EPSOM, England — The Epsom Derby, dominated in its 207-year history by British horses, owners and trainers, is bracing itself for a foreign invasion today.
Only two horses in the 17-strong field chasing the coveted title over the 1 1/2-mile course--and the $356,497 first prize--will represent British interests--Bold Arrangement and Faraway Dancer.
Instead, American-bred horses, mostly owned by Arabian sheiks and princes, dominate the field.
Among the entries are the French-trained Arokar, owned by Omani Prince Kias Al Said, and favored Dancing Brave, owned by Saudi Arabian Prince Khalid Abdulla. The latter's nephews, Ahmed and Fahad Salman, have three entrants, Mashkour, Nisnas and Nomrood.
Sheik Maktoum Al-Maktoum owns Jareer, and his younger brother, Sheik Mohammed, has Fioravanti and Sharrood.
His Highness The Aga Khan, a Pakistani national, hopes to follow the victory of Shergar in 1981 with Shahrastani, while John Michael, who lives in Ireland but was born in Lebanon, owns Mr. John.
Jerome Brody of New York has entered Allez Milord, while Irishman Dick Shannon is the owner of Then Again.