Bonfire lays down Derby marker with Dante win

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By Andrew Scutts
Racing Post

Bonfire Fencing finished third but Mandaean and the 11-4 favourite Ernest Hemingway failed to establish their credentials for Epsom.

The winner was immediately installed clear second favourite for the Derby, with most firms quoting 5-1. But Ladbrokes stuck their necks out, at least for the time being, going 8-1.

Ladbrokes cut Camelot to 8-11 in the wake of the Dante, though Paddy Power decided to lengthen the favourite’s odds to 11-10 after Bonfire had proven himself a strong contender for Epsom.

He was always travelling kindly under Jimmy Fortune and always holding Ektihaam close home, though the second was another who travelled well through the race, and he too was cut in the Derby market, bet365 and Paddy Power going 12-1.

Fortune said: “He traveled really well, travelled like a good horse. They went a good gallop and it was a truly run race. He likes to do things his own way but he’s very genuine.”

Winning trainer Andrew Balding added: “I was getting a bit uncomfortable with all the hype because he’s not a brilliant work horse at home, so it’s a great relief to get him out. It was a truly run race – hopefully it doesn’t take too much out ofhim.”

Bonfire won by three-quarters of a length, with Ektihaam four lengths clear of Fencing.

Mandaean was beaten halfway up the straight and finished sixth of the seven runners, with Ernest Hemingway eased inside the final furlong and trailing home a long way last.

View the original article at the Racing Post

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