Desert Law features among 46 entries for the £100,000 Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ over the fastest five furlongs in the world at Epsom Downs on Investec Derby Day, day two of the Investec Derby Festival, Saturday 4th June.
The eight-year-old led home a one–two for Yorkshire-based trainer Paul Midgley in the valuable handicap over Epsom’s downhill five-furlong course last year, with stable companion Monsieur Joe a length back in second, and the third Boom The Groom (Tony Carroll) a neck further in arrears.
Boom The Groom is on course for this year’s race after a good campaign on the All-Weather. The five-year-old captured a valuable five-furlong handicap at Wolverhampton in February and was fourth to Alben Star in the Unibet All-Weather Sprint Championship at Lingfield Park on Good Friday.
Tony Carroll, who trains in Worcestershire, said: “We have been very pleased with Boom The Groom since Lingfield. We have given him a little break just to freshen him up and hopefully we will get him to Epsom in good order.
“I think his form this year is very good and it looks as though he has gone up another notch since being gelded.
“You need the draw, the weather and, like all these big sprints, you need a bit of luck. He is a very talented horse and we feel he might be open to a bit more improvement as he has a bit of youth on his side.”
Other previous winners in the line-up include 2013 victor Duke Of Firenze (David Griffiths) and Caspian Prince, who triumphed for Carroll in 2014 but is now with Dean Ivory.
Likely top-weight Steps has finished fourth in the last two renewals and in 2015 went on to win the Portland Handicap at Doncaster and a Group Three contest at Newbury. His trainer Roger Varian has also entered potential improver Maljaa and Ascot scorer Double Up. Maljaa, a four-year-old son of Paco Boy, has won on four of his nine starts and been second four times and third once.
Newmarket handler Robert Cowell has four entries headed by Normal Equilibrium, who captured the Investec Asset Finance Handicap over the course and distance last month, plus recent Goodwood scorer Marmalady and Green Door.
There are six three-year-olds among the entries, notably Weatherbys Super Sprint scorer Lathom(Richard Fahey) and the Mark Johnston-trained pair of Rah Rah and Riflescope.
Other eye-catching sprinters include Stepper Point (William Muir), who defeated Mecca’s Angel in a Group Two winner at the Curragh last season, and five-furlong All-Weather specialist Lightscameraction (Gay Kelleway).
A maximum of 20 runners can line up in the £100,000 Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ Handicap at 3.45pm on Saturday, 4th June.
The electronically-timed course record time for five furlongs at Epsom Downs is held by Stone Of Folca who achieved 53.69s on 2nd June, 2012 in the Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ (s speed of close to 42mph). The hand-timed course record is 53.60s set by Indigenous on 2nd June, 1960.