It has been a very quiet week for me thus far, not a bet as of Thursday evening but Friday is the start of three-days of top-class action across Europe. Friday is day one of the two-day Derby Festival at Epsom and we have lots to look forward to not least the Classic of the Classics with the Derby on Saturday - there are many 'Derbies' across the globe but only one Epsom Derby.
Best bets for the horse racing at EpsomI have dealt with The Oaks over on the Classics page. The other Group One on the Card Friday is the 1m4f Dahlbury Coronation Cup at 3.10 with the older horses running over the Derby trip. Only five line-up but it is a really good renewal all the same with Westover, Emily Upjohn and Hurricane Lane in the field. The drying ground conditions aren't exactly ideal for any of them on paper which adds a little question mark but it appears they will all run. Westover won last years Irish Derby having finished third here at Epsom prior to that. He may not have turned out to be the wonder horse some though he was going to be last year but he it pretty damn good. Emily Upjohn was very unlucky not to win the Oaks last season. beaten a short-head. She was hugely disappointing at Royal Ascot but bounced back to take the G.1 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at the end of the season. Getting the mares allowance she has every chance but this might be a big ask on seasonal debut. Following a disappointing 2022 Hurricane Lane has a couple of runs under his belt already this season. Turned over at short odds at Newbury on his first run of the year he showed the old magic is still there, in first-time cheekpieces, when winning the G.2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket last month. Third behind stablemate Adayar in the Derby back in 2021 the course holds no fears and I am on the five-year-old to beat the quartet of four-year-olds. I have 7-2 this morning. Talking on the Godolphin website Charlie Appleby said of his charge “He showed a return to form last time, which we were delighted to see. It had been a little bit of a bumpy road prior to Newmarket. At Newbury previously, he was ring rusty and conditions took their toll in the end. From that run to his second run, we saw marked improvement in his physical presence and his alertness. He got his racing brain back engaged. With those good older horses, it often takes a run to get them back in the game again. I have been delighted with him since that run. I’d say he has improved again. He’s tighter. He’s sharper mentally. He’s got plenty going for him…he comes to the Coronation Cup off the back of a nice win, and he’s got course and distance experience, having finished third in the Derby.”