Youth Spirit Profile

Name Youth Spirit
Born Apr 04, 2018
Age 3 years
Breed Bay Colt

With a mixed bag of results in his previous outings, Youth Spirit entered the Epsom Derby at odds of 25/1 and performed to expectations, finishing in eighth place.

A fourth-place finish in his first race of 2021 was followed up by a victory in the Chester Vase Stakes at Chester, where he was much improved.

However, this came on soft ground and on faster turf, he had missed out on the places. The going in the Derby was Good to Soft and he couldn't use this to his advantage.

Youth Spirit's odds had drifted slightly ahead of the Derby, moving out to 25/1 from 20/1. He started strongly and tracked the leaders before being pushed along over three furlongs out. However, he lost position with two furlongs to go and quickly faded, finishing 19 lengths behind the winner Adayar.

Mixed beginnings

Youth Spirit's first race came on June 24, 2020, in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes at Haydock Park. He hung back for the majority of the race, finishing strongly inside the final furlong to come home in a respectable fourth place out of nine runners. He finished only two lengths behind the winner, Devious Company.

His first win came on July 10, in the bet365 British EBF Maiden Stakes at Newmarket. He had a strong race throughout and finished ahead of odds-on favourite Magical Land by a length.

The final race of his two-year-old season was on July 28 in the Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes at Goodwood. He finished in third place, over three lengths behind the winner, after being squeezed out at the start and having to chase the leaders for the majority of the race.

Youth Spirit's first race in 2021 came on April 13 in the bet365 Feilden Stakes at Newmarket. He ran in the midfield from the start, made a slight push early but was outpaced soon after. He never really had the pace to catch the leaders and came home in fourth, seven-and-a-half lengths behind the victor, Highland Avenue.

His most recent race prior to Epsom was on May 5 - a victory in the Group Three Chester Vase Stakes at Chester, which was of almost identical length to the Derby. It was a strong race for the colt as he tracked the leaders early and kept close throughout, making movements up to second over one furlong from home before taking the lead and holding on in the final 110 yards.

Connections

Youth Spirit is trained by Andrew Balding, a respected British trainer with a strong family history in the sport.

His older sister is famous British broadcaster Clare Balding, while his maternal uncle, William Hastings-Bass, was the former trainer to Queen Elizabeth II. His great-grandfather, Aubrey Hastings, trained four Grand National winning horses.

Andrew is the licenced trainer at the Kingsclere Park House Stables after taking over from his father when he stepped down in 2003. Kingsclere is a historic stable itself, having started operations in 1865. It has grown to be one of the most prestigious private stables in British racing.

Balding has just over 500 career wins from 3,300 races in Britain over the last five years, a 15% win percentage.

Youth Spirit is generally ridden by Oisin Murphy, a young and highly successful Irish jockey who has been with the Kingsclere stable since 2012. However, for the Derby, he was raced by Tom Marquand, who had guided him to success last time out at Chester.

Marquand was in solid form, having won the Champion Stakes last year with Addeybb. He also won the St Leger in 2020 with Galileo Chrome, which marked his first Classic win. Over the last five years, he has a 12% win percentage in British Flat racing. In last year's Derby, Marquand finished second on 50/1 shot Khalifa Sat.

Youth Spirit is owned by Ahmad Al Shaikh, who also owns Dirham Emirati and Almohandesah. He has currently secured 18 wins from 152 races in the last five years.

Pedigree

Youth Spirit was sired by Camelot, who performed strongly as a two-year-old in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. This saw his odds cut for the Derby drastically.

In 2012, on his three-year-old debut, Camelot won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, then followed that up by winning the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby at Curragh. His attempt to win the triple crown fell one short, however, when he came second in the St Leger.

His dam is Rocana, who was never raced. Youth Spirit is her first foal. Her sire is Fastnet Rock, who regularly sires Group 1 winners.

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