Last week at Epsom was a surreal experience. The moments before, during, and after were ones filled with nerves, not because of the horses I had backed, but of whether we would have a ‘normal’ Derby.
Despite one small bit of trouble, we were and I think we all let out a big sigh of relief.
This week felt like horse racing clawed one point back against the backlash thrown our way and hopefully, this can continue on to the premier Flat meeting of the year in Royal Ascot.
Speaking of the five-day Royal meeting, with this weekend’s action unlikely to be a vintage crop, I’ve decided to provide one fancy for Ascot which starts in just under two weeks as well as one EW selection for Saturday.
Thanks to two good seconds from last week’s Ante-post Analysis piece, let’s roll on to the fancies.
In Aidan we trust
Both Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore are in some serious form at the moment and it’s great to see.
The master trainer is operating at a 31% strike rate and his stable jockey is a shade better at 38% following their lethal partnership in the Derby on Saturday.
A work of ART! ????️
12th in the Guineas ➡️????in the Derby for AUGUSTE RODIN!
Is there anything Aidan O’Brien can’t do⁉️pic.twitter.com/V6HFsKtQNd
— World Horse Racing (@WHR) June 3, 2023
Looking ahead to Royal Ascot, Ballydoyle has a plethora of Royal Ascot entries with Luxembourg, The Antarctic, and Little Big Bear the standouts.
However, it’s an improving three-year-old that I am keen to side with as the 16/1 about BERTINELLI for the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes has grabbed my attention.
Firstly, just looking at the race, there are potentially seven horses ahead of O’Brien’s Jusitfy colt that are unlikely to turn up, suggesting that the double-figure price is good value.
Secondly, it was his Newbury victory in the London Gold Cup that caused me to become a fan of his as the way he stayed on over 10 furlongs, a distance that probably isn’t ideal, was very taking and O’Brien was pleasantly surprised post-race.
A Group horse in disguise? ????
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) May 20, 2023
If this chestnut colt can continue to improve, something that should occur, I have high hopes for a big run at Royal Ascot.
Frankie Dettori’s farewell tour had a successful leg of the journey at Epsom thanks to a glorious treble on the Downs.
He will hop into the saddle three times this week; once at Kempton tonight and twice at Haydock on Saturday and it’s his ride onboard EQUILATERAL at 5/1 with William Hill in the opening contest that grabs me.
Assuming that George Boughey’s Perdika doesn’t run (she ran in France on Sunday) then Charlie Hills’ eight-year-old is the second-best at the weights with just Prince Of Pillo ahead of him.
Following a good return to form last time out when ridden by Dettori in the Group 2 Temple Stakes, his fifth in last season’s Group 1 King’s Stand at Royal Ascot is some of the best form in the race.
Dramatised wins the Betfred Temple Stakes
— ITV Racing (@itvracing) May 27, 2023
With quick ground on the horizon for Saturday at Haydock, a 5/1 EW play looks very reasonable.