A strong pace looks likely in Saturday’s Derby, since that would seem essential for the chances of Ballydoyle’s two main contenders, Mogul and Russian Emperor. It would also test the stamina of Kameko, the Guineas winner, who has a handy draw and will be very dangerous if they dawdle through the early stages.

On the assumption that Serpentine, a staying type, goes hard enough from the front to make this a true test, Russian Emperor (4.55) is fancied to make his powerful finish count. The step up to this distance looks perfect for him and it also helps that there should still be some cushion in the ground after this week’s rain, because he is not the type to race handily and will probably have a dozen or more still in front of him at the home turn.

Luck in running will play a part from there and Highland Chief could figure if he is luckier than Russian Emperor when the gaps come. English King cannot be counted out, even from such a poor draw, and will become backable if his odds continue to drift.

1.50 Modern News ran a big race in the Chesham and this return to six furlongs looks like good news for the Godolphin horse. Still, narrow preference is for Twaasol, who showed a useful turn of foot to score on his debut at Windsor, when the betting expected little from him.

2.25 He could do with another shower or two but Safe Voyage appeals most. He wasn’t quite up to Group Two standard when stepped up in class last season but he is hard to beat at this level and his main rivals have questions to answer. Shine So Bright would be dangerous at his best but he was a long way short of that when folding tamely at Royal Ascot.

3.00 The 14-length margin of You’re Hired’s reappearance win at Newmarket was no doubt flattering to some extent but he has got off pretty lightly with a 7lb hike. At odds of 8-1 or better, it could be worth taking a chance on his continued wellbeing, with William Buick back aboard.

3.40 There are tempting alternatives but sticking with Love looks the best option in the Oaks. Rather like Kameko, she is the established top-class talent in the field but with more hope of seeing out the mile and a half, judging by her pedigree. Her winning margin in the 1,000 Guineas was the biggest for eight years and she may be too quick for the big-striding Frankly Darling.

4.15 Punters seem more interested in the lightly raced runners here but Summer Romance has claims on the pick of her juvenile form. She got too far back in the early stages of the Guineas but showed just enough encouragement to be of interest here. She needs to be sharper this time but her yard has been firing in the winners.

1.50 Twaasol 2.25 Safe Voyage 3.00 You’re Hired 3.40 Love 4.15 Summer Romance 4.55 Russian Emperor 5.35 Magical Wish (nap)

12.00 Mac Ailey 12.30 Royal Context 1.00 Lady Calcaria 1.30 Golden Melody 2.05 Risk Taker 2.40 Shelir (nb) 3.15 Grand Rumore 3.50 Zoohoor 4.25 Arch Moon

4.35 Intrepid Italian 5.10 Recovery Run 5.40 Cliff Wind 6.10 Breath Of Joy 6.40 Billesdon Brook 7.10 Philamundo 7.40 Alsukar 8.10 Cityzen Serg 8.40 Paradise On Earth

5.20 Capla Huntress 5.55 Arabian Romance 6.25 Songkran 6.55 Ventura Tormenta 7.25 Rovaniemi 7.55 Gregorian Girl 8.25 Inner Circle 8.55 Blue Venture

source: theguardian.com


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