• Mon 26 Jun, 2017
  • 06:26 BST
  • 02:26 EST (BST-4)
  • 08:26 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at on Derby day at Epsom Downs on Saturday. View selections below.


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KHALIDI (4.30), John Gosden’s perceived second string behind Cracksman in the Investec Derby, could well outrun his juicy double-digit odds in an open-looking classic.

With so much collateral formlines interlinking all the principals, the best policy may be to dig out one at an each-way price, especially with four places on offer from some firms.

Khalidi , trading around 25-1, seems to be progressing since being upped in distance and there was much to like about the way he finished his race out strongly to pull five lengths clear in the 1m 3f Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood.

The son of 2008 Derby hero High Chaparral did well to land the 1m 1f Bet365 Feilden Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven meeting in April, coming through to beat Salouen after missing the kick.

Khalidi had Max Zorin seven lengths adrift in fourth and that same horse finished just over two lengths behind Derby favourite Cliffs Of Moher in the Dee Stakes at Chester.

Pat Smullen, rider of last year’s winner Harzand, is a great booking and stall six is ideal.

Aidan O’Brien saddles six of the 19 runners, with Ryan Moore sticking with Cliffs Of Moher after his workmanlike success around the Roodee.

Cracksman had only a short head to spare over subsequent Dante winner Permian when they clashed in the Epsom Derby Trial, but Dettori prefers him over Khalidi.

Godolphin also field a strong team numerically, with no stamina doubts over Lingfield Derby Trial winner Best Solution. Whether he is quick enough is another matter.

The boys in blue reach for a hood and a tongue-tie, both for the first time, on Benbatl, second to Permian at York and third behind well-touted Eminent in the bet365 Craven Stakes at HQ. He doesn’t need to improve much to figure at a loud price.

Eminent, as well as Cracksman, represents Frankel, while super-sire Galileo has no less than five sons going to post.

Joseph O’Brien’s Rekindling isn’t without hope after his staying-on fourth at York and he is another progeny of High Chaparral.

A bold showing by Gosden’s Tartini in the opening Investec Private Banking Handicap would give a boost of sorts to the chances of Cracksman and Permian as he finished behind that pair in the Epsom Trial.

Tartini looked very one-paced behind Best Solution at Lingfield next time and although dropping to 1m 2f, plus meeting lower grade rivals, may help he could be a favourite worth opposing with DESERT SKYLINE (2.00).

David Elsworth’s gelding was on a hat-trick at Newmarket following wins last season at HQ and Yarmouth, but he was denied in the final stride by Grey Britain. That’s pretty solid form.

Drochaid, a dual Chelmsford City scorer for Andrew Balding, had only a short head to spare over Zumurudee, and Desert Sky beat that horse 11 lengths at Newmarket.

Masham Star could appreciate this longer journey after finishing third in the one-mile Silver Bowl at Haydock, but he does seem in the handicapper’s grip.

CUSTOM CUT (3.10) should give it a good go from the front against some old rivals in the Diomed Stakes.

He was only collared close home by Tullius and Decorated Hero in this Group 3 last year and returned to winning form at Leopardstown last time out, beating Raymonda and Cougar Mountain.

Custom Cut could never dominate when runner-up to classy front-runner Arod in 2015 but should take some pegging back.

Folkswood commands respect following some excellent runs in Dubai over the winter before transferring that form to the UK, most notably when chasing home Deauville and Poet’s World at Chester. This extended mile should be his perfect trip.

Tullius was a successful eight-year-old in 2016, so age is no barrier. Veterans Sovereign Debt and Gabrial look sure to give their running.

Blink and you’ll miss the Investec Dash, with a couple of previous winners turning up for the gig once again. DUKE OF FIRENZE (3.45), successful for Sir Michael Stoute in 2013, has bounced back to peak form for David Griffiths, scoring with a bit up his sleeve at York last month.

High numbers totally dominated last year’s finish so stall 12 is a decent enough berth.

This could be a rough race if last year’s victor Caspian Prince cracks out and edges over from his outside stall, causing interference. Kimberella would have won in another stride 12 months ago and has drawn the rails pitch this time.

Gosden’s Laugh Aloud produced a side-splitting display of authority to run away from her rivals at Goodwood and will be priced up at fairly short odds to follow up in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes.

However, three-year-olds have won the last two renewals and Elsworth saddles outsider TISBUTADREAM (2.35) in the hope she can emulate his Arabian Queen, the 2015 winner of this Group 3 contest.

She has won four of her last five outings and had last year’s winner of this race Epsom Icon back in fourth when landing a fillies’ event over Ascot’s straight mile. She has a good bit to find on official figures but those incidentals have rarely troubled Mr Elsworth!

Absolute Blast has worked her way up the ladder, first with Iain Jardine and later in three starts for Archie Watson, culminating in her fine second to Convey at Lingfield.

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Tally Ho

Alan

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