Epsom Derby: Sir Alex Ferguson's Telescope to miss Dante Stakes


Epsom Derby contender Telescope, part-owned by retiring Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, will miss Thursday's Dante Stakes at York.

Owners Highclere Racing say the colt, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, has a minor infection after he suffered grazes to two of his legs while being loaded into a horsebox.

"We are hoping Telescope will still make it to the Derby and Sir Michael is hoping to give him a racecourse gallop in preparation," said Highclere managing director Harry Herbert.

The Newmarket-trained Telescope was a 9-2 chance on Tuesday morning for the Derby on 1 June, behind 6-4 favourite Dawn Approach. When the market was revised after news of his infection, bookmakers priced the horse at 6-1 with a run.

Stoute has the only current leading British-trained challenger for the famous mile-and-a-half Flat race and hopes to give the three-year-old a racecourse gallop next week.

Dawn Approach is trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger for owners Godolphin, while four recent Derby trials have all been won by top Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien.

Another of Highclere's syndicates will be represented in the Dante by Greatwood, who was a late withdrawal from Saturday's Lingfield Derby Trial because of the rain-softened ground.

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