Chopin intriguing for Derby as Telescope misses Dante

Dawn Approach has hardened at the head of the Epsom Derby betting after news arrived that Sir Michael Stoute’s Telescope will miss his intended Classic-prep. As a result he’ll head to Epsom without a seasonal pipe-opener – an unorthodox prep which should have punters looking elsewhere for the Derby winner, with Chopin an interesting proposition.

Glancing back through the annals of Derby history doesn’t paint a rosy picture for connections of Telescope. The son of Galileo, who has yet to be ruled out of contention for Epsom, would be the first colt to triumph in the race on their first run of the season since William Haggas’ Shaamit back in 1996.

Sir Michael Stoute may ultimately choose to sit out the Derby with Telescope, with Epsom’s undulating track not ideal for an inexperienced type. The colt – the most expensive yearling ever bought by the Highclere Thoroughbreds syndicate organisation – holds alternative engagements in the St James’ Palace Stakes and Irish Derby later in June.

Although Dawn Approach’s sire New Approach won the Derby, the average distance over which his progeny’s wins have been scored is just under 1m1f, as opposed to New Approach’s own sire – the world-renowned Galileo – whose offspring’s mean winning trip is 1m3f.

As a result his ability to stay the 1m4f Derby trip is far from assured, regardless of how well he switches off in his races.

With Jim Bolger’s colt so short in the betting there is scope for getting involved with some of the other market leaders at generous prices.

At 20/1 – tied for seventh favourite in the Derby betting – the name Chopin may meet with replies of “who?” from the average British punter, but in Germany he’s being playfully referred to as the “the New Approach of Germany” due to his superiority over his contemporaries.

The son of Santiago earned the highest ever rating for a German three-year-old at this stage of the season after recording an eight-length victory on his sole start of the season and was promptly bought by Shekih Fahad Al Thani.

His trainer Andreas Wholer is experienced at readying horses to strike in big international races, having previously saddled victors in the Singapore Cup, Hong Kong’s QE II and the Dubai Duty Free and the 20/1 about his charge could start to shrink when his Epsom attendance is more definite.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.