Andrew Balding can emulate his father, Ian, by capturing today’s Investec Derby with Kameko. Balding was not born when his father took the world’s most recognised Flat race with Mill Reef in 1971 but is reminded of that achievement every day. A bronze statue of one the legends of the game stands in his stable yard at Kingsclere in Hampshire where John Porter had previously sent out seven Derby winners.
Unlike Mill Reef who was beaten in the 2,000 Guineas, KAMEKO (4.55, nap) was victorious, beating a smart field that has since enhanced the form.
As two-year-old Kameko thumped Mogul, the shortest priced of the seven Aidan O’Brien runners, at Newcastle.
Admittedly, Kameko has yet to race over 12 furlongs, but he was not stopping in the Guineas and his relaxed style of racing will help him get the trip.
This is backed up by his rider Oisin Murphy who is not short of confidence.
With Frankie Dettori taking the ride, English King is a worthy favourite. He impressed when winning the Lingfield Derby Trial, the race last year’s blue riband winner Anthony Van Dyck had won.
Pyledriver will be a popular winner for the underdog. He impressed when successful at Royal Ascot but needs to improve further if he is going to be a serious contender.
The once-raced Worthily from the John Gosden yard has to be the each-way value at 40-1.
Gosden and Dettori can successfully join forces in the Oaks with FRANKLY DARLING (3.40, nb). She impressed at Royal Ascot last month when beating Ennistymon.
Love, the impressive winner of the 1,000 Guineas, is the obvious threat but the form of the Newmarket classic is not exactly rock solid.
French recruit LOVE AND THUNDER (4.15) can make it double for Gosden and Dettori.
Balding can settle his nerves by taking the Investec Surrey Stakes with SHINE SO BRIGHT (2.25, treble). He failed to fire at Royal Ascot when fancied.
Today’s return to seven furlongs will be ideal.
MODERN TIMES (1.50), another to disappoint at Royal Ascot, is worth another chance. Before that defeat he had impressed when winning at Newmarket last month.
The well-handicapped IRONCLAD (3.00) gets the vote in the wide-open Investec Handicap.
12.30 Royal Context
1.00 Good Answer
1.30 Dubai Fountain
2.05 Top Class Angel
2.40 Barossa Red
3.15 First Kingdom
4.35 Owney Madden
5.10 Recovery Run
5.40 Queen’s Course
6.10 Yes Always
6.40 Billesdon Brook
7.10 Blame Culture
8.10 Astro King
8.40 Paradise On Earth
5.20 Capla Huntress
6.25 Global Style
6.55 Ventura Tormenta
7.55 Steal The Scene
8.55 Ice Ice Lady
1.50 Modern News
2.25 Shine So Bright (treble)
3.40 Frankly Darling (nb)
4.15 Love And Thunder
4.55 Kameko (nap)