A total of 356 yearling entries (up from 339 last year) were revealed on Wednesday for the 241st running of the premier Classic, the Investec Derby, at Epsom Downs on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
The 2020 renewal of the mile and a half highlight of the Investec Derby Festival will have a prize fund of at least £1.5 million and remains the most valuable race run anywhere in Britain.
This year saw the famous blue silks of Godolphin carried to success for the first time in the Investec Derby by the Charlie Appleby-trained Masar and there are 12 yearling entries from the Maktoum family's racing operation for the 2020 renewal, with horses trained by Jim Bolger, John Gosden and Saeed bin Suroor.
Coolmore partnerships have been dominant in the Investec Derby since the turn of the millennium with seven successes courtesy of Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Pour Moi (2011), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014) and Wings of Eagles (2017).
Once again, yearlings in the ownership of partners Sue Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor are well represented, with 75 entries between them.
Among the Coolmore-owned contingent is a Galileo colt out of Shastye. The colt realised 3.4 million guineas at Tattersalls and is a full-brother to Japan, a G2-winning two-year-old in 2018 and among the leading contenders for the 2019 Investec Derby on Saturday, June 1.
Other Investec Derby-winning owners with significant representation include H H Aga Khan (19 entries), who won the Classic for a fifth time with Harzand in 2016, Hamdan Al Maktoum, who has a Dubawi colt out of his outstanding 2014 Investec Oaks heroine Taghrooda among his 22 entries, Khalid Abdullah (16 entries) and Saeed Suhail (9 entries).
Her Majesty The Queen has won every Classic except the Investec Derby at least once and came closest to success at Epsom Downs with 1953 runner-up Aureole and 2011 third Carlton House. There are five Royal entries for 2020, including a Dubawi colt out of Her Majesty's dual Listed scorer Enticement who is in training with John Gosden.
The outstanding 2015 Investec Derby hero Golden Horn had his first yearlings in 2018 and is responsible for 18 entries, including two for his owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer.
The 2001 Investec Derby and nine-time champion sire Galileo is the best represented sire with 56 entries, while other stallions with a strong presence include 2014 Investec Derby winner Australia (24 entries), 2012 Investec Derby victor Camelot (16 entries), Frankel (22 entries) and the outstanding Sea The Stars (18 entries), who took the 2009 renewal of the premier Classic.
New Approach, the 2008 Investec Derby winner, sired the 2018 hero Masar and is responsible for five yearling entries. A son of Galileo, New Approach became the first horse since Shirley Heights to be sired by a Derby winner and then subsequently sire a Derby winner (Shirley Heights, successful in 1978 was sired by 1971 winner Mill Reef and himself sired 1985 winner Slip Anchor).
Dubawi, who became the first British-based stallion to sire 100 G1 winners this year, is responsible for 13 entries.
The most expensive yearling sold at public auction in Europe in 2018 was a Dubawi colt out of G1 winner Dah Re Mi, a full-brother to 2018's champion two-year-old colt Too Darn Hot.
Bred by Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber's Watership Down Stud, the colt was purchased for 3.5 million guineas at Tattersalls by Qatar Racing Limited and is in training with John Gosden. Qatar Racing Limited, who owned the 2018 Investec Derby third Roaring Lion, has five entries in total.
A total of 10 Investec Derby winners are represented with relatives among the entries. In addition to Galileo, Australia, Camelot, Golden Horn, New Approach and Sea The Stars, there are also yearlings by Authorized (2007 winner - 2 entries), Pour Moi (2011 winner - 1 entry), Ruler Of The World (2013 winner - 1 entry) and Sir Percy (2006 winner - 3 entries).
Leading stallions from further afield are also represented, with 2015 US Triple Crown hero American Pharoah responsible for four entries, while legendary Japanese sire Deep Impact has one entry.
Fillies are eligible to compete in the Investec Derby and six fillies have won the leading Classic, although the most recent was Fifinella in 1916.
A quartet of fillies has been entered for 2020, including a pair by Galileo purchased by Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited for €3.2 million and €2 million respectively at Goffs Orby Sale.
The fillies also include the already-named Sigiriya Girl, by Gold Ship, who has been entered by leading Japanese operation Big Red Farm.
The yearling entry stage for the Investec Derby was instigated in 1991 (for the 1993 renewal) and currently costs £560 per horse.
Other ways of entering a horse for the Investec Derby include at the £9,000 second entry stage in April, 2020 and at the £85,000 supplementary entry stage on June 1, 2020.
Horses can also gain a Wild Card entry into the Investec Derby (if not already entered or a gelding) by winning one of two races at Epsom Downs - a two-year-old conditions race over an extended mile on September 29, 2019, and the 10-furlong Listed Investec Blue Riband Trial at the Investec Spring Meeting in April, 2020.
Andrew Cooper, Head of Racing and Clerk of the Course at Epsom Downs, said: "It is pleasing to see owners from across the world continuing to support the Investec Derby at the yearling entry stage, including so many of those who have enjoyed Investec Derby success in the past.
"The yearling entry stage offers a tried and tested route to Investec Derby glory and we are grateful for the support it continues to receive."