Tony Calvin: Back Jack to make Oaks impression

Jack Naylor impressed at The Curragh on Sunday

An Irish 1000 Guineas runner caught Tony Calvin's eye this weekend and he has no hesitation in recommending the filly for this year's Oaks at a handsome price...

"I have no hesitation in suggesting that the current 12-1 available on Betfair's Sportsbook is worth a decent each-way punt."

Back Jack Naylor at 12-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3) for the Epsom Oaks with the Betfair Sportsbook

Unfortunately, most of the confirmed ante-post running plans we tend to get on horse racing these days are from the sport's marathon runners on Twitter, which is a shame because there were a fair few Classic pointers in the past week.

So it was with some relief, and further renewed betting interest, that I read on page 2 of my Racing Post today that Jessica Harrington reports that the filly Jack Naylor "has come out of the 1000 Guineas well and was very good this morning. She'll be aimed at the Oaks."

Her finishing effort in the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday immediately had me trying to get hold of a friend's account to snap up the 25-1 that was still available in a few places for the Oaks - I took a punt that connections would have to go to Epsom after that run - and I have no hesitation in suggesting that the current 12-1 available on Betfair's Sportsbook is worth a decent each-way punt. Incidentally, Betfair is now NRNB on both the Oaks and the Derby so a good time to get involved.

She proved herself a high-class juvenile with a string of good efforts last season, beating subsequent Fillies' Mile runner-up Agnes Stewart in a Group 3 at Leopardstown before beating this year's 1,000 Guineas winner Legatissimo (with Fillies Mile winner Together Forever in third) over a mile at the Curragh. And she lost nothing in defeat when a four length third to Found in the Boussac.

All of those runs suggested that she would need further than 1m to excel at three, and that was confirmed - and underlined in no uncertain terms, in fact - with her effort on Sunday.

Settled in last by Richard Hughes, she did very well to make up so much ground in the final 2f or so to be beaten only 2 lengths into fourth at the Curragh - Hughes was very easy on her close home too, but it could well be that Found drifting across didn't allow him to ride out for third - and the step up in trip looks guaranteed to suit.

And it is always a good sign when sectional king, Timeform's Simon Rowlands, says you can upgrade her run from a time perspective.

She is by the Grade 1-winning 1m4f performer Champs Elysees and he gets stayers - most recently Chester Cup winner Trip To Paris - and is related to a 1m5f winner and her dam is a 1m2f Pretty Polly winner, and she acts on any ground, too.

Nothing in her form allows her to be anything other than a single-figure poke here, so take the 12-1. And if Aidan O'Brien wants to re-route one of two of his fillies for the Derby, then that is fine by me, too!

I would really rate the place chances of last week's Goodwood winner Storm The Stars in the Derby, but it appears that he is odds-against for Epsom at the moment, so we cannot play there.

And, although Coolmore indicated at the Breakfast With The Stars at Epsom the morning that Giovanni Canaletto is unlikely to take his chance, I reckon he would be very interesting if lining up.

Initially, I was underwhelmed by his Gallinule second - he has a high head carriage and was only giving the 93-rated winner Curvy 3lb - but apparently connections were quite taken by the performance, as well as the aforementioned speed boys. But he could be one for down the line, not in under a fortnight's time.

And the same could well be true of Monday's German Group 2 winner Karpino, who looked a monster when winning at Cologne. Don't underestimate him wherever he rocks up.

At the time of writing, there is no weekend ante-post race on the exchange - indeed, no bookmaker has priced up any weekend race - and I suspect that they may not bother. There is no big-field handicap this weekend, and the weather forecast is up in the air for the whole of the country it seems, so I can see where they are coming from.

However, I think Vent De Force is well worth an each-way dabble at 20-1 on the Betfair Sportsbook for the Ascot Gold Cup ahead of his run in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown on Thursday night, where I expect him to run a big race.

Now, the prospect of fast ground at Ascot is an obvious worry for ante-post backers with this horse, as connections feel that he is at his best with cut in the ground.

But hopefully they don't get hung up on fast ground any more, as it was good to firm when he ran a blinder on his return in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last month, a race that was won in course record time.

The winner, Mizzou, is currently 8-1 third favourite for the Gold Cup but I think that Vent De Force would have gone very close to beating him had Hughes not been forced to snatch up him up when making his challenge. And he certainly wasn't losing any ground on the winner once he finally got clear.

That luckless run confirmed him to be an improved performer this season - and it could be even more praiseworthy, as his trainer didn't reckon he had him ready there - and I can easily see him winning at Sandown on Thursday and halving in price for the big one. And even defeat in what looks a strong Group 3 there wouldn't be disastrous.

Forgotten Rules is the very worthy 9-4 favourite in the market after his winning reappearance but, outside of Brown Panther, this looks a weak division this year and open to an improver like the selection, who only has 10 runs under his belt.


Recommended Bets
Back Jack Naylor at 12-1 each way (1/4 1,2,3) for the Epsom Oaks with the Betfair Sportsbook
Back Vent De Force each way (1/4 1,2,3) at 20-1 for the Ascot Gold Cup with the Betfair Sportsbook

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