More fireworks expected from O’Brien and Moore


The idea that nice guys finish last was well and truly debunked on the Rowley Mile last weekend. Having played the under study for a lot of his time with the boys in blue, James Doyle finally got his afternoon in the sunshine as he bagged the 2,000 Guineas.

You could tell how much it meant to him and he made it clear that this was a race he had his heart set on for a long time. Having been denied when aboard Kingman he finally got a chance to experience winning a Classic. Saturday was full of emotion. It brought a tear to many an eye.

And then Sunday the man of the hour got to soak it all up when joining an elite group of jockeys to have done the double in the same year. You could tell he was soaking it all up and rightly so. This was James Doyle’s party and we were all invited.

That I happened to tip Cachet at a really juicy price to readers last weekend was an absolute bonus. I had felt she might just see out the trip for place purposes as she’s always been classy. But she only went and led them a merry dance, just making it across the line in front having made every yard.

Yes, nice guys don’t always finish last.

We may well have seen the Oaks winner in action here too as Tuesday put in a taking performance and she shaped like an extra trip would do her just fine. We’re a month away from the big test and the picture is still a bit murky but she’s been put on the shortlist.

Speaking of the Derby…

The Derby Trial at Lingfield has only attracted five runners and it looks a straight shootout between the global racing giants. Godolphin have two in here and Walk Of Stars did well on his reappearance at Newbury last month.

However, United Nations would be my pick here to try and take the favourite on. This horse ran a fair enough race in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom a few weeks ago and that would no doubt have provided a fair yardstick for the Ballydoyle battalion to work out what ammunition they are sitting on for this year’s Derby. United Nations was ridden cold on that day by Ryan Moore who opted to drop him right out and I’m not sure those tactics would be in play again today. I’m on at 10/3.

Moore has a chance of making it a double in today’s trial as Emily Dickinson is favoured for the Oaks Trial at 3.15 as a general 5/4 shot. The double works out to a shade under 9/1.

The remainder of the Lingfield cards looks a bit tricky to me and these would be the only two races I would have an interest in.

At Ascot, Juan De Montalban is a 7/1 chance in the opener and he ticks a couple of boxes for me. The yard would no doubt have been pleased with his first effort since moving to Newmarket and the trainer is going well enough to suggest that this horse comes here with a chance.

If Al Aasy arrives at the course anywhere near his old form then he looks very hard to beat in the 2.20 despite the fact that things didn’t pan out for him when last seen here at the back end of last season.

In the 4.05, One Ruler makes a return to action following a campaign in Dubai and the drop back to seven furlongs is a plus for me as is the fact that he’s 17/2 on his handicap debut. This may just be a starting point for things to come however you would think him capable of beating this field home.

Haydock hosts a mixed card of flat and national hunt action and I’m not sure you’ll find many of the flat jockeys looking for a spare ride over the sticks if there was one going. West Cork has a chance to reverse the form of his last outing and is a general 9/2 chance. If looking slightly wider then Luttrell Lad, 7/1, comes into the play having performed consistently this campaign in some fairly useful races.

There are just seven runners in the listed contest at 3.35 and William Haggas teams up with Jim Crowley on a short priced hotpot. If there were more runners I’d be tempted with an each way play on Sir Dancealot despite his long absence. I’d mentioned him recently here but he was withdrawn on account of quick ground. If it comes up on the softer side of good he could spring up seeing as he’s been transferred to a shrewd operator whose horses are in good form.

We very nearly got over the line with last weekend’s football accumulator with only Chelsea letting us down when falling to relegation threatened Everton. That would have been a welcome boost to the football fortunes as these just seem to be let down by one or two teams each weekend.

Four teams make up this weekend’s picks with Aston Villa, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and West Ham making up into a 7/1 acca.

Be Lucky!

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