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Thursday 2 July 2020

Epsom Derby 2020: Kameko to Make Balding's Dream Day

It's a generational thing. 

Like father, like son. Two trainers who spanned the decades with one dream in common - to win the Epsom Derby. 

Ian Balding achieved his goal in 1971 when Mill Reef won the Epsom Derby by two lengths and wrote his name in the history books. In truth, Mill Reef was a beast of a horse with raw natural ability, as proven by his 12 victories from 14 starts. Owner, Paul Mellon, and jockey, Geoff Lewis, didn't have any misgivings about what may have been when it came to their big day at the races. 

They turned up on the day, got the job done in style, and went back home to Park House Stables, Kingsclere, Newbury. 

Could this be a similar story for his son Andrew Balding? 

Get ready for the Epsom Derby that takes place on Saturday the 4th of July 4:55 pm. A field of 17 three-year-old colts will take part in this race over 1m 4f. A mix of trainers big and small including the likely favourite English King, trained by Ed Walker and a host of Irish raiders from Aidan O'Brien's stable. 

Andrew Balding will be sending his 2000 Guineas winner, Kameko, who races in the ownership of Qatar Racing Limited and ridden by Oisin Murphy. The stable has been in excellent form all season and they will be hoping this is the cherry on the top of the cake if this son of Kitten's Joy can triumph, stepping up markedly in distance from one mile in which he tasted success at Newmarket on the 6th June.

Kameko has raced just five times in his career, with three successes, two at the highest level. 

As far as family rivalry goes I'm sure any son would love to achieve the greatness of their father if not go above and beyond. This April foal will go to the start with the reputation of the Balding family behind him. Whether he can live up to the mighty Mill Reef is another thing because few horses come close to that (even Derby winners) but Kameko will be racing with the determination of all who believe that after many decades and even a generation that lightning can strike twice.

Good luck to all. 

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