As we come to end of Trial’s season. It’s clear that both this year’s Derby & Oaks look decent. if all the well fancied horses run.
Inside today’s main piece you can read my thoughts on both the Derby & Oaks picture. Plus, there’s a couple for the tracker and a Tuesday election from Nottingham.
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Classic picture becoming clearer
I discussed in yesterday’s column Desert Crown’s win in the Dante Stakes and his Derby claims are now well advertised. Aidan O’Brien has three live contenders in Stone Age, Changingtheguard, Star Of India & United Nations. Stone Age looks the best of the quartet. He’s an uncomplicated ride and should be fine on the undulations. For those of a certain age he does have a look of Reference Point about him. Balydoyle will have a pacemaker in the race and Stone Age will hopefully nicely placed behind the leaders and go for home two out. It will then be a case of if Desert Crown can catch him in the final furlong.
Of the rest Westover has become a bit of a forgotten horse. He won the first of the season’s Derby Trials the Classic Trial at Sandown and is open to further improvement. As is Cash the horse who finished a short head runner-up at Sandown. Of the pair the latter has arguably the more scope but the winner should be better suited to 1m 4f.
Piz Badile won the Ballysax at Leopardstown at the beginning of April, a race Harzand won before landing the 2016 Derby. The runner-up Buckeroo has won since so the form looks solid and he could boost the form even more if he was to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas. It was reported yesterday that Frankie Dettori would ride the colt in the Derby and shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Derby Trial’s haven’t quite ended just yet. There could be a decent field for Friday’s Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood and a late contender could emerge from that race.
Nashwa’ Classic Claims: Which one?
Emily Upjohn’s win in last week’s Musidora at York was in a decent time relative to the other round course times on Wednesday. She’s a very big filly, 17 hands I believe, so a flat galloping track like York will always be here preferred track. She was also very keen in the early stages in the Musidora which she can’t afford to be at Epsom.
I was impressed with here stablemates Nashwa’s win in the Listed Fillies' Trial (1m 3f) at Newbury on Saturday. The daughter of Frankel is now the 7/1 third favourite, behind her stablemate, for next month’s Epsom Oaks. On pedigree she should stay 1m 4f. However, she doesn’t lack pace, as she showed when quickening up between the final two furlongs. I just wasn’t convinced that she was crying out for a step up in trip at the finish of Saturday’s race. It will be interesting to see if connections go to Epsom or opt Prix Diane (French Oaks) over shorter.
The Oaks is shaping like it could be a decent race. Besides the Gosden’s pair. You have the Charlie Appleby filly Moonlight Lady who Timeform have 2lb behind Emily Upjohn on their ratings. Aidan O’Brien has a handful of interesting contenders Tuesday, History & Thoughts Of June. The first two named run in Sunday’s Irish 1,000 Guineas. Tuesday finished third to Cachet in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and History is an improving filly who won a Group 3 last time. Both could enhance their Oaks claims at the Curragh. Thoughts Of June won the Cheshire Oaks. She looks an uncomplicated filly and has scope for further improvement over 1m 4f.
There should be plenty of winners come out of last week’s York’s Dante Festival. In 2021- 36 horses who ran at the meeting went onto win next time. I have two from York, both trained by David O’Meara, that look capable of winning in the coming weeks.
Summerghand – David O’Meara
A classy sprinter on his day who won a Group 3 at Newmarket and Listed race on the July Course last season. He bounced back from a low-key seasonal reappearance with a good effort when 3 ½ length 6th of 22 to Dakota Gold at York last week. He was making late headway at the finish lon a course that doesn’t really suit his hold up style. The Wokingham Handicap which he was beaten a nose in 2020 looks a logical target for the 8-year-old.
Tammani – David O’Meara
Tammani hasn’t won since his juvenile season when trained by William Haggas and hadn’t produced much on his first four starts since joining his present trainer. It was a much better performance from him when a 2 ¼ length 4th of 18 to Il Bandito at York last week. Considering he got no sort of run 2f. He did well to finish a close to the winner as he did. He’s back down to a handy mark and return to mile will suit, as would some ease in the ground (has won on heavy). I’m sure his shrewd trainer can place the 5-year-old to win a race this season. Although I wouldn’t want to take too short a price about him.
There’s more racing at Killarney where the action switches from the jumps to the flat. However, Brighton, Nottingham, and Wolverhampton race this afternoon. Besides Killarney there are fixtures at Huntingdon, Hexham over jumps and more flat action at Sligo. On fairly low key day of sport, I’m heading to Nottingham for today’s selection.
2:40 – Oi The Clubb Oi's has been lightly raced since winning here (1m 6f) in June 2020. Off for 16 months prior to finishing a well beaten last of seven at Kempton last month. He likely needed the run that day. Now 3lb below his last winning mark and if does retain his old ability has to be in the mix. Trainer Ian Williams is 15 from 51 25% +43 with his handicappers at Nottingham in the past 5-years.
1pt win – Oi The Clubb Oi's – 8/1 @ Bet365