The Investec Derby and Oaks pictures are no clearer, yet clarity may come at York this week. The Knavesmire beckons for yours truly, it all starts on Wednesday with the Musidora, with the Dante on Thursday. Much has been made of the possible meeting between Too Darn Hot and Japana, yet be careful not to dismiss Telecaster. His form has worked out really well.
Plenty to look forward to at York, the sprinters and the stayers will also grace the course this week. A week that culminates at Newbury with the Lockinge Stakes. The prestigous Group 1 over a mile has Le Brivido heading the betting at 4-1 with BetVictor, Magical 6- and the wonderfully robust Laurens sits at 7-1. The favourite is now trained by Aidan O’Brien, he won the 2017 French 2000 Guineas and Jersey Stakes. And had his first run for 359 days at Naas on 13 April, it was promising run in third. Yet I suspect all eyes will be on Laurens, she has won seven of her 11 races, five of those were Group 1s. She is no doubt very classy and many were taken by her recent exercise gallop at Newcastle. She’d be my selection at this early stage.
Monday’s mean Windsor and if you haven’t been and are not far jot it down to go, the setting is ideal for racing. Hughie Morrison has a couple of great chances on the card ahead of unleashing Telecaster in the Dante. Belated Breath runs in the 6.20 over six furlongs, it’s a distance the horse has thrived in ten career races to date. Four wins and a second, she acts on any ground having won on Good to Firm, Good and Good to Soft. Any her trainer has managed to nuture her through this inspired improvement, I sense even off top weight there is more to come. Another plus is Oisin Murphy as he has won four of his seven races paired with her.
Escape The City, hasn’t been able to escape from the handicappers grasp and at the end of last season was still off 82 having only won once from 16 starts. Hughie Morrison has resorted to Cieren Fallon, the talented apprentice will take off a valuable 7lb from the 9-7 burden and that could make all the difference in a winnable handicap.
Earlier in the day there is a competitive card at Musselburgh, which sees one of my favourite horses in training Bayshore Freeway run in the 3.35. She loves to get out in front and challenge her rivals to come and pick her up. Once she is in his rhythm she is very hard to pass. She had multiple entries on Saturday and I was ready to tip her at both Haydock and Lingfield. Only once in 11 runs has she finished out of the first three and four of those runs are victories, including a convincing success at Bath last time out. It’s hard to gage her best trip as she has won from 1m 3f to 1m 6f, today at Musselburgh should be perfect.
A jumps card at Kempton to enjoy, shame weather hasn’t been kind and the ground is on the fast side. I’m crossing my fingers very tightly in the hope that a change of scenary is going to make the difference for Kootenay River and galvanise him to show his true potential. He has run six times and placed on four occasions for Alan King. This will be a first run for Richard Philips and no doubt the belief is in a smaller yard he might thrive. He runs at 3.45.