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Unflappable Frankie far from fazed by English King's low Derby draw

Whatever way you slice it, English King's draw of stall one in the English Derby at Epsom Downs on Saturday is a headache rather than a hindrance for Frankie Dettori.

Oath in 1999 was the last to win from there. Since no horse has come from stall one to finish better than fourth and that horse was 4-5 favourite Saxon Warrior.

In the last ten years Main Sequence (stall three in 2012) and Kingston Hill (stall two in 2014) are the only horses to finish in the first three from lower than berth five.

Dettori is phlegmatic about the draw English King has been given as he seeks a third Derby win. 

"We can’t change it now, it is what it is," said Dettori, who won the Derby on Authorized in 2007 and Golden Horn five years ago. "If you look at past Derbys, it hasn’t mattered where the winner was drawn.

"If the horse is good enough and we have a bit of luck then we’ll see where he finishes. We’ll find out on Saturday. We’ve got what we’ve got and we’ve got to go and do our best."

That is all Dettori can do, make the best of it. "I’m not bothered at all," said the colt's trainer Ed Walker. "Stall one has produced winners and we’ve got a fairly experienced jockey on board to navigate his way round, so I’m not worried."

The problem with a low draw is less the fact they go right early and more that when they come back to the rail for Tattenham Corner you get swamped. Jockeys either have to make a lot of use of their mount to secure a frontal position on the rail – which often proves costly as it comes uphill – or they need to accept they will be pinned on the rail and ride for luck.

The advantage is they get to go the shortest route, and if a gap appears at the right time it could be a dream run. But the further back you are at Epsom the less likely you are to find a gap on the inside.

 

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