The Duke’s Weekend Review

If you’ve recovered from Royal Ascot then it’s straight back into the top races this weekend with the top race on Saturday being the Irish Derby.

Saxon Warrior is the odds-on favourite.

After winning the 2,000 Guineas, Saxon Warrior ran very creditably in the Epsom Derby given he was hustled and bustled throughout the race.

Dee Ex Bee was a good runner-up in the Derby and he has to be respected on that effort. Old Persian ran really well to win the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last week but this is a quick turnaround against better opposition.

I could see Joseph O’Brien’s Latrobe running better than his 20/1 price tag but I can’t get clear of the favourite. I think he’ll be really tough to beat.

Elsewhere, there’s lots of good equine action at Newmarket’s July Course.

The 1.45pm Criterion Stakes has seven runners and given different betting firms have their own view of FOUR horses as favourite it just shows how competitive it is! Larchmont Lad is pretty solid for a place given his recent performances, particularly a decent run at Haydock.

Dutch Connection might attract the punters on his best form but he really was rather awful at Haydock when a well beaten favourite. On that basis Tabarrak has plenty of Listed form that would put him in contention. He likes quick ground, should enjoy the trip and I think a big run is on the cards.

The 2.55pm Fred Archer Stakes market is dominated by Second Step. Roger Charlton’s seven-year-old ran a bold race at Newbury last time without quite having the class of Crystal Ocean (who has since won the Hardwicke Stakes). He might face a bit of a challenge from the filly Crimson Rosette who has run well in handicaps. Again it is not the most original selection but Second Step is the one to beat.

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