Investec Blue Riband Trial
Epsom Downs 14:45
£50,000 added,
3yo only,
1m 2f 17y, Class 2   
Wednesday 25th April 2018

1 Crossed Baton 11/4
2 My Lord And Master 5/1
3 Dee Ex Bee 15/8F
8 ran Distances: hd, 1¼l, 2l
Time: 2m 11.35s (slow by 6.35s)

Crossed Baton wins to give John Gosden and Frankie Dettori a fourth successive win in the race

Crossed Baton
Photo courtesy of Investec

Newmarket trainer John Gosden and Frankie Dettori enjoyed four a row in the £50,000 Investec Blue Riband Trial when Crossed Baton made all to win the newly-promoted Listed mile and a quarter event .
 
If Crossed Baton proves anywhere near as good as Gosden’s 2017 winner Cracksman, then connections will be pleased. He would have gained a wildcard entry into the premier British Classic and Britain’s richest race, the £1.5-million G1 Investec Derby, run over a mile and half at Epsom Downs on June 2 if not already entered.
 
Dettori did not intend to make all on the Khalid Abdullah-owned home-bred son of Dansili, having his fourth start, but ended up doing so when seeing off the persistent challenge of the runner-up My Lord And Master (William Haggas/Danny Tudhope) by head in 2m 11.35s on going described as Good, Good to Soft in places.
 
The Mark Johnston-trained Dee Ex Bee, the well-backed 15/8 favourite who gained a wildcard entry for the Investec Derby by capturing a conditions race at Epsom Downs on October 1, kept on to finish a further one and a quarter lengths behind in third of the eight runners.
 
Gosden, also successful in this race with Christophermarlowe (2015) and top-class filly So Mi Dar (2016), was delighted to register yet another success in the Derby trial – his sixth in all.
 
He said: “It wasn’t exactly the plan to make all, but Crossed Baton did everything right though.
 
“The plan was to actually get a lead, he jumped but no-one wanted to lead, so Frankie did his own thing. He said Crossed Baton handled everything well. The horse just got a little unbalanced in the last part of the race and just slightly changed legs.
 
“It is the camber here – he was getting used to that, but he did it well. The second horse’s [My Lord And Master] form is rock solid.”
 
No decision has been made yet about whether the Investec Derby is the target for Crossed Baton.
 
Gosden explained: “We’ll see how he comes out of this race – he handled the track pretty well and he has won. There is obviously, the Investec Derby to consider. It is a step at a time at this time of year, but it’s wonderful to win a nice Listed race here at Epsom.
 
“He is already in the Derby and that is a nice option. We’re thrilled with the horse and he’s shown the benefit of his recent win at Kempton. It’s lovely to win this race again.
 
“Crossed Baton would prefer good to firm ground. He is a big boy by Dansili who doesn’t have the biggest of feet and he just flows over faster ground.
 
“This ground was slow enough for him, but he handled it. If we have a hot summer, we might be back and I am thinking of giving a spin around the track again at the Breakfast With The Stars event (May 22).
 
“Cracksman was not as strong as him at this stage, So Mi Dar was brilliant and they stacked up pretty high. Crossed Baton is a grand horse and I’m delighted with him. He got lonely in front over the last 50 yards and changed his legs.
 
“I would not think an extra two furlongs would be a problem – not on the pedigree. We will take it a day at time – see how he is over the next week and make all those decisions. We have done better this year – we only won it by a short-head last year!
 
Dettori reported: “I expected there to be more pace early on. I jumped to get in the box seat, but nobody took it off me. So I went my fractions and got a little bit lonely in front.
 
“When I had to really grab him at the end, he got a little bit unbalanced and gave the other horse another chance to have a go at me, but luckily for me the line was there.
 
“It was a nice performance without being sensational. We go home, try him again and see what happens. He has to step up, but hopefully this race will make him grow up and go forward.
 
“I don’t think it was a Derby winning performance today, but at least he got a feel of the track and he can only improve.
 
“A mile and a quarter to a mile and a half is his game. I think he is a horse who is still a work in progress – still learning, quite babyish but nice. We will see whether he is a Derby horse. Cracksman won this race last year and you never know.”
 
Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to Khalid Abdullah, whose last victory in the Investec Blue Riband Trial came with the Charlie Hills-trained Slumber in 2011, commented: “I was very pleased with this horse.
 
“Crossed Baton has done it nicely and we have to think about whether he is the calibre for the Derby or whether we go a little more gently.
 
“That will be the main question, but he is a solid straightforward horse.”

Investec Derby Trial
(Listed) (In Memory Of Anthony Cane)
£50,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 2f 17y, Class 2
8 ran
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (1) Crossed Baton 11/4 L Dettori
9-1
J H M Gosden 3
2nd (3) hd My Lord And Master (IRE) 5/1 D Tudhope
9-1
W J Haggas 3
3rd (6) Dee Ex Bee 15/8f James Doyle
9-1
M Johnston 3
4th (8) 2 James Cook (IRE) 7/2 R L Moore
9-1
A P O'Brien 3
5th (4) 1 Simpson (IRE) 25/1 P Cosgrave
9-1
Ed Walker 3
6th (5) nk Zabriskie (IRE) 16/1 J A Heffernan
9-1
A P O'Brien 3
7th (7) 15 Miles Christianus (IRE) 150/1 Rowan Scott
9-1
R J Osborne 3
8th (2) 37 Technological 16/1 Oisin Murphy
9-1
G G Margarson 3

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