Queen Elizabeth’s Street Cry colt Carlton House has been installed a 7-4 favourite for the English Derby after scoring an authoritative victory in the G2 Dante at York on Thursday.
Carlton House (3c Street Cry – Talented by Bustino) looked every inch a classic candidate as he pulled away from Coolmore colt Seville (Galileo) and Pisco Sour (Lemon Drop Kid). Juddmonte’s boom homebred World Domination (Empire Maker) disappointed in fourth spot.
Carlton House is the headline act of an arrangement which saw the Queen receive six two-year-olds in a private deal from Sheikh Mohammed and the Aga Khan last year. He was racing first-up since winning a Newbury maiden by nine lengths in October.
Street Cry has now sired 47 individual stakes winners headed by all-conquering mare Zenyatta, Kentucky Derby hero Street Sense and Melbourne Cup winner Shocking.
An English Derby would see the Darley shuttler assume the mantle of global alpha-male following the death of Sadler’s Wells.
And the Dante is recognised as one of the most significant of the Derby trials in recent years with Workforce, Authorized and Motivator all going on to score on the Epsom Downs.
The Queen’s passion for racing has always burned bright but top-level performers have been few and far between. She hasn’t had a Derby starter since 1981 when Church Parade finished fifth behind the legendary Shergar.
Two years earlier, Milford looked a serious contender under Lester Piggott only to be swept aside by Troy.
Her Majesty came closest to winning the classic with Auerole who was runner-up back in her Coronation Year of 1953. On that occasion, Sir Gordon Richards finally rode his first Derby winner aboard Pinza.
With Royal Wedding fever still fresh in the memory, bookies reckon the Queen’s horse will ensure the most highly anticipated flat race in years and they are expecting a right royal plunge on Saturday, June 4.
Carlton House showed his inexperience when getting a little worked up going into the stalls before the Dante. The Sir Michael Stoute trained colt also raced a shade keenly during a slowly run race but showed a tremendous attitude to quicken through a narrow opening at the furlong pole.