Friday, June 06, 2008

Epsom Derby

Finding the answer to this year's Derby doesn't look an easy task and, to be honest, I don't think I'm up to it. In nine of the last ten runnings the winner has come from the first four in the betting; using that yardstick, at the time of writing, you're invited to pick one from Casual Conquest, Curtain Call, New Approach and Tartan Bearer. Casual Conquest, installed as the favourite, is short on racecourse experience, while the right noises having been coming out of the Cumani stable about Curtain Call, yet he doesn't look to have had the best of the draw. Opinion is divided as to whether New Approach will stay but, as the top-rated animal in the field, he will have a major chance if he does. The preliminaries may well pose a problem for NA; he was given 'special dispensation' in the Guineas to hack down to post with his accompanying pony, resulting in the race starting late and other runners becoming fractious on account of the delay. At least two trainers have already indicated to the Epsom stewards this must not be allowed to happen tomorrow. The temperament issue is something to consider with this horse, so I'll pass over him. That leaves Sir Michael Stoute's Tartan Bearer who won the Dante by a head from Frozen Fire. As I highlighted in my post on Tuesday, that was Frozen Fire's first run of the season; he looked green and hung quite a bit - if he'd run straight, he would probably have won. I quietly fancied FF but that was blown out of the water on Wednesday when stable jockey Johnny Murtagh chose to ride King Of Rome, saying he thought that horse had shown most improvement at home. King Of Rome is now 12/1 while FF is out to 20/1 with Ladbrokes. All very confusing, isn't it? You pay your money and takes your choice; I'm going to stick with the Dante form and put up Tartan Bearer to collect the spoils while Frozen Fire, with a favourable draw and Mick Kinane in the plate, represents a decent each-way alternative.


Anonymous said...

I go for New Approach. So long as he can handle the minutes before the starts, he'll have no trouble with the trip. But my daughter, who is no bad judge, thinks Frozen Fire can do better than a place. We'll know at tea time.

GeeDee said...

Well done to Tom Roper who put up New Approach (5/1) and the class act won the day. No complaints from this quarter - the best horse won. Nonetheless a decent effort from Tartan Bearer (6/1) whose jockey Ryan Moore sent the horse to win his race three out. Headed inside the final furlong, he kept on gamely to go down by half a length, the pair over four lengths clear of 7/2 favourite Casual Conquest. Dante second Frozen Fire (16/1) looked keen enough held up at the back of the field and never featured, eventually finishing eleventh.