The third British classic of the season is run tomorrow at Epsom Downs and the Major has worked his way through the card this evening to advise on each Epsom Downs race. What a lovely looking day to be racing. There is something whole hearted and wonderful about a days racing of such quality in such fine surround. If there I hope you eat good salmon and drink fine wines including great champagne.
Misty for Me - KABOOOOOOM - Has the Major ever let you down? C'mon Seamie get the job done
May continues to be a profitable month, particularly for racing tips. With the Oaks and the Derby to come in the next 48 hours, here we go! Load up the cannons and ensure your lancers are readied.
A quick word about the Derby. A couple of people have asked me to have a look at it. The Queens horse, winner of the Dante, Carlton House, has according to the Racing Post been declared fit.
I was always looking to get Carlton House beaten on Saturday anyway so with him declared fit and still in the market, it makes sense to get on my selection now. If only I had a selection!
The main Derby horse of interest as I write is Memphis Tennessee for Aidan O’Brien. 33/1 seems a fancy price for this Derby horse. Recital, the 5/1 stable-mate beat Memphis in May by 1 and a half lengths which is not a huge distance for such a swing in pricing. In addition, this was the first run of the season for Memphis Tennessee and the O’Brien team have really needed to get that first run into their horses this year, take Roderic O’Connor the Irish Derby winner as an example, or Recital for that matter.
No bet yet, I want to see what is said of the 5 O’Brien runners. I think Colm O Donoghue will be sacrificed as a pace maker and Memphis may be run prominently but maybe not burned, remember that O’Brien jnr was trusted with the ride on Roderic, interesting. That said, the same jockey looks set for pacemaking later in the day so maybe 33/1 is a shocking price! I will sleep on it.
To tomorrows Epsom action….. three mouth-watering group races….
1.40pm Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes
Antara will have a big role to play if on top form but I prefer the chances of Timepiece. This beautiful bay filly trained by Henry Cecil is likely to be better at 4 and will be fitter for a reappearance run – This was always the first target and we will find out if she is good enough.
However, neither of the two market principals are the Majors selection. Instead I opt for the lightly raced three year old Clinical. Wrapped up as a juvenile with a couple of runs, the handy weight allowance for three year olds mean this girl races off just 8-8. Sir Mark Prescott is in fine form with 4 winners from 12 runners. The form is not in the book, the maiden win has mixed messages and the Group 3 defeat following it up was concrete.
That said, Clinical has some bigger race entries and they are unlikely to be fanciful, a chance is taken at 9/1.
2.10 The Mile Handicap
This is a tricky affair and having spent half an hour ruling a few out, I am still left with a decidedly dodgy task trying to decide where the value lies.
The favourite looks very interesting, Dance and Dance is available at 13/2 and while no certainty, it is very interesting to see that Ryan Moore gets the ride, the first he has had for the stable.
The Major would be tempted with that and also with Sowaylm who is the Godolphin and Frankie horse. Available at 16/1, this is an interesting contender. Watching its second only ever run, it veered right out of the stalls, ran green and lost by a short head. Its final run of the season, qualifying Sowaylm for a handicap mark was on soft ground and it looked all wrong. A line through that run and 16/1 is tasty if it has come on again from 3 to 4.
2.45 Coronation Cup Group One
This is a race!
St Nicholas Abbey, apple of O’Briens eye and constant disappointment in injury and race running in it’s classic season has returned in style this year. After being beaten by a triumph runner up and filly, St Nicholas Abbey has seemingly come good, he is a warm favourite here at evens money, I think he will go odds on.
Midday though is a top class animal and I think 6/4 is way too much. 5/4 the pair for the Major and that means a chunky slice is advised on Midday. If St Nick puts his best foot forward he may just yet be a wonder horse, Midday is a great benchmark and I am far from convinced that she will be beaten tomorrow.
A quick word for Dandino, if allowed to get his head in front, he will go down fighting, although he should not be good enough in this company.
3.25 Investec Investment Handicap
This is just as tricky as the first handicap on the cards and there are many in with decent chances.
Again Ryan Moore gets an eye-catching ride on Right Step for Alan Jarvis and at 13/2 this one is not bad value. The York second last time out looked OK.
I have an allergy for horses that constantly look like they are improving without getting their head in front at the crucial moment. They tend to rise up the handicap steadily mirroring their apparent improvement.
Beaumonts Party the High Chapparal progeny is 3/1 favourite and is well in with the handicapper despite a penalty following an easy Chepstow win. I have always like David Probert, some trainers seem to have left him out after he lost his claim, interesting but not much love in 3/1.
Dhaamer has a dangerous look about it.
The one the Major settles on as worth a punt is the 10/1 shot Resurge. Not the most spectacular sort but it has course form. Epsom can be a difficult course, up down, hard lefts, cambers, it counts if you can rely on a horse not having to change legs throughout. 12/1 it is worth an each way shot.
4.05 Investec Oaks
The Oaks. The finest test for the three year old fillies. An absolute punting minefield in some years. Trying to judge which fillies will step up well to a mile and a half is tough work
Blue Bunting battled well to win a 1,000 Guineas and at 9/4 I have to say it is poor value in the Majors view. Godolphin are a major force again in the classics but despite this horse being bred to be better at a mile and a half, it is no 9/4 shot for me. There is plenty of slip between the crouch and the leap is an old saying and so despite the breeding suggesting a mile and a half should see Blue Bunting in better light, the Major believes this is over-considered in the price.
There is a clear and obvious candidate for the Major….. 8/1 priced Misty for Me.
Bet like men, bet on the nose.
This horse is well rehearsed at the top level having won three Group ones. It has never competed over more than a mile but the way she stays on, it does not look an issue. Losing by a distance in the 1,000 – I can write that off as the first run of the season which many O’Brien horses have shown they have badly needed.
It is the stable second string to Wonder of Wonders who at 7/2 is just too short to be the Majors selection. I would not put anyone off but no thank you to 7/2.
Get stuck into Misty for Me. Thank me later.
4.50 Investec Surrey Stakes
Sometimes things have to be simple. Hoorah looks classy and this race is far more compatible being dropped back a furlong.
The rest look substandard and at evens, I have to say you would have to work hard to find better value.
I know some people cannot bring themselves to a backing a short price sort so I need to offer something. Chilworth Lad at 9/1 would be my idea of the best priced alternative but I expect that to be a place prospect only.
5.20 Investec Opportunity Stakes
Fityaan looks like the winner. The Warwick win last time out was achieved with a minimum of fuss, tracking the leader and going clear with a quick shake up.
I cannot find a reasonable alternative and suggest that Paddy Powers 11/4 is a price to take.
Wish I was there.