Find all previous Seymour Biz racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips. With two wins and a 28/1 second place last week, we hope you were able to get on!
For the first time ever we have the Derby and the Oaks on the same day with no punters there to witness the historical occasion. The Derby has always been a great day out and it is such a shame that we are only able to view it on television, what a difference to this musical hall song that was performed by J W Rowley circa 1850 called “Goin to the Derby”, here is the chorus.
“Goin’ to the Derby, lookin’ very smart,
Doin’ all the journey in me little donkey cart,
Passin’ all the vehicles
Like a bloomin’ dart,
Goin’ to the Derby in me little donkey cart.
He makes it sound so innocent but I have the feeling it was not necessarily so but as we are unable to travel to Epsom we have to rely on the output of ITV and I feel they have done a good job while the lockdown has been on. This Saturday they will be concentrating solely on the Derby meeting and are covering six races from the Surrey course and besides the Derby and the Oaks are covering three stakes races and a hot handicap. Here are my thoughts to try to squeeze some value from the day’s races for this week’s Lucky Fifteen.
Starting with the 2.25, the Investec Surrey Stakes and I can see no further than Mark Johnston’s Vale Of Kent. This gelding was highly fancied and backed down to favourite at Newmarket last week but he was slowly into his stride and had to be pushed along to get to the leaders. He was flat out with three furlongs to go and then got squeezed out at the two-furlong marker. The jockey said he ran flat but I consider he is worth another chance and he gets my vote here to repay his followers. Safe Voyage trained by John Quinn is the bookmakers choice and he has got a fine record at northern courses, four of his last five victories have come at Haydock but his stats at courses in the South are poor with losses at Ascot and Newbury last season. Shine So Bright has had one run this year and that was last month at Ascot but Andrew Balding’s grey was last, 14 lengths behind the winner. Oh This Is Us was unable to get past the selection last time out at Newmarket a month ago and Richard Hannon’s 7-year-old would need to improve considerably to figure here.
At 3.00 is the best betting heat on the card, the Investec Handicap and William Haggas has the current favourite with the classy Desert Icon. This 4-year-old won very easily last week at Newmarket in a five runner contest but he has more to do here and has been saddled with a 6lb penalty for that win, that may scupper his chances. Top weight is Mick Channon’s Certain Lad who wintered in Dubai and had a victory at Meydan but he has not run since February and may be best watched on his first run back in England. You’re Hired won well last month for trainer Amanda Perrett but he was given a very easy lead that day and is stepping up in class here. Down at the bottom of the handicap is Hugo Palmer’s Ironclad, a dual winner last season, he has been gelded during the winter but is another stepping up considerably in class. I have a liking for Ed Walker’s Caradoc and although he is having his first run of the season he has won first time out previously. He was a triple winner last year including twice at this distance and has the credentials to put on a bold show here.
The Investec Oaks is at 3.40 with just 8 entries for this fillies classic. Three of those are trained by Aidan O’Brien and probably the best of these is Love the winner of the 1000Gns, it says a lot for her that Richard Hanson chooses not to oppose her with 1000Gns second Cloak Of Spirits who instead gores for the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at 4.15. Love was a clear winner at Newmarket but I have a worry whether she will get the trip here given her breeding. Roger Varian’s Gold Wand won at Newbury in June over 10 furlongs and can put in a bold performance here. John Gosden has won two of the last three runnings of the Oaks so knows is required to take this contest, he has two runners here but the best of his challengers is a Frankel filly, Frankly Darling. She came out at the beginning of June at Newcastle on the Tapeta surface and trounced the field, from there she went to Royal Ascot a fortnight later for the Ribblesdale which is run over the Oaks distance. She took the lead two furlongs out and won relatively easily with three of the opponents she will face here behind her trailing in her wake. I consider she could achieve superstar status in the future and this could be only the first of the Group 1’s in her career.
Finally we come to the second Blue Riband race of the day, the Investec Derby is off at 4.55. Ed Walker has retained the services of Frankie Dettori for his star colt English King who won the Derby Trial at Lingfield in early June. He went really easily that day and once shaken up took the lead in the final furlong and won going away. But he does have his challengers and no fewer than six are from Aidan O’Brien’s stable, the best of which is probably Mogul but he ran poorly on his seasonal reappearance at Royal Ascot and a significant improvement is required for him to figure here. Another O’ Brien charge is Russian Emperor who won at Royal Ascot last year but he has not been seen since and we have no idea if he’s trained on. Pyledriver trained by William Muir sprung a surprise at Royal Ascot winning at a big price with Mogul and Mohican Heights over 4 lengths behind but this colt who cost only £10,000 may find himself out of his depth here. My fancy for this is the 2000Gns winner Kameko who was very impressive at Newmarket for trainer Andrew Balding. Prior to the Guineas he had beaten Mogul at Newcastle and finished ahead of Pyledriver at Newmarket but in the Guineas he showed his fighting qualities, he was short of room a furlong out that day but found space and did just enough, I think there is more to come from him.
Epsom Lucky Fifteen
- 2.25. Vale Of Kent
- 3.00. Caradoc
- 3.40. Frankly Darling
- 4.55. Kameko