Father and son Paul and Oliver Cole set to become first training partnership to have a Derby runner when Highland Chief enters the prestigious race
- Paul and Oliver Cole are set for a landmark run in the Derby with Highland Chief
- Highland Chief produced a great home-straight finish at Royal Ascot this week
- Paul Cole won the 1991 Derby, and has trained 21 Royal Ascot winners as well
Father and son Paul and Oliver Cole are set to become the first training partnership to have a runner in the Investec Derby when Highland Chief runs in the prestigious race on July 4.
Highland Chief produced a great home-straight finish in Thursday’s Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot, defying top weight and a wide draw to beat Tritonic at odds of 20-1.
Paul Cole won the 1991 Derby with Generous and has trained 21 Royal Ascot winners himself. His training partnership with his son has enjoyed fruitful results since racing resumed.
Father and son Paul and Oliver Cole are planning a landmark Derby run with Highland Chief
Oliver said: ‘Highland Chief had to make up 20 lengths to win. He does show the most amazing turn of foot. You need that at Epsom. His odds for the Golden Gates Handicap showed him no respect on his form.
‘People had looked at his final run at Newmarket last season (when he finished sixth to Royal Dornoch in the Royal Lodge Stakes), but before that he was third in the Chesham Stakes at the 2019 royal meeting behind Pinatubo and he probably would have been a lot closer but he got bumped.
‘You can see he is still an inexperienced horse and there is still a lot of improvement in him.’
Highland Chief produced an impressive home-straight finish on Thursday at Royal Ascot
Highland Chief carries the colours of Jim and Fitri Hay and 24 hours after the Derby the Cole team are planning to run the couple’s colt Celtic Art in the French Derby.
Meanwhile, the minor hind-leg injury picked up by Hukum when he won the King George V Handicap on Wednesday means trainer Owen Burrows will not be tempted to enter him in the Derby.
The son of Sea The Stars needs a short recuperation before heading for the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood or the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.