Friday 1st June 2018 – Epsom Derby Festival Day One
The Derby is upon us and that of course means we have the first day of the Epsom Festival to tackle and that of course is Oaks Day.
There’s some slightly disappointing fields in some of the renewals however there’s still a host of big names on show.
Here are my views…
Marie’s Diamond – (7/2) (Jockey: S De Sousa – Trainer: M Johnston)
(Won on heavy going on debut before decent third the last day, should certainly handle the ground here and could put up a bold showing with SDS on board.)
King’s Pavilion – (9/1) (E/W) (Jockey: B Curtis – Trainer: J Ward)
(Former Mark Johnston horse that is more than capable of a smart run at a decent level, lost his way a bit though in recent times but is versatile when it comes to ground and could well get involved.)
3.10: Investec Coronation Cup (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m 4f)
The Coronation Cup is one of the feature contests throughout the Derby Festival at Epsom and it’s a Group 1 contest that’s ridden over a mile and four furlongs.
It’s impossible to see past CRACKSMAN here the superb Frankel colt for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. He carried on from his explosive end to last season when bolting upon his reappearance in a Group 1 in France the last day and he should put on a very bold showing here.
It’s a shame that the field has been reduced down to just six runners as it makes it hard to look at the contest from an each way point of view but if you are one of those that don’t mind betting each way in small fields Hawkbill and Idaho look the obvious options. Not a betting contest for me, Cracksman should win and win convincingly.
Cracksman – (1/3) (Jockey: L Dettori – Trainer: J H M Gosden)
Ajman King – (2/1) (Jockey: A Atzeni – Trainer: R Varian)
(Won twice around here including the last day and once on heavy going. Likely to give a bold showing.)
4.30: Investec Oaks (Class 1) (Group 1) (1m 4f)
The Oaks this year is quite possibly one of the weakest renewals to date with there being many big absentees such as Lah Ti Dar, Sea Of Class and Magical being the most notable.
It’s a largely competitive field with Wild Illusion heading affairs for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin trading at around the 9/4 mark.
Aiden O’Brien saddles five runners here in the form of Magic Wand, Forever Together, I Can Fly, Bye Bye Baby and Flattering and to be honest you probably could give them all a chance in this renewal.
There’s been a big case for unlucky Chester loser Forever Together, I was there at Chester that day and she did meet a lot of trouble in running and with a clearer run could well go closer here. However I’d be looking for a bit more than 6/1 for a maiden in a Group 1.
The one I will be siding with is the horse that won at Chester that day and that’s MAGIC WAND. She was mightily impressive that day and I think there could be a lot more to come. The choice of Ryan Moore here and can be found at a general 4/1.
Magic Wand – (4/1) (Jockey: R L Moore – Trainer: A P O’Brien)
Aurum – (5/2) (Jockey: W Buick – Trainer: C Appleby)
(Won well on Good To Soft on debut at Newmarket before solid third the last day. Likely to put on a bold showing.)
Juanito Chico – (6/1) (E/W) (Jockey: A Kirby – Trainer: W Jarvis)
(Won on this card off considerably lower last year. Average run on return the last day, likely to be a lot more tuned up here.)
NAP: Ajman King 3.45
NB: Magic Wand 4.30