Paddy Twomey will drop Noche Magica back to the minimum distance at Royal Ascot after he was caught late on in the Marble Hill Stakes on Saturday.

A debut winner over five furlongs at Cork, Twomey stepped him up to six furlongs for the Group Three at the Curragh.

Having travelled much the best throughout the race, he hit the front inside the final furlong but could not pull clear and was eventually reeled in late on by Jessica Harrington’s Givemethebeatboys.

Twomey now feels the decision has been made for him regarding Ascot, and it will be back to five furlongs for the Norfolk Stakes rather than the six of the Coventry.

“He won well over five in Cork and he shows us that blistering speed,” said Twomey.

“The Marble Hill was a fact-finding mission. He travelled and did everything right. He got to the front and just got nutted at the death.

“His mother (Pious Alexander) is a half-sister of Dandy Man and the family is all speed. I’d say we will go for the Norfolk.

“I was the most disappointed man at the Curragh but going forward, he probably did me a favour. I would have run him in the Coventry if he had won, but now we will go for the Norfolk.”

Andrea Atzeni partnered Angers to an impressive victory in the Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen at Cologne on Monday.

Atzeni, who now rides as a freelance, teamed up with Mario Baratti, who is based in France, to win the German equivalent of the 2000 Guineas and deny Charlie Johnston and Ioritz Mendizabal with Finn’s Charm in second.

Angers had only won one of his six starts in France, and was third to Jean-Claude Rouget’s French Guineas fifth Valimi on his most recent outing.

Finn’s Charm attempted to make all under Mendizabal, with Roger Varian’s previously unbeaten Dragon Icon and Benacre, a stablemate of Finn’s Charm, within touching distance.

The leader briefly looked to have slipped the field before Atzeni brough Angers with a powerful run down the outside and he went on to win by six lengths.

Dhangadhi was third, just ahead of Benacre and Dragon Icon.

“He’s a lovely, big horse and ran very well in France the last day,” Atzeni told Wettstar.

“He gave me a nice feel going down to the start and his trainer Mario Baratti has done a great job to keep him spot on for this race, as it’s never easy to travel a horse to a different country.

“He looked the best horse in the paddock and he was by far the best horse in the race.”

Anmaat secured his first Group One success when leading home a British one-two in the Prix d’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp.

The five-year-old progressed rapidly throughout an unbeaten 2022 which culminated in a Group Two success in the Prix Dollar at the same track on Arc weekend.

And following a pleasing return behind Adayar in the rearranged Gordon Richards Stakes at Newmarket, the Owen Burrows-trained runner showed his liking for the French capital once again on Monday afternoon.

Ridden with patience by Jim Crowley in the 10-furlong contest as David Simcock’s Light Infantry dictated terms on the front end from Joseph O’Brien’s Buckaroo, Anmaat was asked to go through the gears and deliver his challenge when angled out by his rider in the home straight.

But with Light Infantry and Buckaroo refusing to lie down, plus home contenders Erevann and Facteur Cheval quickening along with Anmaat, Burrows’ gelding had to pull out all the stops to claim gold in a fantastic five-way dash for the winning post, with Light Infantry holding on for the silver medal.

Crowley told Equidia: “It was a good finish. It was a bit messy early on, I thought I was a little bit far back. He picked up very well, he’s improving all the time, It’s lovely to win a Group One.

“I was a little bit concerned about the quicker ground but he’s handled it fine. I’m hoping he will improve and he will be even better with more cut in the ground as well.”

Beaten Irish 2,000 Guineas favourite Royal Scotsman is undergoing tests following his lacklustre run at the Curragh.

Paul and Oliver Cole’s colt was sent off was sent off a heavily supported 6-4 chance in Ireland having finished third to Chaldean in the Newmarket equivalent.

However, he never looked like getting involved under Jamie Spencer and came home ninth of the 11 runners, beaten over seven lengths.

“He’s come back and he’s a bit sore, we’re just investigating now,” Oliver Cole told Sky Sports Racing.

“I don’t really want to say too much, but he never picked the bridle up going down to post and he never picked the bridle up during the race which is totally unlike him.

“So, we’re investigating now and it will all come out in the wash in the next couple of days, but it certainly wasn’t him.

“All options are still there for him – the St James’s Palace, the Jersey, we’re just trying to do the sensible thing. If we went for the Jersey, we could step back up to the Group One miles after that, all being well.

“We need to win a race with him.”

Texas’s Julien Alfred will have a chance to defend her NCAA Outdoor 100m title after securing her spot in the field on the final day of the NCAA West Regionals in Sacramento on Saturday.

The 21-year-old St. Lucian, who won the NCAA Indoor 60m and 200m double earlier this season, sped to a meet record and collegiate leading time of 10.83 to comfortably be the fastest qualifier to the Championships set for June 7-10 on her home track at the University of Texas's Mike A. Myers stadium.

Her Jamaican teammate, Kevona Davis, also made it through the preliminaries with an 11.06 effort.

The Texas duo also made it through in the 200m with Davis running a season’s best 22.33 and Alfred running 22.45.

Arkansas’s Ackera Nugent, a two-time NCAA Indoor Champion, ran 12.69, a new meet record to advance fastest in the sprint hurdles. Her countrywoman, Texas Tech’s Demisha Roswell, also made it through with a season’s best 12.77.

Arkansas’s Nickisha Price and Joanne Reid both advanced in the one-lap event with personal best times of 50.49 and 51.49, respectively.

In the field, defending NCAA high jump champion, Lamara Distin of Texas A&M, easily cleared 1.85m to secure her opportunity to defend her title. Texas’s Ackelia Smith, world leader in the long jump, also booked her spot in the field for the triple jump with 13.96m.

Meanwhile, at the East Regionals in Jacksonville, Ohio State’s Yanique Dayle and Kentucky’s Anthaya Charlton made it through in the 100m.

Dayle, the Jamaican Senior, produced a big personal best 11.05 while Charlton, the Bahamian Freshman, produced 11.08 (2.3 m/s) to advance.

Dayle also advanced in the 200m with a season’s best 22.58 while LSU’s Brianna Lyston also made it through with 22.92.

In the field, Georgia’s Vincentian Junior, Mikeisha Welcome, jumped 13.50m to make it through in the triple jump.


Ed Walker does not think his Betfred Derby contender Waipiro faces an “impossible” task in attempting to turn the tables on favourite Military Order from their run at Lingfield.

The pair were first and second, separated by a length and a quarter, in the Derby trial at the Surrey track, which was this year was moved from the saturated turf to the all-weather course.

The Godolphin runner was immediately promoted to the head of the betting while Waipiro is around a 16-1 chance, and Walker feels that offers each-way value given it was just the third run of his life.

“He didn’t show a lot on his debut at Kempton Park but we left him in the Derby for a reason. It wasn’t a total surprise that he won at Newmarket but it was obviously very pleasing,” said Walker.

“It looked a very hot race but we chose a race like that to answer questions as we believed he was a nice horse and we wanted to see where he sat with other nice horses. The result was very rewarding and he stepped up again at Lingfield.

“You have to be very pleased with his run at Lingfield. He was very relaxed and very professional. He performed to a high level and it was a satisfying run.

“I think he stamped himself as a high-class colt there as he gave the Derby favourite a good run for his money and you have to be pleased with that.”

Waipiro was forced wide off the bend at Lingfield and Walker feels he could have finished closer on another day.

“The race didn’t go as smoothly in the last couple of furlongs as it did for the winner, who looks a very good horse, and he is bred for the job and he is a very worthy favourite for the Derby,” said Walker.

“Military Order was dominant in the last 100 yards and we are going to have to make another significant step forward to beat him, but I don’t think it is impossible for him to turn it around.

“I think the void is the massive difference in price. I’d imagine, in an open Derby, he might attract attention from punters having an each-way bet. I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off having an each-way bet on him.

“I think he will handle the track and the occasion. He can get a bit warm at home and I wouldn’t be worried seeing him get a bit warm in the preliminaries.

“He is most likely going to wear a red hood to post to help keep a lid on him a bit, because he was a bit noisy at the start at Lingfield. He is generally a very relaxed horse and a professional horse.”

Key defensive plays from Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson overcame another high-percentage shooting performance from Jhaniele Fowler as the Adelaide Thunderbirds pulled off another thrilling one-goal win 54-53 over the West Coast Fever at the Netball SA Stadium on Saturday.

Fowler, the Suncorp Super Netball League’s leading scorer, converted 42 of 43 attempts but it was not enough to prevent the reigning champions from falling to their fourth defeat of the season.

Wilson earned 74.5 Nissan Net Points and Sterling 63 for defensive play that held off the defending champions who led 20-12 after the first quarter. However, the league leaders managed to close the gap by the half-time interval after outscoring Fever 14-11 in the second.

The low-scoring encounter saw the Thunderbirds win the third and fourth quarters, 13-10 and 15-12, respectively to snatch another close win. Eleanor Cardwell converted 26 of her 30 shots and Lucy Austin scored six from six in the hard-fought victory.

Adelaide Thunderbirds now have eight wins and just two losses from their 11 games this season while Fever dropped to seven wins and four losses and are only third on goal difference over Melbourne Vixens who also have a record of seven wins and four losses.

The Vixens suffered their fourth loss of the season going down 70-62 to New South Wales Swifts, who got 29 goals from Romelda Aiken-George from 34 attempts and a perfect 16 from 16 from Helen Housby.

Mwai Kumwenda scored 33 of her 35 attempts for the Vixens.

Meanwhile, Shimona Nelson scored 53 goals from 56 attempts for the Collingwood Magpies, whose miserable season will be their last in the Suncorp Super Netball League, as they suffered yet another defeat.

The Magpies were outscored 66-62 by the Sunshine Coast Lightning in what was their ninth loss of the season.

Cara Koenen scored 34 from 35 and Steph Wood 20/24 for the Lightning who were picking up their fourth win of the season and are current fifth in the league standings.

Ante-post favourite Military Order leads 16 contenders for Saturday’s Betfred Derby at Epsom, with Passenger the sole supplementary entry.

Representing Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby, Military Order booked his place in the Classic line up with a comfortable trial success at Lingfield and he is the only contender for his handler, who has won the race twice with Masar (2018) and Adayar (2021).

“From the team’s point of view, we’re very happy with him. He came out of his Lingfield Derby Trial win very well and we’ve been very pleased with him since,” Appleby told

“He’s improving week on week physically, and we can’t fault him to date on what he has been doing in his work and on the racecourse. He goes out and gets the job done in the mornings without being flash.

“He’s a mile-and-a-half horse, so you don’t expect flashy work. That hasn’t changed from his two-year-old days and I wouldn’t expect it to change.

“Military Order, like his brother Adayar, goes out and gets the job done.”

Sir Michael Stoute saddled Desert Crown to victory last year and he looks to Passenger to give him seventh overall win the in the race.

Owners the Niarchos Family opted to stump up the £85,000 fee to add him to the 12-furlong Classic after enduring a luckless run when third in the Dante last time out.

Aidan O’Brien is the race’s leading trainer with eight wins on his CV and Auguste Rodin captains a possible four-strong team as he seeks to put a disappointing 2000 Guineas run well behind him stepping up in trip.

Adelaide River, Covent Garden and Chester winner San Antonio complete the potential Ballydoyle squad.

Frankie Dettori is set to have his last ride in the Derby aboard the John and Thady Gosden-trained Arrest, an impressive winner of the Chester Vase on his seasonal bow while Dante winner The Foxes is in contention for Andrew Balding.

York second White Birch reopposes for John Murphy, Jessica Harrington’s Leopardstown Derby Trial winner Sprewell and the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Alder round out the Irish hopefuls.

Charlie Johnston’s 2000 Guineas fifth Dubai Mile is set to be joined by stablemate Dear My Friend, who was eighth in the Dante, with Ralph Beckett’s unbeaten Artistic Star, the Roger Varian-trained King Of Steel and Waipiro for Ed Walker the other candidates.

Frankie Dettori will lay a wreath at the statue of Lester Piggott on Derby day, as Epsom also permanently renames a race in memory of one of the sport’s most decorated jockeys.

Piggott, who died last year aged 86, won the Derby a record nine times and Epsom has announced that each year moving forward a member of the weighing room will lay a wreath in the colours of Piggott’s 1970 Derby hero Nijinsky at the statue of the rider situated on the Queen Elizabeth II Stand lawn.

Dettori will take this year’s wreath-laying duties as he makes his final appearance on Derby day before retirement, while the track has also renamed the £75,000 10-furlong handicap staged on Saturday as the Lester Piggott Handicap Stakes.

Dettori – who had a mural commemorating his Derby win on Golden Horn commissioned by Epsom prior to the track’s opening meeting of the season – classed Piggott both as a good friend and hero and is honoured to become the first jockey to lay the annual wreath.

He said: “It is an honour to be asked to lay a wreath at Lester’s statue on Derby day. He was a hero of mine who then became a good friend and it’s impossible to measure the impact he had on me, both as a person and a jockey throughout my life.

“I’m sure it will be a poignant and emotional moment for many reasons and I’m grateful to Epsom Downs for inviting me to lead this year’s tributes to Lester on my last Derby day as a jockey.”

Brian Finch, chair of Epsom racecourse, added: “For so many of us, Lester Piggott is synonymous with the Derby and Epsom Downs like no other jockey before or since.

“Lester sadly passed away just six days before the Derby in 2022 and we ran the Derby in his memory.

“For such a distinguished figure in the long history of the Derby and with his unprecedented achievements unlikely to be matched, we felt it was important to establish a permanent annual commemoration and celebration of Lester’s life on Derby day.

“I would like to thank Frankie Dettori for agreeing to lay the wreath in Lester’s memory this year ahead of his final ride in the Betfred Derby and I hope the Betfred Lester Piggott Handicap will provide an exciting finish of which Lester would have been proud.”

Mawj will head to the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot for a rematch with Tahiyra, who gained compensation for her narrow defeat in the Qipco 1000 Guineas with victory in Sunday’s Irish equivalent.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor gained a third success in the fillies’ mile Classic at Newmarket last month when Mawj showed plenty of guts to down Dermot Weld’s Tahiyra by half a length.

The Godolphin handler has always believed the daughter of Exceed And Excel would develop as a three-year-old and she duly delivered, adding to his previous success in the race with Cape Verdi (1998) and Kazzia (2002).

“She is in good form,” said Bin Suroor. “Her win means a lot. It was the third time we won the 1000 Guineas, but it had been a long time since the last one – 21 years.

“Obviously, the Classic races and the Group One races, you have to have the good horses.

“We knew last year she was a good filly, but she is a tiny filly and you have to look after her.

“I gave her a break between races, just to allow her to recover.”

Mawj is now being prepared to take on Tahiyra, who had won the Moyglare Stud Stakes last season and gained her second top-class success with victory over Meditate in the Irish Classic.

Though she won on soft ground at Newmarket, Bin Suroor insists Mawj will not be concerned what ground conditions await her at the Berkshire track.

The daughter of Exceed And Excel, who bypassed the Curragh Classic, has had plenty of experience on differing surfaces.

In her eight starts, on which she has won five, she was victorious over six furlongs on fast ground at Newmarket, on soft ground over a mile when taking her Group One.

“She goes to the Coronation Stakes now,” he added. “I don’t think the ground matters to her, because she won on softer ground in Dubai also and she came back here on soft ground.

“I think she will handle any ground and we look forward to going to Ascot with her.”

Silvestre de Sousa has withdrawn his appeal against a 10-month ban picked up in Hong Kong recently.

The former UK champion jockey was handed the lengthy suspension having pleaded guilty, along with fellow rider Vagner Borges, to breaching rule 59 (3), which states “no jockey shall bet, or facilitate the making of a bet, or have any interest in a bet, on any race or any contingency relating to a race meeting”.

A press release from the Honk Kong Jockey Club at the time stated that Borges “had an interest in a bet” on his mount Young Brilliant in a race at Happy Valley on April 26, with De Sousa having “facilitated” that bet.

The statement added that “there was no evidence before the stewards that Borges and De Sousa had ridden their horses in the respective race with any intention other than to obtain the best possible placing for their mounts”.

However, the stewards also underlined “it is fundamental to the integrity of racing that jockeys are not permitted to bet or to have an interest in a bet”.

De Sousa’s solicitor Harry Stewart Moore confirmed the Brazilian would be appealing but on Monday the KHJC released a statement which read:

“The Stewards have approved an application from jockey S de Sousa to withdraw the appeal lodged by him against the severity of a 10 month disqualification from 12 May 2023 to 11 March 2024 (both dates inclusive), imposed by the Stipendiary Stewards on 12 May 2023 for a breach of Rule 59 (3). The Stewards further directed that the appeal deposit be refunded.”

Point Lonsdale will head for the Dahlbury Coronation Cup on Friday, as Aidan O’Brien finalises his squad for Epsom’s two-day Derby meeting.

The Australia colt is unbeaten in two starts this season having followed up his reappearance success in the Alleged Stakes by adding the Huxley Stakes at Chester, to prove he still possesses all the high-class ability he showed when motoring to multiple victories as a juvenile.

He is one of three in the mix for O’Brien in the Group One contest alongside Dubai Gold Cup scorer Broome and last year’s Derby fifth Changingoftheguard.

However, it appears Point Lonsdale is Ballydoyle’s main hope for the race, trying a mile and a half for the first time.

“The plan is to go for the Coronation Cup with Point Lonsdale,” said O’Brien. “It looked the last day like a mile and a half might suit him.”

O’Brien also holds a strong hand in both of the Classics set to be run on the Surrey Downs with Savethelastdance the overwhelming favourite for the Betfred Oaks and Auguste Rodin high-up on ante-post lists for the Betfred Derby despite disappointing in the 2000 Guineas.

“Epsom is all about Auguste Rodin at the moment and everything has gone well since the Guineas. We have others in and it’s possible that something else will run with him,” said O’Brien when assessing his contenders.

“Covent Garden might run in the Derby as well along with Adelaide River.

“Gooloogong will go for the mile and six race, the (Queen’s) Vase, at Ascot.

“Savethelastdance has done well since Chester. Be Happy was second in Lingfield and may run as well.”

Above The Curve made all the running under Maxime Guyon to land the Group Two Prix Corrida with an easy two-length success at Saint-Cloud on Sunday.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained four-year-old had been touched off when finishing third in the Prix de l’Opera over 10 furlongs in October before a lacklustre run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

A daughter of American Pharoah, she had a bit to find after finishing last on her seasonal return in the Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh earlier this month.

Guyon, riding Above The Curve for the first time, kept things simple, setting a steady gallop before winding things up approaching three furlongs out.

Dual Group One winner Nashwa, making her first start since finishing fourth to Tuesday as favourite in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf having been one place in front of Above The Curve on Arc day, tracked the winner throughout.

However, Hollie Doyle was hard at work turning in and on ground quicker than she would have ideally liked, the John and Thady-Gosden-trained mare faded to fourth, with Mqse Se Servigne coming from last to briefly challenge the winner, with the keen-going India pipping Nashwa for third.

Thady Gosden was far from unhappy with Nashwa’s performance.

He said: “I don’t think we can be too disappointed. All the other fillies had one or two runs already this year and it has been a long time since her last run at the Breeders’ Cup in Keeneland.

“It was just the lack of a run and she’ll come on plenty for that. We’ll see how she comes out of the race and see how she travels back before making any hard and fast plans for her.”

It has been 52 years since Mill Reef won the Betfred Derby from Park House Stables, but Andrew Balding is dreaming of ending the Kingsclere’s long wait for another Epsom champion with Dante hero The Foxes.

Balding of course landed the opening Classic of the season when Chaldean triumphed in the 2000 Guineas, but is still searching for his first win in the calendar’s premier contest having gone close with both Khalifa Sat in 2020 and Hoo Ya Mal 12 months ago.

Not only would a victory for The Foxes provide Balding with a first Derby success, it would be a first British Classic triumph for owners King Power Racing, the racing arm of the owners of Leicester City Football Club.

King Power Racing’s founder Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha tragically died in a helicopter crash in 2018 and not only is Balding keen to restore Kingsclere into the story of the Derby, he believes a triumph for The Foxes would be a “fitting tribute to a great man” and a great supporter of the yard.

He said: “We have a rich Derby heritage here at Park House Stables and it has been quiet for more than 50 years now. It is something we want to put right one day and hopefully The Foxes is that horse.

“It is a wonderful race with a rich history that is ever evolving. There is a new chapter every year written about it and it would be lovely to think he could headline that next chapter.

“King Power Racing have been extremely good to me since they started and they have given me strong support since they became involved in racing.

“He (Srivaddhanaprabha) had a huge vision and this would have given him immense satisfaction as the whole thing was to play at the highest level.

“To have had a horse that is a worthy contender for the Derby is what he set out to try and achieve. I’m sure he would be very proud and it would be a fitting tribute to a great man if he did win a Derby.”

Balding has saddled 10 runners in the Derby since he began his training career and although twice taking home a silver medal and also seeing Kameko sent off favourite on the Surrey Downs in 2020, he considers The Foxes to be the stable’s best chance yet of claiming the top prize.

He continued: “From the two that were second – Khalifa Sat and Hoo Ya Mal – The Foxes goes in there with far better credentials than they had. Kameko started the race favourite, and he deserved to be, as he was a 2000 Guineas winner but as history now tells us he didn’t stay.

“Bangkok went there as a Sandown Classic Trial winner and he went there as a lively outsider, but I think this is the best chance we have had.”

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