Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, fancies Seville in the Epsom Derby and examines the card. Selections
SEVILLE (4.00) can spoil a right royal knees-up in an open looking Investec Derby. The betting market was thrown into confusion by Carlton House’s late scare and the Queen’s colt is now trading at more tempting odds. He made short work of Seville in the Dante Stakes at York but it was a muddling affair which clearly didn’t suit Aidan O’Brien’s stamina-packed runner. Seville is bred to enjoy a much stiffer test and Christophe Soumillon will surely have his mount in a prominent position rounding Tattenham Corner in readiness for a long, sweeping run for home. O’Brien hasn’t won our premier Classic since High Chaparral in 2002, although he has since hit the crossbar a few times, and the Ballydoyle boys have another useful string to their bow in Recital. The son of Montjeu raced awkwardly when defying a penalty in the Derrinstown Derby Trail at Leopardstown but has bags of potential.
The Investec Woodcote Stakes can fall to Mark Johnston’s progressive juvenile FULBRIGHT (2.10). He ran green on his debut but looked the real deal when asserting powerfully inside the final furlong at Musselburgh. Fulbright is crying out for this extra furlong.
The Investec Dash is always a thrilling spectacle, won last year by 33-1 outsider Bertoliver. The first three home were drawn 15, 14 and 16, so a pitch near the stands rail is an obvious advantage. Bertoliver is poorly drawn in four this time and course winner FALASTEEN (3.15) has been luckier in stall 12. He has fluffed his lines at the start in the past but led all the way over course and distance in April. Falasteen races off a 7lb higher mark but William Buick is a good booking by sprint king Dandy Nicholls, who saddles no less than six runners.
My best bet at Doncaster is WAR POET (3.55), who stepped out of maiden company to dominate some battle-hardened handicappers at Thirsk. David O’Meara is a young trainer going places and the lightly-raced War Poet is open to more improvement. He should not be missed.
At Newcastle, VITO VOLTERRA (7.00) can repeat his course and distance victory in early May. He may well have defied a 4lb higher mark next time at Thirsk, going down by a head after his rider dropped his whip inside the final furlong, and is in top order at present.