sport

Osborne talks up Toast

Jamie Osborne is attempting to rein in his excitement over running Toast Of New York in Saturday's UAE Derby at Meydan.

Carrying the colours of Michael Buckley, which are better recognised in National Hunt circles, the colt is sent into strong international competition after bolting up in two races at Wolverhampton.

"He didn't lose much in condition on the trip and is already back to his usual weight," said the Lambourn trainer.

"I believe he is the best horse I've had for a long time so we decided he deserved his chance.

"I'd hate to think we're here just to make up the numbers. I haven't had a horse this good in a number of years. He could be a Group One horse in the making.

"I'm not saying he's a Group One horse yet as he's still a bit raw. The bottom line is I wouldn't come unless there was some evidence he could be competitive.

"I knew before he ran he would be the best two-year-old I've ever trained and when Michael bought him he was the size of horse that could have ended up running in bumpers if he hadn't cut the mustard with me on the Flat."

Aidan O'Brien is looking to win the event for the third time on the spin and saddles Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Giovanni Boldini and Group-placed Sir John Hawkins.

The trainer's son, Joseph, said: "Ryan (Moore) rides Giovanni Boldini. He had a little setback after the Breeders' Cup but has done well and been working well.

"He has a lot of speed, and this trip may be as far as he wants to go, but he seems very well."

The UAE Derby is regularly won by Godolphin and the Charlie Appleby-trained Long John could be a warm favourite.

The Caulfield Guineas winner made a smooth transfer from Darley Australia in the UAE version.

"Long John shows next to nothing at home but we had been forewarned that was the case," said Appleby.

"It was a big win in the UAE 2000 Guineas but that was 1600 metres and we have another 300m on Saturday in better company.

"I think he will stay and he is in great nick coming into the race.

"We also have Safety Check in the field and the trip should certainly suit him."

Fellow Godolphin candidate Paximadia has also arrived from Australia but was well beaten in the UAE Guineas.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who is double-handed with Emirates Flyer, told www.godolphin.com: "Paximadia was disappointing in the UAE 2000 Guineas but when he worked on Monday he went really well.

"Emirates Flyer is a very tough horse. If you look at his record, it is first or second virtually all the time.

"He is in the right race, but it will be a tough contest as there are some nice colts."

Frankie Dettori rides Royal Lodge third Sir Jack Layden for David Brown, who said: "He looks terrific and I'm really confident he will run a good race."