Calm down to recreate Mill Reef’s glory with Youth Spirit after Chester Vase’s victory


Andrew Balding wants to repeat his father’s Mill Reef glory after Youth Spirit books an Epsom Derby ticket with an impressive win at the Chester Vase

  • Andrew Balding’s Youth Spirit emerged as a Derby contender on Wednesday
  • Favorite Wirko made the most of the early run but faded to finish fourth
  • Youth Spirit finished strong to triumph with a length and three-quarters in ordeal

It’s the 50th anniversary of Mill Reef’s memorable Derby victory next month and appropriately, the Balding family will be represented by Youth Spirit after the foal lands Wednesday’s Chester Vase.

Ian Balding trained the great Mill Reef to win the classic in 1971. Youth Spirit, trained by his son Andrew, heads to the Cazoo Derby as a 25-1 outsider after beating Sandhurst by a length and three quarters in a trial which was missing. depth.

But the Tom Marquand-ridden winner, who, like last year, owned Ahmad Al Shaik’s 50-1 Derby Runner-up Khalifa Sat, dispelled doubts about his stamina on rain-softened ground and did enough to get an Epsom starting place after his victory. to justify.

Youth Spirit ridden by Tom Marquand (center) on the way to winning the Chester Vase

Marquand said, “The only question he had to answer was the journey and you should say he got on the line extremely well. It was a muddy race, but he will also remain in a fair race. He was really tough, put his head out and was there for me. ‘

The disappointing run in the Chester Vase came from favorite Wirko. Godolphin’s colt ridden by William Buick had looked like he would enjoy the walk up to a mile and a half when winning the two-furlong shorter Blue Riband Trial in Epsom. But after dictating things up front, he quickly faded and finished fourth.

However, the best Epsom trial on the opening day of Chester’s May gathering was the Cheshire Oaks. Mark Johnston-trained winner Dubai Fountain is 14-1 ahead of the Cazoo Oaks after her long win under Franny Norton.

Young Spirit (white / green) will go to the Cazoo Derby as a 25-1 outsider after Wednesday's win

Young Spirit (white / green) will go to the Cazoo Derby as a 25-1 outsider after Wednesday’s win

The tenderly handled, Roger Varian trained second Zeyaadah, who gave away 3 pounds and a lead in the back of the field racing, is also a 14-1 shot for Epsom.

Dubai Fountain had solid two-year form, including the second in the May Hill Stakes and the fourth in the Fillies’ Mile.

Johnston said: ‘She clearly didn’t win a group race last year, but she did some great races. We’ve thought about the Oaks for a long time. ‘

Aidan O’Brien has canceled plans to give Derby ante-post favorite High Definition his season debut in Saturday’s Lingfield Derby Trial due to unsatisfactory blood tests. With the Premier Classic just over four weeks away, O’Brien doesn’t have much room for maneuver.

Meanwhile, the two-month saliva test pilot has begun to screen jockeys for cocaine, with the BHA confirming that the tests took place on Monday in Kempton and Tuesday in Lingfield. All jockeys tested were negative.