Following the impressive 2,000 Guineas run of Derby favourite Australia, this week’s Derby trials have mainly focused on trying to find some possible opposition for Aiden O’Brien’s superbly bred colt.
Chester has hosted two this week in the shape of the Chester Vase and the Dee stakes and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the might of Coolmore have won them both courtesy of Orchestra and Kingfisher. Today it’s onto Lingfield where O’Brien is doubly represented (as he was in both trials at Chester) in his bid for Derby Domination. Four-time winner Mekong River is ridden by O’Brien’s son Joseph whilst the once-raced Blue Hussar is ridden by Ryan Moore. Both jockeys won one trial each at Chester, posing punters with the problem of which colt is the more fancied of the two. The early market slightly favours the former, though neither is favourite as Godolphin’s Sudden Wonder heads the market.
My feeling is that Ryan Moore rode Orchestra at Chester because the horse is likely to be his Derby ride, and Mekong River is the more fancied of the two here with O’Brien junior up. At 5/1 he looks a solid each-way selection.
Mekong River each-way 5/1 or better
Horseracing – Ascot – 3.50pm
One of the most competitive handicaps of the year with 29 runners charging down the straight 7-furlong course, and lots of horses will have been laid out for the race with the very lucrative first-prize up for grabs. One such horse is Flyman, and his in-form trainer Richard Fahey has made no secret of the fact that this has been his charge’s target since his win at Doncaster five weeks ago. Seemingly exposed last year, Flyman is up 8lb for that – but it may just be he has improved greatly from three-to-four. 16/1 or better with each-way terms of 5-places seems a sound investment.
Flyman each-way 16/1 or better
Horseracing – Haydock – 3.30
Jumps racing fans will be looking forward to the Swinton Hurdle, and seven of the last ten winners of the race have carried less than 10-8. Only four of the sixteen runners carry that little weight and, though those at the top of the handicap look a classy bunch, it may be worth chancing Songsmith. Lucy Wadham gave her charge a run at the course three weeks ago and he may just appreciate the big-field and likely fast-pace.
Songsmith each-way 16/1 or better
Football – Premiership
The Premiership has constantly ebbed and flowed this season with battles for the Title, Champion’s league and avoiding relegation all taking several twists and turns. However, all those battles seem to have been won and lost already unless West ham can pull off a 16/1 shock by beating Manchester City – giving Liverpool one last chance. It seems unlikely though, and for those seeking a last football fix before the season ends, a double on Tottenham and Crystal Palace may pay dividends.
Double – Tottenham 8/15 and Crystal Palace 19/10