New Approach wins the Derby
New Approach had been the last champion juvenile to win the Derby

City of Troy analysis | Derby winner show rare blend of speed and stamina

Timeform's Tony McFadden explains how City of Troy has joined a select club by winning the Dewhurst Stakes and the Derby.

Following his 2000 Guineas flop City of Troy had plenty of questions to answer in the Derby on Saturday, including whether he would stay on his first attempt at a mile and a half.

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As a brother to Bertinelli, who had shown his best form at a mile and a half, and out of a sister to Oaks winner Forever Together, encouragement could certainly be taken from his pedigree. But it is rare for horses to be precocious enough to win Group 1s at two and have enough stamina to win at the highest level over a mile and a half as three-year-olds.

Prior to City of Troy, the last champion juvenile to win the Derby was New Approach in 2008. That Crowded House and Dawn Approach are the only champion juveniles in the interim who attempted the double highlights how rare it is for Derby contenders to be forward enough to take top honours at two.

Like City of Troy, New Approach had won the Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket on his final start of his two-year-old campaign. Sir Percy, who also completed the Dewhurst and Derby double, and Minding and Love, who won the Moyglare and the Oaks, are the only others to have won Group 1s at seven furlongs at two and a mile and a half at three this century.

Speed and stamina

Of the 25 editions of the Derby run from the year 2000, City of Troy is the ninth winner who had also won a Group 1 at two, though six of those had won over a mile, often on testing ground, so hadn't been faced with as much of an emphasis on speed.

The Derby winners this century who won a Group 1 at two

  • Sinndar (National Stakes, 1m)
  • High Chaparral (Racing Post Trophy, 1m)
  • Motivator (Racing Post Trophy, 1m)
  • Sir Percy (Dewhurst Stakes, 7f)
  • Authorized (Racing Post Trophy, 1m)
  • New Approach (Dewhurst Stakes, 7f)
  • Camelot (Racing Post Trophy, 1m)
  • Auguste Rodin (Racing Post Trophy, 1m)
  • City of Troy (Dewhurst Stakes, 7f)

The speed with which City of Troy made his ground at Epsom allied with how powerful he proved in the final furlong underlines that this is a colt with a rare blend of speed and stamina.

And the feeling is that a horse blessed with such attributes is capable of enhancing his Timeform rating of 127p - which already marks him out as the highest-rated three-year-old in the division - when the situation demands it.

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