Our racing expert Ben Linfoot has a Value Bet selection in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday as well as a couple of bets on the undercard.
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I’ve long since given up taking on Galileo progeny on stamina grounds as it seems he can impart staying power whoever the dam is and the super stallion has six chances to win a fourth Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday afternoon.
Ruler Of The World, New Approach and Australia are his three Derby winners so far and the latter duo have sons of their own running in the race this weekend in the shape of Telecaster (New Approach), Broome (Australia) and Bangkok (Australia).
In fact, the whole field are related to Galileo somewhere along the line, including favourite Sir Dragonet who is by Camelot but is related to Coolmore’s flagship stallion on his dam’s side.
The Chester Vase winner deserves his market leader status after his romp on the Roodee, but I still want to take him on. He might’ve been flattered that day, there was significant cut in the ground and experience could catch him out after only two career runs. It’s not ideal.
Telecaster has a big chance but stall two puts me off him, not only because that starting berth has never been successful in this race but because he wouldn’t want to get lit up in midfield if he can’t get into a prominent position from there. It’s a concern.
Broome could be the answer but I do wonder if he lacks the speed for a Derby after he was ridden along before the home turn in the Derrinstown. It’s a niggle.
On balance, the top three in the market look worth taking on.
It might not pay to stray too far from the top of the betting, though. We’ve had surprise winners the last two years in Wings Of Eagles (40/1) and Masar (16/1), but usually the fancied horses dominate and that brings me to ANTHONY VAN DYCK at 8/1 (General).
This horse was one of the best of these as a two-year-old, when he racked up plenty of experience, and he’s a son of Galileo that has seemingly, surprise, surprise, improved for turning three and going up in distance.
On the dam’s side of his pedigree you wouldn’t pick him as a Derby colt. His dam, Believe’N’Succeed, was a sprinter in Australia who was related to sprinters, and her first two offspring were sprinters as well.
But, going back to the start, Galileo can seemingly work his magic whoever the dam is and that certainly looks the case with Anthony Van Dyck who shaped like a middle-distance horse throughout his juvenile campaign and proved as much in the Lingfield Derby Trial.
I loved how he travelled at Lingfield, especially on the back of a setback that had seen him miss some vital spring work. He should come on plenty for it and if he does he’s a huge threat.
You could knock the form as he only beat the-then 97-rated Pablo Escobarr (now rated 103), but I actually think he’s a very nice colt himself who will end up being rated much higher come the season’s end, yet Anthony Van Dyck was far too strong for him in the closing stages.
Last year he ran seven times and that experience could be vital. He’s robust, strong and he’s got the tactical pace to travel well in midfield and, judging by his latest effort, the stamina to see things through.
While his Lingfield win came on soft ground he’s proven on faster conditions from his juvenile days and it could well be another factor that sparks improvement.
Drawn nicely in stall seven, he’s drifted on the back of the Aidan O’Brien jockey bookings but Seamie Heffernan is an excellent rider with plenty of experience in this race.
Second on 100/1 chance At First Sight in 2010 and favourite Fame And Glory a year before that, Anthony Van Dyck could well hand Heffernan his first Investec Derby (and O’Brien a record-equalling seventh). At 8/1 he looks attractively priced to do so.
Earlier on it’s the Investec ‘Dash’ over the fastest five furlongs on the planet, a race that suits horses that only just stay the trip which is why it throws up race specialists.
Incredibly, Caspian Prince is going for his fourth win in the race for his fourth different trainer, with his wins coming off 97, 104 and 107. Off 114 at the age 10 he’s only tentatively passed over on handicapping grounds such is his prowess at this test.
Another former winner, Duke Of Firenze, has rediscovered his form and he’s got a good chance, as his odds suggest, while Just That Lord, Copper Knight and Eeh Bah Gum are others that could win this granted a clean passage.
The one they all have to beat, though, is Hathiq, 7lb well in under a penalty after his win at the Curragh last weekend.
He has a good draw and his prominent running style is a positive, but he looks short enough at 5/1 in a race of this nature and I’d rather take the 25/1 (Betfair, BetVictor, Paddy Power) about JUST GLAMOROUS.
Gate speed and a quick start is very handy in this race and Just Glamorous is quicker than most in that regard, when he’s on song, his performance at Goodwood last time suggesting he’s on good terms with himself.
Rated 114 at his best after a remarkable three-length win over Marsha at Chantilly at the end of 2016, he went right off the boil after that and he didn’t win in 10 starts last year.
However, he’s dropped to a very attractive mark of 86 now, even if he is back up 3lb from Goodwood where he was lightning out of the stalls under Cameron Noble.
He looked home for all money that day and traded at 1.11 in-running in Betfair, just before Puds got to him right on the line up his inside.
Unlucky not to get the job done, his early pace from stall 12 could be crucial on Saturday and he gets in off the lightest weight under Jimmy Quinn.
The only time he visited Epsom he didn’t run well, but he wasn’t in good form at that time and it was soft ground, so he’s best judged on his recent Goodwood form which gives him a fighting chance in a fast and furious race.
Finally, THE TRADER looks a good bet in the opening Investec Private Banking Handicap at 7/1 (Ladbrokes, 13/2 Sky Bet, Boylesports).
Mark Johnston’s Mastercraftsman colt looks to have massively improved from two to three and is perhaps a tad fortunate to still be rated 92 after his two runs this season.
He tried to give Andrew Balding’s Fox Premier 10lb at Chelmsford on May 9 and only went down by half-a-length, the form well advertised by the winner who won by over three lengths off a 6lb higher mark at Sandown on Thursday.
The Trader’s next run came in the London Gold Cup at Newbury, one of the hottest handicaps of the season and a race that has been the springboard for the winner of this race before, including Gawdawpalin in 2016.
Held up that day, The Trader did really well to take fifth place amongst a sea of potential and he could be a force to be reckoned with off the same mark if ridden more prominently.
He might well be in this race, a weaker contest, as there doesn’t look to be an awful lot of early pace on show and Silvestre De Sousa is mustard from the front around here, as he showed on a few occasions on this card 12 months ago.
Ben Linfoot's Value Bet aim: The Value Bet is designed to generate long-term profit by searching for overpriced horses in the feature weekend races and at the big Festivals in the UK and Ireland. Running total: +333.09pts to advised stakes/prices (from inception of Value Bet column in January 2010 to current).
Posted at 1700 BST on 31/05/19.