Today’s Investec Derby Trial at Epsom is a decent renewal by recent standards and John Gosden’s Christophermarlowe was unbeaten at two including when beating a decent Godolphin sort over a mile here at Epsom back in September. He has the scope to continue his progression as a 3-y-old but the same can be said of Future Empire (3.20) who gets the vote in receipt of 3lbs from the Gosden runner.
A winner at Newmarket on fast ground on debut the Godolphin charge is bred to come into his own over middle-distances this year and is entered in the Guineas as well as Dante and Derby.
Mount Logan is likely to be a very warm order in the big handicap of the day the City & Surburban Stakes for Luca Cumani but preference is for What About Carlo (3.55) who ran a cracker over an inadequate trip when a running on fourth in the Lincoln last month and scored over today’s C&D back in June from a 4lbs lower mark.
In the concluding mile handicap American Artist (5.05) was backed as if defeat was out of the question over an inadequate 6f on debut but then readily brushed aside a Stoute horse (Quick Defence) who is rated 78 over 7f at Goodwood. With that in mind it is perhaps surprising that the Roger Varian colt can begin his handicap life from a mark of 77 and there is every chance that the step up to a mile will see him in an even better light.
The nap is Delegate in the 7.55 at Fairyhouse for Gordon Elliot whose string remain in excellent form. The selection was no match for the impressive An Dearg Mor over C&D last month but the winner looks special and must be a leading fancy for the Punchestown Bumper next week. Nina Carberry is back in the saddle tonight and I will be disappointed if the gelding doesn’t break his duck at the fourth attempt.
I make no apologies for the high opinion I hold trainer Fergal O’Brien in and his 9-y-old maiden mare Born To Benefit (7.05 Ffos Las) is fitted with a hood for the first returning from a 471 day break. Connections will be desperate to get a win into the selection and she may never have a better opportunity.
At Perth O’Brien has another potentially well handicapped mare in Indian Steam (2.55) who was keen but still ran home a ready winner at Chepstow having her first start for the yard last month. This step up in trip should suit if she is more amenable to restraint and she can follow up at the main expense of Delta Forty and Mother Meldrum.
The Donald McCain look to be running into a bit of form and Oscatara would surely have taken a hand in the finish when coming down four out at Market Rasen last time. He must go close but Aye Well (5.10) runs under a 7lb penalty for his Ayr win last weekend when suggesting he would appreciate a return to a right-handed track.
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