Feel free to ignore every word I’ve written should the Curragh be hit by rain, but if I’m right the going will be pretty quick on Saturday, and there are a few, notably mudlark Addeybb, who ought to be opposed as a result.
I was impressed by Jubiloso at Newbury, but it cannot be stressed enough that the race she won was just a run-of-the-mill novice, and the runner-up, the only solid one against her there, has been well beaten in a handicap off 86 recently. She ought to be running in the Sandringham Handicap off a mark of 101, rather than this Group 1.
Much is made of how stiff the finish is at Ascot, but while that allows horses to come from behind on the straight track, the round course is very different; most winners are well positioned at the entrance to the straight, and it’s doubtful whether Fleeting will be in the right spot despite a perfectly good draw.
Pretty Baby may stay a mile in time, but there is a world of difference between a seven-furlong performer who stays that trip well, and a miler, and the straight track at Ascot in a big field with rain around is not the scenario in which to test your stamina.
The issue with Too Darn Hot is not that he’s yet to hit form, but that he’s running to last year’s form while others, notably the Irish 2000 Guineas winner, have bridged the gap and are going forward, while he is standing still.
I would absolutely love to see Oisin Murphy steer Telecaster to Derby glory, and it would be no more than the brilliant young rider deserves, but he will need to prove himself the equal Lester Piggott and Kieren Fallon to do so, as those are the only jockeys to have won the Derby from stall one or two since 1969.
Ignore Aidan O’Brien second-strings at your peril at Epsom is a lesson we should all have learned over the past decade, and while Pink Dogwood is fancied for the Oaks, the layers may be underestimating outsider Peach Tree, who ran to a similar level as the favourite over the same track and trip last time, and will improve.
There are few more likeable sprinters in training than the evergreen Kachy, but his vulnerability is that his run-style is pretty dependant on him having a bend or two to run around, and he’d make more appeal in Nottingham’s Greyhound Derby* than the Temple Stakes.
Ispolini looks the chief threat to Stradivarius in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup based on his Dubai form, but with the Boys In Blue failing to achieve the success expected with their classic prospects this spring, it looks a good time to take the misfiring juggernaut on.