Dubai: The Fender Telecaster is one of the biggest selling legendary guitars in rock ‘n’ roll history and a horse that shares its name with the famous instrument is making an absolute ruckus in the Epsom Derby market following his performance in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (Group 2) at York on Thursday.
Musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards and Albert Collins have all made a name for themselves playing the iconic six-string electric guitar so it is not unusual to expect the horse called Telecaster to do the same should he run in British racing’s most famous horse race 15 days from now.
Ridden with supreme confidence and ability by Oisin Murphy, one of the most exciting jockeys in the business, the Hughie Morrison-trained colt upstaged the unbeaten Too Darn Hot to win a hotly contested Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at the Knavesmire and in doing so, totally shake-up the Derby jigsaw.
It is interesting to note that Telecaster, who was bought back by his breeders, Meon Valley Stud, when failing to fetch a base price of 180,000 guineas (Dh1 million) at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2017, has now emerged as a serious contender for the English blue riband at Epsom on June 1.
However, as he does not hold an entry for the 2,000-metre contest that is the prize that every jockey, trainer, owner and breeders aspires to win, he will need to be supplemented to the race at a cost of £75,000.
British bookmaker William Hill slashed the colt’s odds to 9-2, pending supplementation, while easing Too Darn Hot (John Gosden) to 14 and third placed Surfman (Roger Varian) to 14 (from 16).
Last year’s Derby-winning handler Charlie Appleby’s big hope to give him a repeat win in the race could only finish seventh of eight in a race that is the most-respected trial for the Classic with ten horses having won both races.
“It was a really nice performance, although we’ve run this season and Too Darn Hot hadn’t,” Morrison told Racing TV. “We’re going to have to take supplementing him for the Derby very seriously now.
“It’s only 16 days away until the race and we’ll have to see how he is.”
Meanwhile, Gosden ruled Too Darn Hot out of the Derby picture and revealed that he will aim the Andrew Lloyd-Webber colt at the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot later in June.
“His stamina in the last furlong was telling,” said Gosden. “He’s run a very solid race, it’s quite simply a matter of stamina. If you’re going to go to a Derby I don’t want to turn up playing around, I want to come to a proper trial and I’m happy with that.”
However, Lloyd-Webber, the famous English composer and impresario of musical theatre such as Phantom of the Opera, Evita and Sunset Boulevard, to name a few of his works, did not go home sulking as the highly regarded Lah Ti Dar, the elder brother to Too Darn Hot, delivered a gusty performance under Frankie Dettori to win the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2) by a neck from Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah’s Rawdaa.