Tony Calvin was on the money with Enable pulling off a surprise win in the Oaks and he selects a trio of bets for Saturday's action at Epsom, including one at long odds in the big one at 16:30...
"If ever there was a race that was geared up for throwing a few big-priced darts it is the Derby at 16:30. The one that interests me most is Rekindling at [28.0] win and [7.0] place on the exchange..."
Everyone knows trying to find the winner of this year's Derby is impossible. The small matter of 19 runners means we will have at least a couple of hard-luck stories; a good number of the fancied horses have stamina doubts clouding their claims; and 13 of the 19 have just 4lb separating them on official ratings, and that list doesn't even include the favourite Cliffs Of Moher.
The market leaders look opposable to me at the prices in such a wide-open year.
Epsom Derby Trial winner Cracksman may not be the guaranteed stayer some think he is - though it is interesting to note that Ryan Moore questions whether he has the necessary pace, not the stamina - and, despite plenty of stable confidence behind his mount, Cliffs Of Moher, I don't see that his Dee Stakes win entitles him to be a 9/2 chance here. He is thought to have come on considerably from Chester, though.
My Derby tip
If ever there was a race that was geared up for throwing a few big-priced darts it is surely this race, and the one that interests me most is Rekindling at [28.0] win and [7.0] place on the exchange in the big one at 16:30.
I get the impression that Joseph O'Brien was decidedly underwhelmed and disappointed by his fourth to Permian and Benbatl in the Dante last time - I certainly was because I tipped and backed him at 7/1 - and I reckon that the horse wasn't at his best that day.
He didn't travel as strongly as I thought he would, and he only really started to get on a roll late when he stayed on late past Wolf Country to take fourth.
He clearly has a lot to find with the first two home here - though we will come back to runner-up Benbatl in a bit - but I don't think he was at his best there, and his earlier form, combined with step up to 1m4f, could well see him go very close here.
He was another who was with David Wachman last season (think Winter etc) and he made a sparkling debut for Joseph O'Brien when beating Douglas Macarthur, Yucatan and Capri (carried a 5lb penalty and will be suited by the 1m4f) - who went on to dominate the finish of the Derrinstown next time - in the Ballysax in early April.
That form obviously stacks up very well in the context of a Derby that lacks a superstar going into the race, and the step up to 1m4f promises further riches.
His pedigree screams that of a 1m4f performer, and perhaps even a Leger type. He is by High Chaparral out of a 1m4f winner and among his relatives he can boast a full brother in Golden Sword, who finished a gallant fifth in the Sea The Stars' Derby (being collared late on) and runner-up to Fame And Glory in the Irish Derby.
He will do for me. I was seriously toying with putting up Glencadam Glory at a massive price on the basis that he is improving fast on the evidence of his second to Best Solution at Lingfield - I have a lot of time for the winner, too - and if he ever consents to get out of the stalls in a timely manner then he has a big run in him at this level.
But he will be fighting a losing battle if he loses five lengths coming out of the gates here, and I will stick with the one tip, though I must outline a fascinating stat for Benbatl.
Actually, before we get on to Benbatl, no, I have changed my mind. I couldn't live with myself if Glencadam Glory won the Derby without any of my money at [65.0]. So as I will be backing him, I have to tip him as well.
I imagine John Gosden has given him extensive stalls training since Lingfield, and a strongly-run race over 1m4f is what he wants on the evidence of his much-improved run last time.
Now, he may be an unlikely stayer here but the fact that his trainer put a first-time hood on him, as well as a tongue-tie, is a fascinating angle.
Saeed bin Suroor has had six winners from the last seven runners he has initially tried in a hood - the beaten horse, Dream Castle, improved to finish fifth in the Guineas in one - and that really is a pretty impressive stat.
Two more to back at Epsom on Derby day
There may be an early Derby clue as Epsom Derby Trial fourth and Lingfield Derby Trial third Tartini runs off a mark of 95 in the 1m2f handicap at 14:00.
There is no surprise to see him head up the betting at around 11/4, and he is the most likely winner, but I am going to take him on with Mister Blue Sky at [13.0] or bigger.
He is 2lb out of the handicap, so is 5lb higher than when winning narrowly in a 0-75 handicap over 1m at Nottingham last time, so doesn't have an obvious chance at the weights. But he is bred to be suited by the step up to 1m2f - his dam won over 1m4f - and his trainer's record in this race is sensational.
He has won it three times in the last eight years, including when doing us a 33/1 favour with Gawdawpalin last year, and he has also saddled a runner-up, too.
I think the favourite Laugh Aloud, who holds a Sussex Stakes entry, will dot up in the 14:35 but I will leave 11/8 shots for others to tip, while nothing interests me in the 15:10.
The Dash at 15:45 is its usual competitive self and although there have been winners drawn low - Desert Law won this from stall one in 2015 - a high berth is clearly preferable, even if there is a lot of pace drawn low here.
Last year the first six home were drawn 17-19-20-18-14-16 - and there was a non-runner in stall 15 - and that tells you that the stands' rail is generally the place to be.
I couldn't put you off the likes of Desert Law and Duke Of Firenze, and maybe Boom The Groom at 16/1 (did well from a low draw in the middle of the track last season), but I like the chances of Olivia Fallow far more than the market does. Back her at [40.0] or bigger.
3lb claimer Aaron Jones will have to ride her with balls of steel from her draw in 19 here, and pray for the gaps, as she is a hold-up performer who will need a lot of luck in running. And hopefully he isn't immediately put on the back foot by one of her slow starts.
But she ran well here, when tried in cheek-pieces for the first (and probably last) time, when not getting the clearest of passages last August and returned to form with a third to Excessable at Redcar last time.
She races off the same mark as when second of 15 at Musselburgh last June and 5f on fast ground are her conditions. She is well worth a shot at these odds and it is hoped Jones can get down to 7st 11lb, and not put up any overweight. Come on fatboy, skip breakfast.
In the RUK-only races, I don't fancy anything in the 1m4f handicap later on the card and, while I can see George Bowen going well in the 6f handicap, I will stick to the three ITV plays.
Back Mister Blue Sky at [13.0] or bigger in the 14:00 at Epsom
Back Olivia Fallow at [40.0] or bigger in the 15:45 at Epsom
Back Rekindling at [28.0] or bigger in the 16:30 at Epsom
Back Glencadam Glory at [65.0] or bigger in 16:30 at Epsom