Since Monday, I have been waiting for Saturday and there is good reason for my constant smile. It’s Epsom Derby Weekend.
There is just something about the Derby that makes the inner horse racing purist come out in full. The track of Epsom, build-up, and theatrical setting on the Saturday of Derby weekend is incredible, and although this year could be marred by potential Animal Rising protests, I have been unable to hide my excitement.
Before we dive into the three Saturday fancies, we should take a look back at last week.
I’m not one to boom on Twitter and say that my weekend selections should be immortalised in gold, but last week was a pleasant sight.
Dramatised, Little Big Bear, and Get Ahead all obliged while Zarzyni was unable to make the places.
DRAMATISED, the NAP, travels like a dream into the race and wins at 5/1.
Four winners & 1 place via @OFLHracing ????
Three winners from four for the weekend @BestOfBetsUK article ????
— Ash Symonds Journalism (@ASymondsJourno) May 27, 2023
That puts the series at 16.75 points in profit on the P&L after three weeks which is, above all else, a good start.
So, with Epsom Derby Day on the horizon, an admittedly tougher week for betting than last Saturday, let’s dive in.
1:30 Epsom – WAIPIRO at 20/1 with William Hill – 0.5pt EW
This year’s Betfred Derby has kept me tossing and turning at night weighing up all the contenders.
Now without mentioning too many horses and sitting on the fence, THE FOXES is a mad price at 14/1 considering he beat two of these at York and is related to some top-class stayers, ARREST was superb at Chester though is skinny enough at 9/2, and MILITARY ORDER is a horse that I seriously rate (and beat my selection last time out at Lingfield).
A trials double for @godolphin !
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) May 13, 2023
However, I’m chancing WAIPIRO at 20/1 to continue his fast progression and hit the frame for Ed Walker.
Tom Marquand gets the ride, the jockey who won on him at Newmarket, and he looks to have some interesting attributes.
Firstly, Hong Kong-based WAIKUKU is his half-brother who famously beat Golden Sixty in January 2022 at Sha Tin when he was 145/10 and the favourite was 1/100.
????Waikuku beats Golden Sixty in the Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin! pic.twitter.com/OdlrBVx9WY
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) January 23, 2022
That suggests that his pedigree is worth a fair bit and if you analyse his second in the Lingfield Derby Trial, he shaped like a horse who has a good turn of foot, a skill that is handy for Epsom.
With Charlie Appleby slightly out-of-form (3/22), a reverse in placings with Military Order isn’t out of the question and at 20/1, I’m happy to take the chance.
2:10 Epsom – PROSPEROUS VOYAGE at 7/4 with BetVictor – 3pt WIN
Has anyone told you that Frankie Dettori is retiring at the end of the year?
He is certainly riding like that is the case following his Group 1 double on Oaks Day thanks to Soul Sister and Emily Upjohn and by the time the Princess Elizabeth Stakes rolls around, we could be talking about Arrest as a Derby winner.
Hopefully, Lanfranco’s form continues as he rides PROSPEROUS VOYAGE in the third race tomorrow.
The case for Ralph Beckett’s filly is obvious with a return to a mile on fast ground at a speedy track all set to be in her favour.
Furthermore, by Zoffany with Mizzen Mast as the damsire, she should continue to be a great filly as a four-year-old after her Group 1-winning season last year.
???? @Tattersalls1766 Falmouth Stakes (G1)
1600m , 250.000 GBP, 3yo+ mares
Prosperous Voyage ????????
(3F Zoffany – Seatone, by Mizzen Mast)
J : Rob Hornby
T :Ralph Beckett
O :M Chan & A Rosen
B : Lynch Bages & Camas Park Stud
— ???????????????????????????????????????????? (@WorldRacing1) July 8, 2022
Tomorrow is her first run back on quick ground since her victory over Insprial in the Falmouth Stakes, she is my best bet of the week at 7/4 with BetVictor.
3:20 Epsom – SILVER SWORD at 12/1 with BetVictor – 1pt EW
And finally, I’m doubling down on my Ante-post Analysis fancy from Wednesday as SILVER SWORD completes my line-up.
As was the case when I put him up two weeks ago before being a non-runner at Newbury, I like his form off a mark of 82.
His two-year-old form when fifth to Military Order at Newmarket at odds of 250/1 reads well (and could look even better after race two) and although he refused to race on his first two appearances on track, he was well-backed on debut which could suggest connections rate his ability.
The brother to Adayar strikes on the Rowley Mile ????
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) October 19, 2022
Furthermore, his second at Lingfield two starts ago shows he has a good turn of foot at a sharp track with the undulation before the home turn.
He shouldn’t have any issues with the quicker surface (the dam side of his pedigree has plenty of good ground form) and hopefully, Dylan Cunha’s three-year-old can end Epsom Derby Day with a flourish.