next few days and we'll be able to start somewhere."

But the Ballydoyle trainer is running out of options in order to give High Definition a prep run - and only the third outing of his career - before the big race in June.

Cazoo Derby betting odds

  • Bolshoi Ballet 5/1
  • Mohaafeth 5/1
  • High Definition 7/1
  • Van Gogh 8/1
  • Mac Swiney 10/1
  • Adayar 12/1
  • Hurrican Lane 12/1
  • Sir Lamorak 12/1
  • El Drama 16/1
  • Kyprios 16/1
  • Wordsworth 16/1

20-1 bar. Odds are correct at the time of publication and are, as always, subject to change.

Topics: Horse Racing

Robert Mann
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