FIVE To Follow: Double The Derby

After the come-down of Royal Ascot, we focus on a couple of Derby’s. Today, it’s the Pitman’s Derby up at Newcastle, or the Northumberland Plate as it is more formally known. Then on Sunday we have the Irish Derby, with the Epsom Derby’s second and third re-opposing. It’s a rare Saturday Five To Follow!



Northern Success

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2:04 – Chipchase Stakes (Group Three) – Kinross @ 3/1 (William Hill)

Clearly, this is a prep race for Kinross in search of July Cup glory. Kinross missed Royal Ascot last week, which was a peculiar move by Ralph Beckett since heb seems to thrive on the heath. But clearly, bigger things are in store for the impressive multiple Group One winner. Starting things off in a Group Three has all the rest of the field vying for places.


Duke’s Derby

3:10 – Northumberland Plate (Heritage Handicap) – Duke Of Oxford @ 11/1 (William Hill)

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Duke Of Oxford has every right to be shorter than he is. He has a better record on the all-weather than he does on turf. He’s won at the distance and can easily manage the weight he has been given for a true stamina test. At Newcastle he has a record of second and third, and is back to the mark he was for second on All-weather Finals day. His run at Chester was underwhelming, but has put him back in contention for the Pitman’s Derby.

Sir Mark Prescott’s power of handicapping awareness cannot go understated. He won last night Hoppings Fillies Stakes, so has already prepped himself for an onslaught of Newcastle. He has two for the Pitman’s Derby. But I fancy his second string True Legend, an each-way pick. He has already won at Newcastle and is a progressive sort after just losing out at Goodwood last time out. He should make a good account of himself at 12/1 (BetVictor).

Forza Orta hasn’t been in the best of form lately. But could this be the mastermind of trainer Kevin Ryan. He wasn’t exactly in the best of form coming into his most recent win at York, with a second at Hamilton behind him. He’s only a pound above that mark today and is low in the weights too. A clear stayer and this race may have been quietly in mind. Too big to ignore at 25/1 (William Hill).



Back To His Best

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3:25 – Criterion Stakes (Group Three) – Nostrum @ 4/1 (General)

Nostrum has had some excuses of late. At the end of last season he scoped lame, and at the start of this season he “raced awkwardly”. With an extended break, Sir Michael Stoute has hopefully fixed the problem for the 2022 Dewhurst third and has Charyn to back up the form from the April race this season.

Witch Hunter has just kept running into good horses of late. Although his Group One performances have brought dividends. He finished third in the Lockinge and fourth in the Queen Anne, outperforming his odds both times. With a small field, and ground he can perform on, he’s got an each-way shout at 7/1 (BetVictor, Unibet, Boylesports).


Curragh – Saturday

No Blue Feelings

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3:30 – Pretty Polly Stakes (GROUP ONE) – Bluestocking @ 15/8 (William Hill, Unibet)

Four British raiders are over for this Group One. And the favourite takes the fancy. Emily Upjohn has plenty of things not in her favour, particularly going off her last performance at Epsom. Stay Alert will not want the ground firm, which looks like she won’t get. And Tasmania is a bit of an unknown in the hands of Sir Mark Prescott, who will have yes on Newcastle. Bluestocking obliterated the Middleton field at York and will perform on similar ground at the Curragh.


Curragh- Sunday

Race Of Angels

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4:05 – Irish Derby (GROUP ONE) – Los Angeles @ 7/4 (General)

After his third in the Epsom Derby, it was clear Los Angeles was a stayer and this was the next logical target. I’m still not taken by Ambiente Friendly, even though he finished more than three lengths in front of Los Angeles. I still think that stamina may be a challenge for him. Particularly when Los Angeles is out of a Derby winner and a full brother to two black type winners with a mile-and-a-half in their pedigree.

The very best of luck!


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