The Duke’s Weekend Preview

First things first, what a great Derby win for the boys in blue.

The Godolphin team so prestigiously backed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, bagged their first Derby win at Epsom with Masar.

This is a huge result given the investment that the Sheikh and his team have put in over the years. He showed a game attitude when challenged and while a few of his rivals may have claimed a bit of hard luck, he handled the twists and turns of Epsom astutely and thoroughly deserves his place in the immortal list of Derby winners.

On to this weekend, and the big focus for race fans in North America is whether Justify can win the US Triple Crown.

After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, Justify has the chance to become the thirteenth horse to win all three Triple Crown contests if he can land the Belmont Stakes.

He is clearly the form horse, however the trip is more than two furlongs further than the Preakness and both Bravazo and Tenfold, who finished runner-up and third respectively, were spitting distance from the winner and finishing stronger. Justify is 4/5 favourite and I think he could well be turned over, with Bravazo and Tenfold most likely to cause the upset.

British fans can look to Haydock for the best action.

At 2.50, the Pinnacle Stakes is a race for fillies only. Fosun is an interesting option coming over from Germany with some decent form. God Given may prefer softer ground but has a big chance if handling the slower conditions. I’d be tempted with Cribbs Causeway at the prices. She ran decently at York and should build on that effort.

Later on there are just eight runners in the 7f John of Gaunt Stakes at 4pm.. Tabarrak would appear to have huge claims off the back of a big Listed win at the track a few weeks ago. Emmaus has shown best on slower ground but he looks versatile, while Dutch Connection has won four group races in the past. Tabarrak for me. Have a great weekend.

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