Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dig Deep for Foundation; Colt Underpins Highclere Derby Dream Milk Bookies with the Koo

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dig Deep for Foundation; Colt Underpins Highclere Derby Dream Milk Bookies with the Koo

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Owen

IF you pinged the lids and hoovered up the 7-4 on Monday, hats off! Otherwise you're stuck with evens FOUNDATION (3.45), but that could look a Brink's-MAT price around four o'clock today.

It's a long road to Tipperary, an even longer one to Epsom in June, but you'd be hard-pressed to find better than the general 14-1 John Gosden's colt to give Highclere Racing more Derby glory following Motivator's success in 2005.

Seven favourites have obliged in the last eight renewals of the final domestic Group One of the season and Foundation looks just the laddie to compound the layers' misery. Unbeaten in three starts, he TURN TO PAGE TWO FROM PAGE ONE stands head and shoulders above his rivals if he brings anything like his Royal Lodge-winning form to the party.

He didn't learn a great deal in his opening two races, bolting up after tardy starts over a mile at Haydock in August and September, but really looked the part when making Deauville look pedestrian at HQ, despite running keen early doors.

One potential worry is the forecast heavy rain, but Highclere's managing director Harry Herbert is hopeful it will not scupper Foundation's participation. He said: "I haven't spoken to John about it, but I doubt it (soft ground) would stop him running.

"Very extreme ground would be a concern, but I know we'd definitely rather have it soft than too quick. He's shown he can handle good-to-soft ground."

The Zoffany colt has been a real punters' pal, winning his three starts at 11-10, evens and 5-4 and I reckon we'll be seeing another flying dismount as ashen-faced bookies dig deep into their satchels.

Marco Botti's DHAHMAAN (2.00) can start the ball rolling in the opener. He nailed subsequent Gimcrack winner Ajaya on his debut at Nottingham and followed up at Chelmsford. Richard Fahey's Group Two winner Donjuan Triumphant then proved too good in the Rockingham at York on his first start since June.

He's expected to strip much fitter for that and Botti said: "Dhahmaan probably needed the run, but he showed he is up to that level."

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