Anita Chambers says Young Rascal can scupper the Triple Crown hopes of Saxon Warrior by lifting the Investec Derby at Epsom.
Young Rascal can scupper the Triple Crown hopes of Saxon Warrior by lifting the Investec Derby at Epsom.
Aidan O'Brien's runner has been a hot favourite to land a second Classic since winning the 2000 Guineas, but the handler's worries over the ground combined with a tricky draw in stall one could open the door for his rivals.
Young Rascal can duly grasp that opportunity and make the quantum leap from Newbury maiden winner in April to Derby winner on the first Saturday in June.
The son of Intello was soundly beaten by stablemate My Lord And Master on his only juvenile outing but he was light years away from that performance when cantering home by five lengths in Berkshire.
Trainer William Haggas was suitably encouraged to step him up in class for the Group Three Chester Vase, and Young Rascal handled the assignment with aplomb, fending off the challenge of the reopposing Dee Ex Bee by half a length with a little something in hand.
He has since enjoyed a spin around Epsom at the Breakfast with the Stars event in late May, with previous experience of the idiosyncrasies of the Epsom track a definite positive.
Easy ground holds no fears for him and he can emulate Haggas' previous Derby winner Shaamit, who triumphed from stall nine back in 1996.
Wilamina ran a cracker on her return at Newmarket and should be in the mix again in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes.
Martyn Meade's runner found only Wuheida too good in the Dahlia Stakes at the Guineas meeting, finishing a creditable four-length second to a vastly superior rival.
There does not appear to be a filly of Wuheida's class amongst the eight runners here and while Wilamina will have to improve a bit, she certainly seems on an upward curve. The presence of Frankie Dettori in the plate is another factor in her favour.
True Valour can go well as a decent price in the Investec Diomed Stakes.
He posted a decent run on his return when third in a Leopardstown Group Three and although the winner, Zihba, could not make an impact in the Irish 2000 Guineas, it still appears a reasonable piece of form.
True Valour already has experience of the track having finished third in the Surrey Stakes at this meeting last year and Johnny Murtagh would not be making the trip unless he felt his charge was a viable contender.
True Valour runs in the colours of Qatar Racing and one of their charges, Blue De Vega, could be the solution to the conundrum that is the Investec Corporate Banking "Dash" Handicap.
Third in the Irish 2,000 Guineas a couple of years ago, Blue De Vega was subsequently tried over 10 furlongs to no avail before dropping right back in trip.
Switched to the care of Robert Cowell towards the end of last year, a change of scenery and a drop back to minimum distances appears to have reignited his fire.
Beaten just a neck over five furlongs at Thirsk on his most recent effort, he is 2lb well in here and can finally triumph at Epsom, although probably not in the event his connections had once envisaged.
Away from Epsom, Madeline can get a nice confidence boost in the Stobo Castle Ladies' Day Gold Cup Fillies' Stakes at Musselburgh.
Well beaten in the 1000 Guineas on her return, she should strip fitter for the run and can get back on track here.
Sporting Life Tips
CHEPSTOW: 6.00 I'm A Believer, 6.30 Shamrokh, 7.00 Big Boots, 7.30 Here's Two, 8.00 Urban Aspect, 8.30 Kinglami, 9.00 Minty Jones.
DONCASTER: 1.20 Tristram, 1.55 New Winds, 2.30 Corvid, 3.05 White Chocolate, 3.40 Candidate, 4.15 Jack Regan, 4.50 Madam Devious, 5.25 Maghaweer.
EPSOM: 2.00 Shuhood, 2.35 Wilamina, 3.10 True Valour, 3.45 Blue De Vega, 4.30 YOUNG RASCAL (NAP), 5.15 Pacify, 5.50 Reputation.
HEXHAM: 1.30 Budarri, 2.05 Ever So Much, 2.40 Weinberg, 3.15 Mighty Leader, 3.50 Full Shift, 4.45 Fly Rory Fly, 5.20 Gentleman Farmer.
LINGFIELD: 5.40 Attain, 6.10 Tesorina, 6.40 Dame Nellie, 7.10 Country Rose, 7.40 Defining Moment, 8.10 Just Maybe, 8.40 Khamry.
MUSSELBURGH: 1.40 Allnite, 2.15 Red Balloons, 2.50 Dynamic, 3.25 Madeline, 4.00 Chinese Spirit, 4.55 Landing Night, 5.30 Tapis Libre.
NAVAN: 1.15 Eagle Song, 1.50 Hisar, 2.25 Coto, 3.00 Cypress Creek, 3.35 Suitor, 4.10 Downdraft, 4.40 Magnetic North, 5.10 So Enjoy.
WORCESTER: 1.45 New Millennium, 2.20 Gustave Mahler, 2.55 Capitoul, 3.30 Skip Skool, 4.05 Earth Moor, 5.00 Katy P, 5.35 Timeforben, 6.05 Malindi Bay.
TRAMORE: 5.45 Karalee, 6.20 Icelip, 6.50 Artic Quest, 7.20 Masterchippy, 7.50 Be My Dan, 8.20 Ashjan, 8.50 Three Thirds.
DOUBLE: Young Rascal and Blue De Vega.