The Queen’s Carlton House (4.00) remains the most likely winner of the Derby despite his midweek setback but can you back a horse who has had an injury, albeit minor, in the build up to the race?
The horse has now drifted to 9/4 with and whilst this time last week the question was how short would the horse start it is now will he go off favourite?
The manner of his Dante Stakes win at York suggested that he was an outstanding colt and the one to beat at Epsom. If he is over the midweek niggle I think that Her Majesty can own her first Derby winner 58-years after her colours were carried into second place with Aureole back in Coronation year 1953.
On the face of it Carlton House has little to fear from beaten favourite Seville on York running, but it should be noted that last year’s Dante runner up Workforce became the first horse in history to win the Classic having been beaten at York. Trainer Aidan O’Brien acknowledges the horse lacks the brilliance of his leading hope Leopardstown winner Recital but will the latter stay?
Only 13 to post but a fascinating renewal; the French have waited 35-years for a Derby winner but that is nothing compared to the Queen. Let’s hope Carlton House gets the green light and who knows history could be made. Hat’s off for a Royal winner? Soon find out.
Investec Derby: prices from
Carlton House 9/4
Pour Moi 10/3
Native Khan 10/1
Ocean War 16/1
Berling (4.50) once again threw a winning opportunity away at Newmarket on his reappearance when he swerved left across the track as he was coming to make his challenge. He certainly has his quirks but has plenty of ability and he is given one last chance to fulfil that undoubted potential.
Many of the older Godolphin horses have failed to give their running first time out and Rio De La Plata is overlooked in the Diadem for that reason alone. Premio Loco (2.40) finished 4l behind Canford Cliffs in the Locking last time out and meets nothing of that calibre today. At the age of seven he looks as good as ever, will love the forecast fast ground and there seems no reason why he won’t act on the track.
The Epsom finale competitive 6f handicap and Northern handler David Nicholls who has trained the winner in four of the last ten years will saddle five of the 17-strong field. Fallon rides Joseph Henry and he may be the pick but preference is for Fireback (5.25) from the Andrew Balding yard. Campaigned at up to a mile as a 3-y-o, he is the type who could come into his own this term and is entitled to come on for his Newmarket reappearance last month.
The C4 cameras are at Musselburgh and I like the chances of the lightly-raced Newmarket raider Captain Brown (3.10) with Rosie Jessop taking off a valuable 5lbs as stable jockey Seb Sanders can’t do the weight. A facile winner of a modest maiden at Newcastle last time one could argue that he is well-handicapped on the form of his second juvenile start when behind the progressive Cecil colt Glencadam Gold at Redcar. The Edinburgh Cup went back to Newmarket last year courtesy of Harris Tweed and I think Captain Brown could be ahead of the handicapper.
There is also a competitive card from Doncaster and Noble Citizen (2.50) looked to be coming to hand at Ascot last time and this 7f specialist is due his place in the sun.
Paul Nicholls has a strong team assembled for Saturday’s Worcester card including Earth Dream (4.40) who travelled well but patently failed to get home at Cheltenham last time. The drop back inn trip should help and he can be one of what is likely to be a number of winners on the day for the Champion trainer. Ruby Walsh makes few journeys to Britain at this time of year. I suggest we take the hint
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