It is possible that Saturday’s Derby winner Serpentine will go on to become a champion, but it is far more likely that jockey Emmet McNamara simply “stole” the Epsom classic given the first three home were the 1-2-3 from the stalls.
The only jockey who was awake to the fact that the leader was not acting as a pacemaker for the rest of the Ballydoyle battalions was Tom Marquand – jocked off English King by connections in favour of Frankie Dettori – aboard runner up Khalifa Sat. Penny for the thoughts of trainer Ed Walker and owner Bjorn Nielsen. English King finished a never nearer fifth and may have been the best horse in the race but as connections said pre-race – there is only one Derby.
The ground was described as good at Uttoxeter on Sunday ahead of today’s nine-race card – perfect conditions for summer jumping. Olly Murphy saddled a four-timer at Southwell on Wednesday, and he has five runners in Staffordshire including Highland Bobby and Redemptorist (1.55) in the 2m Handicap Hurdle and the latter gets a narrow vote.
The selection certainly has the scope for jumps, and he looked in need of a drop back in trip when third at Newton Abbot over an extended two-and-a-quarter miles when last seen in May 2019. Last week’s events showed us that Murphy is more than adept at bringing horses back fit and well following a break and Redemptorist could be well treated from an opening mark of 101 – he is 4/1 with Unibet and gets the ew recommendation.
Any number of old favourites in the £20,000 Bet 365 Summer Cup including The Young Master and Doing Fine for Neil Mulholland. The latter has ideal conditions today, but I worry about the form of the yard and I am going to take a chance on For Good Measure (3.30) representing the yard of Philip Hobbs.
The each way selection – 9/1 with William Hill who are offering 4 places – has only had four starts over fences and a line can be put through his last start given he was all at sea on the prevailing soft ground. He had previously landed a bit of a gamble to win at Warwick when he jumped very well from a 6lbs lower mark. Richard Johnson takes the ride.
Ben Pauling had a double at Southwell last week and his debutante Gerboise Borget (5.05) can make a winning debut for her powerful connections in the concluding mares’ Bumper. The selection – 4s with bet365 – is closely related to several winners – flat and over jumps – and the booking of Aidan Coleman is a plus. Olly Murphy’s Mini Crest and Dan Skelton’s Bonnie Golightly are others to consider in a race where those with previous experience look vulnerable including Nicky Henderson’s market leader Miss Farage.
At Windsor this evening Aquileo (6.45) looked ready for a step up in distance when second at Haydock over 10f on his handicap debut and he can go one better for Roger Varian and Jack Mitchell with stable jockey Andrea Atzeni at Thirsk. There is plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of the selection’s breeding and, after just three career starts, Aquileo – 3/1 with Boylesports – is open to further improvement.
Magnetised (7.00) looks the reason Atzeni is at Thirsk this evening having gone into many notebooks when scoring at Doncaster on debut back in the autumn and he makes his seasonal reappearance tonight. The fact that he hasn’t raced so far this term suggests he has been slow to come to hand, but I would be disappointed if he did not go very close in receipt of 9lbs from the other previous winner 4-year-old Confide. The unbeaten son of Sharmadal is 13/8 with William Hill.
I hope it is a good hour for Varian as he saddles Montather (7.30) in the 2nd Division of the Mile Novice event althugh he has been backed off the boards as is now 4/9. He pulled too hard and, in the circumstances, ran a terrific race when third at Newmarket last month when giving the front pair 7lbs. If more amenable to restraint he will be very hard to beat. Jim Crowley takes the ride.