Tony Calvin: A few Classics clues from Epsom Derby meeting
Tony Calvin assesses the fallout from a fascinating Epsom Derby meeting, looking at the state of play in antepost markets for Royal Ascot, the Irish Derby, the St Leger and more...
"I haven't heard any definite plans of late, but we shouldn't forget Tip Two Win when it comes to the big summer prizes. The St James' Palace Stakes is the most obvious race for him, and he has obviously put up one mighty performance in splitting Saxon Warrior and Masar in the Guineas."
It's Group 3 fare at best this weekend, so I wouldn't expect too much in the way of lively ante-post markets - though there is the 100k Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh - especially as running plans will be hard to nail down, too.
I'm not sure that last week's Classics helped that much that when looking further afield, too, as the next targets for the big guns will not be finalised for a while. How they have come out of the race, and all that.
Traders willing to forgive Cracksman for laboured Epsom performance
We do know that Cracksman is heading for the Prince Of Wales after his heavy odds-on backers needed a new pair of strides/dress given the horse traded at [18.5] in running en route to a head defeat of column stalwart Salouen in the Coronation Cup on Friday.
The jockey on the runner-up rode a brilliant race for all but for the final furlong of that contest - hindsight is a wonderful and valuable thing, but the champion jockey would ideally have bagged the rail - and Cracksman laboured throughout.
In fact, the 2/7 favourite was never going from the off and I was amazed that I could still lay him at [1.4] after they had gone half a mile - amazed, and poorer, as I didn't trade out for a profit after he drifted to double-figure prices - but it transpired that he banged his head on the stalls, and his trainer believes that was the reason for the below-par performance.
The traders are willing to forgive him and he is an industry-best 5/4 shot for the Ascot race with the Betfair Sportsbook.
The step back down to 1m2f at Ascot, the course and distance of his monumental effort in October, is going to be in his favour on the evidence of the formbook, but of course the prospect of fast ground may not be ideal there; he has never raced on anything quicker than officially good ground, as yet.
Before we get on the Classic generation, we should put in word for Cosmic Law in the Coventry, after his runaway win in the Woodcote Stakes. His price ranges from 8/1 to 14/1 on the fixed-odds front, and I wouldn't want to be laying the bigger prices myself.
Saxon Warrior could get revenge on Masar in Ireland
Let's hope we get a re-match of a few of the principals from the Derby in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on June 30, and the tentative early betting - and it is tentative, as one lumpy bet will shake-up the market very quickly - suggests Saxon Warrior will just get his revenge on Masar should they both rock up (11/8 currently plays 6/4 on Betfair Sportsbook).
That's understandable I suppose, given Saxon Warrior went off at 4/5 at Epsom and Masar 16/1, and the Aidan O'Brien colt did get two hefty whacks (one looked deliberate) from the runner-up Dee Ex Bee up the straight.
But Masar (ed: tipped by Tony by the way) beat him two-and-a-half lengths, and the betting perhaps give the fourth a bit too much respect there. However, he is almost certainly Curragh-bound, whereas Masar has the option of the Eclipse of Sandown on July 7, where he would meeting Derby third Roaring Lion among others.
He would need to be supplemented for Sandown, but I wouldn't have thought money would be a problem for the Sheikh.
I haven't heard any definite plans of late, but we shouldn't forget Tip Two Win when it comes to the big summer prizes.
The St James' Palace Stakes is the most obvious race for him, and he has obviously put up one mighty performance in splitting Saxon Warrior and Masar in the Guineas. Roger Teal has a top-notcher on his hands, and it will be great if his small yard can bag a big one. He came across as a proper bloke on Luck On Sunday the week before last.
Some obvious candidates for St Leger after Epsom
Further down the line, Dee Ex Bee and Delano Roosevelt are obvious St Leger candidates coming out of Epsom, but my Racing UK colleague Andy Stephens was the first to highlight the possible claims of Oaks winner Forever Together on Sunday night.
Despite being a Galileo, her pedigree doesn't scream 1m6f+ but her run-style does and she was a wide-margin winner on Friday, and of course she would get the sex allowance at Doncaster.
Fillies don't tend to run in St Legers, and I am sure O'Brien would rather bag the Classic with a colt, but User Friendly won the race in 1992 after Epsom success, and I get Andy's angle. It is probably a punt for much nearer the time, though.
I can't think of any other ante-post clues from the weekend, so I will leave it there. See you on Friday.