Derby contender John Leeper heading to Newmarket

John Leeper will seek to enhance his reputation in the Fairway Stakes at Newmarket Stakes on Saturday, after the impeccably-bred colt was not declared for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes.

Trainer Ed Dunlop is looking to run the son of Frankel and Snow Fairy – who won 16 Group Ones between them – at his local track as ground conditions are expected to be more suitable than at York on Thursday.

John Leeper, named after Dunlop’s late father, got off the mark in highly promising fashion at Newcastle last month following an encouraging run on his only run as a two-year-old at Doncaster in September.

“He runs on Saturday at Newmarket, all being well,” said Dunlop.

“We thought it was the right thing to go to Newmarket. All this rain we’d had recently meant the ground was slightly better here.

“It gave him a little bit more time after his win and therefore we’re going to run there. We’ll see what happens and take it from there.”

Snow Fairy returns victorious in the Oaks
Snow Fairy returns victorious in the Oaks (Sean Dempsey/PA)

John Leeper holds an entry in the Cazoo Derby at Epsom on June 5, for which he is generally available at 20-1, having shortened considerably in the market on the premier Classic since his Newcastle win under Hollie Doyle.

He is also engaged in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.

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