Friday 6.00pm Every year I try to convince myself that Epsom’s history means that Epsom deserves its place in the racing calendar. However I’m sorry but the course is awful. Racing is in no way fair. Too often the best horse doesn’t win. It is a punting graveyard. The only place the form may transfer to is Brighton and that is probably in two grades lower. Absolute anachronism. Can the Jockey Club keep Kempton and sell this one?
Indeed for a Saturday, tomorrows cards are poor. Hardly any runners at Musselburgh although there is plenty of prize money and Paul Hanagan. Lingfield is full of Class 5’s on a Saturday and ARC aren’t exactly splashing the prize money at Newcastle in the evening. Catterick has some C4’s but generally mediocre. So on the Flat that’s Doncaster and Epsom. Epsoms handicaps include The Dash which is nineteen horses hurtling down a hill and lasts about 56 seconds! No thanks. Just can’t find enough for a Lucky 15, I’ve two at Doncaster I like I will profile and for what it’s worth I will stick Simon’s lucky pin in the Derby field.
Doncaster 5.10 VALCARTIER I am totally convinced that this green, long, rangy son of top Australian sire Redoute’s Choice will be a Group winner for John Gosden and Godolphin sooner rather than later. Connections probably thought the same prior to his 2yo debut last season as he was heavily backed. However he was not ready physically nor mentally, finished eighth and was put away for the winter. He revealed more of his talent when reappearing in a C5 8.5F maiden at Nottingham, just about made all and he may have beaten trees but he gave them a hiding! The fact he holds an entry in the G1 10F Eclipse tells me the regard he is held in and this 10F Conditions race looks an ideal stepping stone. A must for your tracker. The 5/4 with Betfred is finding money in the street!
Doncaster 5.40 AFAAK Unraced as a 2yo on 3yo debut he was everybodies eye-catcher in the 7F Alex Scott maiden at the Craven meeting when a running on fourth behind Jewel House and that race has thrown up plenty of winners. A month later he came out and won a C5 8F in Thirsk at odds on. Simples. Not quite, he missed the break, had to be pushed hard to get an early position, hung in the straight, put his head in the air and still won. Bound to improve, Hamdan al Maktoums homebred son of Oasis Dream, Afaak oozes class and like Valcartier I think he’s destined for Group success. This is a Class 4 handicap up Doncaster’s straight 8F on Good ground and he goes handicapping off OR86. Has to be backed.
Now I expected 3/1 as a top price and I’m flabbergasted that Paddy Power on line as put him in at 16/1. I am now en route to see if the shops match, normally do. (They did.Ed)
Will do the Derby when I get back. Then post the blog.
The Epsom Derby 2017
I could put half a dozen up but still not get in the frame. So the selection is Venice Beach @ 14/1 with four places.
Why because I am totally persuaded by something I read on twitter. On May 25th Aiden O’Brian had ten left in the Derby and Dazzler @Dazzler38217947, clearly a stats fan, put on twitter that O’Briens Derby winners all met the following criteria- Racecourse debut not before June 20th, Maximum of three runs as a juvenile, not beaten more than once as a juvenile, never raced under 7 furlongs, already a Group race winner going into the Derby, had at least one career run at either Leopardstown or the Curragh, must have run in either the Guineas, Derrinstown Derby Trial or the Chester Vase. Only one ticked every box, Venice Beach.
So he is a son of Galileo out of a Danehill mare who produced Danedream who won the King George and the Arc de Triomphe, last time out he won a recognised Derby trial, the G3 Chester Vase over 12F, he’s drawn in a promising stall 9, races prominently and he’s ridden by Donccha O’Brien (Aidans younger son and as good as Joseph!).
Thursdays Lucky 15
Off to a slow start today. City of Joy does the biz but it’s only £11 for our £15.
Wolverhampton 3.50 PAVILLON 3rd 9/4F (4/1 PP 7/2 general)
Travelled well in midfield, wide into straight, couldn’t quicken sufficiently, stayed on.
Hamilton 4.30 BILLY BOND 5th 4/1 (9/2 general)
Slowly away, never competitive, one pace at best and one to avoid I’m afraid!
Chelmsford 7.10 CITY OF JOY 1st 10/3 (5/2 general)
Ride of beauty from Ryan Moore. Held up last until turning for home and as they fanned out he bought City of Joy through the middle like a hot knife through butter, Serious Britannia player.
Newcastle 7.50 INSTANT ATTRACTION 9th 7/1 (7/1 general)
Worst fears realised as Jamie Spencer gave a masterclass on El Vip as only he can. As for Instant Attraction, led at the furlong pole and didn’t get home.