Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with five to follow on Saturday at Doncaster, Epsom, Lingfield and Worcester. View selections below
Twelve colts will line up for today’s Investec Derby the most famous flat horse race in the world led by the brilliant unbeaten Guineas winner Dawn Approach whose sire New Approach won the corresponding race back in 2008.
At BetVictor we know the horse stays a mile, think he’ll stay 10 furlongs but don’t think he’ll get a-mile-and-a-half and as a result we will refund all losses on the race up to £50 as a free bet if Dawn Approach, the 11/10 favourite, wins the Derby.
In recent years both Sea The Stars and Camelot have done the Guineas/Derby double but they were bred, arguably, to come into their own over further whereas there must be doubts on the distaff (mother’s) side of his breeding to suggest this 12f trip will not be his optimum distance; yes his class might see him through but I have thrown a few quid at the German raider Chopin.
It has been a great week for German sport with Nico Rosberg winning the Monaco Grand Prix and Bayern edging out Dortmund in the first all-German Champions League Final at Wembley; there has never been a German-trained runner in the race previously but I am convinced Andreas Woehler’s Chopin (4.00) is not going to Epsom for the experience.
The selection (10/1 with BetVictor) has won two of his three career starts including by 8 lengths last time over nine furlongs; the runner up, subsequently, finished a fast-finishing second in the German Guineas and, whilst he will obviously need to improve again, he promises to be more effective over today’s trip.
The other Group 1 feature should go to St Nicholas Abbey who is trying to win the race for the third year running; the drying ground should help and he looked as good as ever when landing the Sheema Classic at Meydan at the end of March. Former Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden was beaten nearly five lengths by the selection in the desert but should finish second in a poor renewal of this Group 1 contest.
Ballesteros would have been a confident each way selection on soft ground but as long as there is a bit of cut in the ground the 4-y-o must go well in the Dash over the flying five furlongs. A high draw is a help and stall 14 is fair enough although like in all Epsom sprints luck in running will be needed as he is likely to be played late by the excellent William Buick.
At Doncaster Heskin is surely better than she showed at York last time on soft ground after an encouraging first effort at Pontefract for Richard Fahey; back on good ground she will be hard to beat if reproducing that initial effort, but the beautifully bred Terhaab (2.35) is taken to make a winning debut in what could be a very good day for jockey Paul Hanagan.
I like the look of Baltic Knight (3.10) with good apprentice Willie Twiston-Davies taking off a valuable 5lbs; the selection looked ready for a step up to a mile at Newmarket last time in a hot listed event where he lost little in defeat against Dundonnell who over 7 furlongs on fast ground will be hard to beat this term.
Survived (5.55) showed plenty of promise on debut and should take all the beating in Lingfield’s opener whilst over jumps I am convinced that Ambion Wood (2.25) was a sick horse when beaten on both chase starts earlier in the year and he must take the beating in the novice chase.