Well 2 hours to go until racetime and what a day with the news coming through about Kieron Fallon.
After going so close with my selection Wonder of Wonders for the Oaks yesterday – let’s go one better today.
Here is my shortlist of horses for today’s Epsom Derby:
Carlton House – 5/2 favourite
An encouraging victory against Seville in The Dante at York.The way he quickened to finish the race, without Ryan Moore having to pick up the whip, suggested this step in trip would not be a problem.The yard know how to win the Derby and Sir Michael Stoute seems to talk about him the same as he did last year about Workrforce.
However a late injury scare and concerns over his fitness earlier in the week with a bruise and swelling to his left leg, do raise some doubts over his chances. Too short for me.
Recital – 11/2
Won the Derrinstown Stakes at Leopardstown ridden by Kieron Fallon and has the perfect profile for a Derby winner. He was my choice for today’s race until this morning when the court ruled that Fallon could not ride him, due to his contractual obligations to ride Native Khan. It is now crazy to think that Fallon will be sat watching the race in the changing rooms.
Recital has now drifted in the market with news that Pat Smullen is taking the ride, he has drifted out from 4/1 last night to 11/2. He is not a straightforward ride and will be delivered late in the race. I just hope that Pat is strong with him.
Seville – 6/1
Another Aiden O’Brien horse, chased home Carlton House at York in the Dante. Breeding strongly suggests that longer distance today will be firmly in his favour and improvement on the Dante run. Another with a perfect profile for a Derby winner and has Christophe Soumillon on board again today, who rode him to such great effect at York.Has shortened in the betting as Recital has drifted.
Pour Moi – 6/1
A real opportunity for France to overturn their long wait for a Derby Winner.Pour Moi and Vadamar are both racing today,
but it was Pour Moi who came out on top comfortably when the pair met at Saint-cloud in early May over 1m 2f.
The ground conditions would be the main concern today with Pour Moi performing best on Good and Good / Soft conditions.
Native Khan – 11/1
A really progressive horse who won the Craven over 1m at Newmarket and then returned to finish 3rd behind Frankel in the 2000 Guineas. Also finished just behind Seville at the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October, although the surface did not seem to suit that day. Should be another who is even better at this trip.
Johnny Murtagh is a great jockey and has won the Derby three times and of course won the Oaks yesterday on the 20/1 shot Dancing rain.
Ocean War – 16/1
Unusual to see a Godophin and Frankie Dettori horse as an outsider. A disappointing debut at Sandown was soon put behind him
when he stepped up to 1m at Newmarket, winning twice in April. Although his last race was a listed race he has yet to really
prove himself against in a race of this quality. May be the surprise of the race but not for me.
So for me I am going to oppose Carlton House – I am down to Seville to reverse the Dante placings and beat Carlton House today. I am going 2 pts each way @ 6/1 and I also fancy Native Khan to finish up in the mix so will take 1pt each way at 11/1 on him.
Whatever happens enjoy the day and good luck.