Patience a virtue as Warrsan lifts Brittain title bid.
Clive Brittain's resurgence continued apace at Epsom yesterday when Warrsan swooped to land the Vodafone Coronation Cup.
Warrsan's half-length victory over Highest catapulted his popular trainer back into second place in the trainers' championship and set up a chance of landing racing's newly devised BHB Triple Crown, of which this Group One event was the first leg.
Brittain has had to play a patient game with the Caerleon entire, who has proved excitable throughout his racing career. At one stage he even refused to walk down the yard at the trainer's Carlburg stable.
'He gets himself super-active and part of the secret of training this horse is to take away all the excitements from him,' said Brittain, who was landing the race for the first time in a glittering career.
'We have to take him out first thing because if he's with the rest of the string he gets himself a little over-excited.
'When he first came into the yard he was an overgrown baby and galloping hurt him and, at first, he didn't even want to walk down the yard.
'So it was kid gloves all the way through his three-year-old career and into his four-year-old career because I knew this was always going to be his highlight. He's done well for a one-time 87-rated handicapper.'
Brittain admitted it was unlikely he would be taking his charge to Sandown for the Coral Eclipse, the next leg of the Triple Crown - unless the wolves came to the door of his Carlburg stables in Newmarket.
'If I get short of a few quid I might be tempted,' he laughed.
'He won't be short of Group One entries - I put him in the Arc at the first stage - and I would think the King George will be his next race.'
Brittain saddles Dutch Gold and Lundy's Lane in the Vodafone Derby and added: 'This is the icing on the cake but we've got a two-tiered cake.
'If the ground eases Dutch Gold would have an outstanding chance while Lundy's lane's race was run in a very fast time in Italy.'
Until Warrsan's late charge, Highest had looked a likely winner for Godolphin whose spokesman Simon Crisford took the defeat on the chin.
'We were expecting a very strong run today and got it,' said Crisford. 'We'll see how he is and the Hardwicke Stakes is a possibility.'
Third place went to the Aidan O'Brien-trained Black Sam Bellamy who got unbalanced at a critical stage in the straight, according to his jockey Mick Kinane. 'That was no help,' he said.
British bookmakers are bracing themselves for record-breaking betting levels today and predict that more than pounds 100 million will be wagered across the nation's betting shop counters on Derby day.
'This will be the biggest and the best Derby ever in terms of betting,' said Coral spokesman Simon Clare.
'With a high-class field of 20 runners and no World Cup to compete with, the eyes of the nation will be on Epsom.'
A victory for the Aidan O'Brien-trained Brian Boru, who could start favourite, will cost British bookmakers a multi-million pound pay-out following a disastrous Cheltenham Festival, when nearly all the big races were won by well-backed runners. O'Brien has won the last two Derbys with Galileo and High Chaparral.
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|Publication:||The Birmingham Post (England)|
|Date:||Jun 7, 2003|
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