Favourite Carlton House down but not out of the Derby picture

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Carlton House is still expected to run in the Derby, despite his participation being threatened by an injury picked up in a routine canter.

The 7/4 Derby favourite was found to have some swelling in a near-fore joint after completing his Newmarket exercise, although some follow up X-rays have shown no serious injury.

However, any sort of negativity this close to a big race is not ideal and trainer Sir Michael Stoute will now have to use his judgement to decide whether the horse that is owned by the Queen is able to produce his best at Epsom in the Classic.

This type of injury is also not ideal for a race taking place at Epsom, with the course known for its various undulations and demands it places on the horses taking part.

John Warren, the Queen’s racing manager, told Racing UK: “Luckily, his important work is now out of the way and it would only be routine cantering that would be left to be undertaken for the remainder of the week.

He added: “It was a little bit sore and they will be icing, hosing and wrapping to try and keep the joint well looked-after. We are still extremely hopeful but it will be a day-by-day thing.”

Carlton House has headed the Derby betting since impressing in victory in the Dante Stakes at York last month and had been backed into 5/4 at one point recently, while there were suggestions that he could go off as short as 1/1 on race day.

If Carlton House does not run at Epsom, then it would be a substantial boost for trainer Aidan O’Brien as he has two horses considered to have major chances.

Seville finished second behind Carlton House in the Dante and is currently 13/2 in the Derby odds, while Recital is 11/2 and is the chosen mount of Kieren Fallon.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.