Although he remains a horse of significant ability the John Gosden-trained Shantaram seems unlikely to take his chance at Epsom on June 2 in the Group 1 Investec Derby after tasting defeat for the third time in three career outings when going down by three-quarters-of-a-length to Main Sequence in the Group 3 Betfred Lingfield Derby Trial on Saturday, writes Elliot Slater.
Shantaram was sent off the 5/4 favourite to break his duck at the third time of asking in the classic trial and for most of the way it looked as though the Betfair Horse Betting markets had got it spot on as the imposing son of Galileo travelled well in the hands of William Buick. Driven into the lead over a furlong out, he was soon pressed though by the eventual winner and was unable to quicken in the last hundred yards as he finished runner-up once again.
The form has a solid look to it however with the front pair pulling five-lengths clear of the decent Cavaleiro, but the impression from connections immediately after his defeat was that they will most likely look to find a small race to win with Shantaram to boost his confidence before possibly heading to Royal Ascot next month for the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes.
Despite being a maiden Shantaram was a warm order at Lingfield having failed by just a nose on each of his earlier starts to beat seemingly useful performers. His debut loss to Emmuska at Sandown last year and his defeat by a hair’s breadth at the hands of Model Pupil (who himself failed by a similar margin to win a Derby trial at Chester last week), looked good form to most observers.
Bookmakers left Shantaram at 33/1 in the Epsom Derby 2012 Odds list even though his participation in the blue riband contest is now somewhat unlikely.