Derby Day dawns on a slightly soggy Epsom, which should provide near perfect ground for the Blue Riband at 4.30.
17 runners are due to go to post and the market is firmly headed by Desert Crown at a top priced 9-4.
Sir Michael‘s charge was thought not to be quite tuned up when reappearing in the Dante Stakes at York, which he won by a comfortable 3+ lengths in the style of a champion. Presumably it will be fit for today(!) so we think we have to back it at the going rate.
Clearly dangers abound, not least among the Irish contingent and we nominate Piz Badile as the likeliest challenger.
Trained by Donnacha O’Brien (who is only 20 years older than the horse) this son of Ulysses doesn’t know when he is beaten, should relish the step up in trip and has the Mad Italian up top. Well worth an each way bet at 11-1.
Card begins with the Cazoo Handicap at 2.00, the 14 strong field headed by Mr Big Stuff at 4-1. Richard Spencer‘s runner followed an excellent second on seasonal debut with an unlucky 5th in the London Gold Cup and looks well handicapped, especially with Tyler Heard taking off 5lbs. We will venture a win bet at the price.
We also like the look of War Horse from the Marco Botti yard after its victory at Sandown last month. Just 2lbs higher this afternoon, this gelding should give Andrea Adzeni a great spin and we recommend an each way bet at 8-1.
Next up is the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at 2.35, for which Mrs Fitzherbert is favourite at 3-1 after her win at Goodwood a month ago. She beat Bashkirova by half a length on that occasion, but we take the Haggas horse to reverse that form today on more suitable ground. Have a win bet at 7-2.
We also give a good chance to Technique, which has led at this trip in almost every run before being collared at the finish and this slight drop back in distance could be the key. Each way at 7-1, please.
The Cazoo Diomed Stakes at 3.10 sees the Godolphin owned Modern News installed as the 7-4 favourite, but we think Mutasaabeq should be the jolly.
Charles Hills‘ 4-y-o was unlucky in defeat in a Group 2 at Sandown last time and should be ready and willing to take this Group 3. Take the 2-1 on offer.
Last and very much least is the Dash Handicap at 3.45 with 20 speedsters over the minimum trip – oh goody.
If we must, let’s have a small each way punt on Fine Wine after a 3 length beating of the rapidly improving Raasel last time out. 15-2 is available.
All the best to Her Maj.
Desert Crown 4.30 Epsom 3pts win @ 9-4
Piz Badile 4.30 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (4 places)
Mr Big Stuff 2.00 Epsom 2pts win @ 4-1
War Horse 2.00 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (5 places Paddy/Skybet)
Bashkirova 2.35 Epsom 2pts win @ 7-2
Technique 2.35 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 7-1
Mutasaabeq 3.10 Epsom 3pts win @ 2-1
Fine Wine 3.45 Epsom 1pt e/w @ 15-2 (6 places)