CHARLIE APPPLEBY’S flying start to the season continued as Wirko left it late in the Derby trial at Epsom.
Rolling down the hill, it looked as if Martyn Meade’s filly Technique would leave the boys in her wake.
But jockey William Buick managed to get Wirko (11-2) rolling out in the middle of the track just in the nick of time.
In top gear when it mattered, Wirko edged past Sean Levey and Technique to win by a head. Favourite Uncle Bryn was third, two lengths back.
Not entered in the Epsom Classic, the horse will now get a free slot in the big one should connections give it the thumbs up. The bookies introduced him as a 16-1 chance.
The team have an eye on the Lingfield Derby Trial now where they can size up more of the potential opposition.
Appleby said: "I felt every horse had similar credentials and as it's turned out, the first three home were the least experienced in the field.
"Our horse had wintered well and we felt 10 furlongs was going to suit him.
"He has a great staying pedigree on the dam's side, so he ticks a few nice boxes.
"He was one of the horses we hadn't entered for the Derby, so we thought that he could go and earn his stripes into the race today."
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Meade will also be back on the Downs with his runner-up Technique. She was cut into 25-1 from 66s for the Oaks.
Meade, who also had Statement finish second in a Guineas trial at Newbury, said: "She handled the track and we always thought she would.
"She's good at home and does everything you want. I loved the way she cruised around and coped with the bends. The whole idea was to try her on this track.
"I think we'll come back here. I don't think we will go anywhere in between as we can do it all at home."
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