• Mon 3 Oct, 2022
  • 08:23 BST
  • 04:23 EST (BST-4)
  • 10:23 CEST (BST+2)

Five to follow on Saturday

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

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MADHMOON (4.30) can gun down Aidan O’Brien’s Magnificent 7 in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Punters have been tying themselves in knots trying to unravel O’Brien’s pecking order and the betting is not always the best of guides. Hark back to 2017 when his 40-1 outsider Wings Of Eagles sent the feathers flying by swooping to catch Ryan Moore’ on Cliffs of Moher.

One of the more fancied of O’Brien’s raiding party is Broome but he got a rear view of Madhmoon at Leopardstown last September when the track was riding quick. The Downs will have dried out under a baking sun by late Saturday afternoon and that should suit Madhmoon.

Kevin Prendergast’s colt finished fourth to Magna Grecia in the Qipco 2000 Guineas and has yet to race beyond a mile. Undoubtedly, that’s a negative when it comes to assessing his prospects of staying 12 furlongs but connections sound optimistic. How horses handle the hoop-la and drawn-out preliminaries in a heatwave is another imponderable but the tension all adds to Derby Day fascination.

In the opening 1m 2f handicap, Mark Johnston is doing a ‘mini O’Brien’ by saddling three of the nine participants. Riding arrangements don’t offer significant clues but NAYEF ROAD (2.00) looked useful when thumping stablemate Fraser Island at Newmarket before finding the Dante Stakes a step too far (sixth). Ryan Moore gets the leg up on the top weight.

NYALETI (2.35) is another potential Johnston winner in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, a Group 3 for fillies over the extended mile. She couldn’t quite get to grips with Worth Waiting in the Dahlia Stakes at HQ in early May but had today’s favourite Veracious back in fourth. Nyaleti has since found 1m 2f overstretching her in the Middleton Stakes at York, fading into fourth behind Lah Ti Dar.

ZAAKI (3.10) proved a bit frustrating last season, raising doubts about his temperament, but he proved his detractors wrong when running out a gallant winner from Barney Roy at Ascot. Sir Michael Stoute’s four-year-old can score again at the main expense of Bye Bye Hong Kong and Oh This Is Us, that pair having fought out a tremendous finish at Windsor.

The Investec ‘Dash’ is a rousing spectacle with 20 speedballs hurtling down the quickest track in the country. COPPER KNIGHT (3.45) can be relied upon to be right in the heat of the action, having led in two cavalry charges at York last month. Tim Easterby’s gelding came clear to win in the middle of May before being turned out again on the Knavesmire nine days later. Copper Knight once more took the field along until collared by Duke Of Firenze and he is 5lb better off with David Griffith’s redoubtable old fella.

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