A good slice of lady luck cake was what I was looking for this week and we got it on Tuesday with Point North (4/1) bursting through with Robert Winston to get up to grab the sprint at Beverley and over at Limerick the gamble was landed with the Tony Martin trained Pyromaniac (15/8). So far this month has been a shade frustrating with so many placed horses and gambles coming unstuck it’s at times like this when you have to take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture. I did enjoy my Chester tipping challenge along side Mr Bell and the Don, what a day to tip the third day with biblical storms, high winds and ground as holding as the mother-in laws purse, never mind I manged to get out of jail in the last two races banging in 25 points.
Andre Fabre landed the French 2,000 Guineas on Sunday at Longchamp with the Makfi colt Make Believe winning unchallenged by three lengths from New Bay. The big disappointment of the race was the warm favourite Highland Reel who finished 6th and is now out to 20/1 for the Epsom Derby next month.
The speedy Caspian Prince (8/1 joint favourite with Coral) is one of three previous winners among the 45 entries revealed last week for the £100,000 Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ over five furlongs at Epsom Downs on Investec Derby Day.
The Tony Carroll-trained six-year-old made all the running last year to beat Seeking Magic(Clive Cox, 14/1) by a head in the valuable heritage handicap down the fastest five-furlong course in the world and has gone on to capture a handicap over the same distance at Meydan, Dubai, in February.
Duke Of Firenze (Robert Cowell, 12/1) landed the spoils when trained by Sir Michael Stoute in 2013, while Stone Of Folca (John Best) was a 50/1 shock winner in 2012.
Another contender with excellent course and distance form is Monumental Man (12/1). The six-year-old scored on his first outing at the Surrey course in July, 2013, and doubled up with an impressive three and three quarter length victory over Secret Missile (Gary Moore, 20/1) in the Investec Asset Finance Handicap on April 22.
His Shropshire-based trainer James Unett revealed: “The Investec Corporate Banking ‘Dash’ is the aim for Monumental Man.”
“He won in a very fast time the other day and is now unbeaten in two starts at Epsom. The handicapper has put him up 12lb to a mark of 92 and that should be high enough to get a run in the Dash. Historically, 92 would have got you a run in the last four renewals.”
“He is off a career-high mark but it is all relative. He has paid the price for winning so well in a competitive handicap.”
“Epsom seems to bring out the best in him and if he’s handicapped for Epsom then it is OK. Whether he is up to competing elsewhere off that mark is another thing.”
“He has come out of his last run really well and he will go straight to Epsom now. We will do the same as we did last time and travel down the night before. All I need now is fast ground, a good draw and a tail wind!”
Steps (Roger Varian, 10/1) was beaten three quarters of a length into fourth last year after encountering trouble in running. He subsequently finished sixth in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Hans Holbein joins the Ballydoyle Derby train after running away with the Chester Vase last Thursday, the 7/4 favorite did everything asked of him by Ryan Moore around the tight track and is around 25/1 for Epsom next month.
Kilinmanjaro winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial over the weekend joins the O’Brien Epsom Derby dream team and is around 25/1 for next months classic.
News hit the press last week that Ladbrokes chairman Peter Erskine will quit his role at the end of this year, does not look good for the magic circle, the rats are leaving the sinking ship comes to mind the future looks far from clear for the high street bookmakers.
The 11/8 about Richard Johnson to be champion jockey this season looks a bet now that McCoy is gone, he is riding like a man on a mission, and he deserves it after being the bridesmaid for so many years to AP.
Top sprinter Sole Power has been backed this week 5/1 (from 6/1 with Betfred) for the Temple Stakes at Haydock Park at the end of this month.
Night Of Thunder (9/4 with Coral) is strongly fancied for the Lockinge Stakes this Saturday at Newbury.
Yours in sport
Back Next Thursday.
Kevan Minter – The Colonel.