The Derby, “Premierisation” and our winner is….


Derby day tomorrow and in this episode we discuss every race on the Epsom card, and debate the Premierisation” of racing.

Also announced is the winner of our first WHAT’S THE ANSWER competition and it’s congratulations to Edward Tynan!

I’ll be sending our winner details of the bet I place for him in the morning. I’ll also bang it up on the Forum.

Below is my side of the conversation with regards the eight races taking place at Epsom tomorrow:

12.50pm Epsom

Six runners here and all representing a different age group. Never seen that before.

We even have a 3-y-o in here and in the last 10 years only two others have tried to win a Diomed…neither even placed.

On that score I rule out the current second favourite KOLSAI.

For a Group 3 paying nearly £57k to the winner, it’s an awful race. The favourite, HIGHLAND AVENUE, is rated just 1lb better than the handicapper ESCOBAR, and is obviously very brittle. Runs one or two races and he’s then off for over a year.

He has not won a race since 2021 but that same year ran a seven length sixth to POETIC FLARE in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. If he gets near that form he wins this but would you take 5/4 he does, when there is just 3lb between four of them on official figures?

Looking at it I can fully understand Varian chucking his 3-y-o in.

Every runner here scores points in the competition but which gets the 10?

I’m going to say REGAL REALITY 20/80. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who has an identical record in this race to Charlie Appleby, over the last 10 years, he’s 5/1 and I’ll suffer the consequences if he comes up short. Only rated 1lb shy of the 5/4 favourite and 8-y-o’s have a great record in this….I know he finished 11 lengths behind HIGHLAND AVENUE at Newmarket but that was on soft ground.

Like I say, it’s a stinker but I’ll go with Stoute.



1.30pm Epsom

I cannot believe I’m discussing a 1-30pm Derby.

I’m on record as saying this race is absolutely pants these days anyway….name the last very good Derby winner? Three of the last five winners returned 16/1, 25/1, 16/1, we’ve seen placed horse recently returning 150/1, 50/1, 66/1, and that’s become a common trend as going back through the mists we have DRAGON DANCER 66/1, MIGHTY FLUTTER 66/1, BLUE JUDGE 150/1, BLUES TRAVELLER 150/1, and when NASHWAN won, we had TERRIMON PLACING @ 500/1.

The reason this happens is because all the fancied horses try to win it, fail to stay 10 furlongs, let alone 12, and they get passed by horses wearing KISS ME QUICK hats on the run to the line.

It’s a mutt of a Group 1 and thinking about it, I’d have run it before breakfast.

Nearly £1m to the winner? What a waste of money.

Anyway, what wins it?

I sain in a recent Podcast that the old saying, “5th in the Guineas, 1st in the Derby”, might wash and that horse was DUBAI MILE….drifting…14/1 > 18/1.

I’d rather look for a big priced one to place, that is running for a big yard. SERPENTINE won this for Aiden O’Brien in 2020, going off 25/1 and three years earlier he’d done the same thing with WINGS OF EAGLES, who went in @ 40/1.

Three of the 14 runners come from that yard, including the favourite AUGUSTE RODIN, who flopped at Newmarket. I would not touch 7/2 about that horse with a barge pole….he will now win by 10 lengths.

I’m going to suggest a 20/80 SAN ANTONIO, from that yard. He is around 33/1, arrives unbeaten this season, will stay the 12 furlongs and it now all rests on him handling quicker ground.

As I say, not a race I take seriously despite the world going nuts for it.



2.10pm Epsom

Another Group 3 that I’d shut the curtains on, if it was being run in my back garden.

The current tissue favourite finished fifth on seasonal debut and has won just two of her 12 races to date. The second favourite pulled up last time out, the third favourite won a Listed race by a neck, and most of these will be running in handicaps before too long.

Three- and four-year-olds have dominated this in recent times, winning seven of the last eight running’s, and as they all carry more than 9st, I’m hoping the market screams out a name.

You need to be front three on the tissue….eight of the last 10 winners were. So, a four year old, front three on the tissue (we have no 3-y-o’s), and it’s going the way of PROSPEROUS VOYAGE, who has at least won on the course.

That’ll do for me.



2.45pm Epsom

The very first running of the 3-y-o Dash and so I’ve not got a scooby do what’s going to happen.

Only four of them have winning form on the going as is currently described, only one has raced here previously, ESTATE, who got thumped 12 lengths, and he trades third favourite at 15/2.

If you look at the results posted up for the actual “dash” here (the next race we discuss), the last five winners returned 25/1, 12/1, 33/1, 25/1, 10/1….and last year the placed horses came home 50/1, 14/1, 14/1.

Don’t you just love Epsom!

Will that translate to this race? Who knows but I’m going to apply what I believe to be the draw bias here….high best in the actual “dash” itself.

Three of the last five winners of that race came from 16, 13, 10 and so chucking my dice I’ll shout RUSSET GOLD. Varian trains this second favourite, who is making seasonal debut and breaks from 14.  Around the 7/1 mark he’s as good a guess as any.

RON  – RUSSET GOLD – 20/80


3.20pm Epsom

The actual “dash” and I’ll just echo the bonkers results mentioned above, look for something drawn high, trading a double figure price (the last seven winners have been!), and the stand out is surely LIHOU, coming from stall 18, 12/1 on the tissue I have, a previous CD winner on his only previous visit here….I’d just worry if the ground was very quick.

Hopefully they put a bit of wet stuff down overnight to give him a chance to give him a chance.

A race in which anyone’s guess will be as good as mine…because that’s what this is.

RON – LIHOU – 20/80


3.55pm Epsom

A nightmare. We have 14 three year olds going over a trip only three have attempted before, at a track only one has run at before, on ground only three have succeeded on.

You only bet money on such races, if you have a screw loose.

I get no help from age groupings, no help from weight ranges short of saying I probably don’t want anything carrying more than 8st 13lb….six of the last nine winners would have been caught in that net.

I’ve found one stat I like. Andrew Balding has sent seven for this in the last decade, won with three, placed with another….he has actually won three of the last five of these.

He trains KADOVAR, and he is the one that has previous course winning form. He has booked Buick to ride.

The 14/1 is there because he has only won on soft ground and he’s place only material but, that’s all I have.



4.30pm Epsom

Only nine going to post for the race I’d be most interested in, if was run somewhere else.

Concentrate on the four year olds, they have won six of the last nine, including four of the last five and with no significant bias towards any weight range I’ll say look front four on the tissue, for your winner….the last four winners were, and in total six of the last nine.

That give me CAIUS CHORISTER and SEA KING to work with.

Sir Mark Prescott trains the second named and his are flying right now, a 90%RTF but with a previous CD win to his name, I have to select CAIUS CHORISTER, who has won 50% of his races on turf….5-10…and placed in two others.

With wins at both Epsom and Goodwood, he obviously works well with funky tracks and that’s my selection.



5.05pm Epsom

The last five winners of this have been aged 4, 5, 6, 7, 9….prior to that, 2 x 5-y-o’s and 2 x 6-y-o’s went in so if I need to go down that route, I’ll say a horse aged five, or six.

Six of the last nine winners carried less than 9st so I will go there, and six of the last eight winners were front four on the tissue….three winning favourites.

If those trends hold true, it’s one of:


To separate them I’ll look at the draw bias and, for sure, PROBE, drawn in four, looks best. Six of the last eight were drawn in a single figure box, two of them coming from the stall he occupies tomorrow. Jennie Candlish is running a superb 60% RTF%age figure right now, compared to the desperate 13% of the trainer of APOLLO ONE.

I’ll go PROBE

RON – PROBE 20/80



  • ALFRED COVE – 6/1 > 9/2 – WON 2/1F
  • HOT TEAM – 12/1 > 13/2 – WON 9/1
  • HICONIC – 14/1 > 7/1 – WON 9/2

Something for the weekend



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