Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Slumber Is Wide Awake for Trial Win

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Slumber Is Wide Awake for Trial Win

Article excerpt

WHAT looked another ordinary renewal of Epsom's Investec Derby Trial on paper may have produced something of a surprise package in the shape of the Barry Hillstrained Slumber.

Serious Derby contenders tend to be prepared for the Classic at York, Lingfield or Newmarket rather than risk disappointment over the course six weeks away from the big race itself, and Slumber does not even hold an entry at this stage.

But he left a vivid impression when quickening right away from the field early in the home straight and is likely to be tested in another trial before decisions are made about a possible supplementary entry.

Slumber (7-1) had finished in middivision on his only previous start at Newbury last season but left his four rivals, all of whom were more experienced, for dead to win by three and a half lengths.

Hills' son and assistant Charlie, said: "It was a nice surprise as we really brought him here to get a bit more experience.

"He's not in the Derby but the Chester Vase would be the obvious race for him now. "He had been working nicely at home but we thought he'd need it.

"It was only the second run of his life and he's still babyish, but that was impressive."

Jockey Michael Hills added: "It was a devastating pick-up - I was impressed. I don't know what he beat but he gave me a great feel. He wouldn't have a problem getting a mile and a half."

Owner Prince Khalid Abdullah already has a number of other key Derby players such as Frankel and World Domination and it would cost him pounds 75,000 to supplement Slumber. Totesport offer odds of 25-1 nonetheless.

The Hills clan were later to double up with 11-8 favourite Barney Rebel, the pick on last season's form for the Investec Specialist Bank Maiden Stakes.

He coasted past Carousel close home and Charlie Hills added: "They went no gallop early on and Michael said he was always confident of winning. …

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