Sir Alex Ferguson's Telescope 'workmanlike' in course work

Richard Hughes on Telescope

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was at Lingfield on Wednesday to watch Epsom Derby third favourite Telescope in a racecourse gallop.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt, owned by a syndicate in which Ferguson has a share, was put through his paces by jockey Ryan Moore.

Stoute described the gallop as 'workmanlike' and Telescope's odds for the 1 June race have since lengthened.

He is now around 8-1, behind both Dawn Approach and Battle of Marengo.

Telescope missed his intended trial in the Dante Stakes at York six days ago because of a leg infection and will now face a make-or-break gallop at Newmarket on Saturday to determine whether he runs in the Derby.

Stoute, who supervised Telescope's work at Lingfield alongside stablemates Commend and Opinion, said afterwards: "We felt it was more of workmanlike display.

"He's worked with these horses this spring and has been more impressive than that.

"I felt that he didn't really switch off - even cantering down he was just taking a bit of a tug.

"Hopefully it will do him the power of good to get back to the racecourse as it's been a long time.

"We will see what today has done for him, mentally more than anything else. We'll work him on Saturday and chat again."

Harry Herbert, the spokesman for the Highclere Racing Syndicate who own Telescope, added: "He hasn't put in a performance that was as good as had been hoped.

"Hopefully we'll see the real Telescope on Saturday and the dream will still be alive."

Dawn Approach, owned by Godolphin racing boss Sheikh Mohammed, is the Derby favourite and is now odds-on with some bookmakers.

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