RACING: Aristotle Could Fix My Seven Year Wait

Article excerpt

ARISTOTLE has a great chance of giving me a second Vodafone Derby success at Epsom today.

It's seven years since I won it on Commander In Chief for Henry Cecil. And it would be great to do it again, this time for the Ballydoyle team.

Kalypso Katie gave me a great spin in the Oaks yesterday. She ran a cracker but was beaten by a very smart filly in Love Divine, a seventh winner of the race for Henry Cecil.

So I'll be hoping for better luck today. And Aristotle, a Group 1 winner, sure to stay the trip and prepared specifically for this big test, gives me a great opportunity.

The rain has come at Epsom and the ground is soft. So a non-stayer can't win the Derby. I believe that only five or six count.

And, of course, King's Best's absence is a help to all of us, even if it's a big disappointment for Kieren and everyone involved with him.

The soft ground will help Aristotle's cause. He handles it well and everything he has shown us has told us that a mile and a half will be well within his compass.

He's a lightly-raced colt and he has come through his work very well since he won and was disqualified in France.

His preparation has been 100 per cent, which is a big help going into any race at this level. Aidan couldn't have him in better shape.

Aristotle did really well to win the Racing Post Trophy in only his second outing, after winning a maiden at Galway.

And he gave me a good feel when he won the Prix Greffulhe at Longchamp in April, travelling well and picking up when I asked him.

Hopefully, what happened next, his continuous hanging up the straight, was a "one-off". It surprised everyone on the day and, hopefully, it will not happen again.

It was no surprise that he was disqualified. But, if he had kept straight that day, he would have won a long way. And he has progressed well since that run. So there's plenty of cause for optimism.

He had never done anything like it before, either at home or on the track. And he has shown no signs of a problem since Longchamp.

I'd just prefer if he hadn't done it. It's in the back of my mind all the time, a definite concern about an otherwise straight-forward colt.

But I've been very happy with Aristotle's recent work and both the ground conditions and trip are in his favour today.

Everyone feared King's Best. So his withdrawal is a big help. But it looks an open race.

Beat Hollow is a deserving favourite. He's a colt with tremendous potential and reports from Newmarket are positive following his recent work. …