3 Jun 2017

The Investec Derby (Group 1)

The 3-y-o division acquired a new star in the Oaks yesterday, but there's nothing in this field that inspires quite the same confidence. In an open renewal every man and his dog has turned up for a crack at the blue ribband, resulting in a packed field. Draw and luck in running are sure to play their part.

Through the initial twists over the 12fl course at Epsom, those drawn very low or high are at a disadvantage. Stalls 1 and 2 have to burn excessive gas to hold a position, while stalls higher than 14 have little option but to slot in towards the rear or try to get right on the pace. In fact for win purposes, unless you have a lot of talent, any draw higher than 10 makes life tricky.

This century 64 horses have been drawn in stalls 10 or higher, the only ones to win were Australia (2.38 fav) and Authorized (2.25 fav) who both had that bit of extra star quality - and in Authorised's case, head and shoulders above the field.

Cliffs Of Moher, drawn 13, looks worth taking on. He has clearly done well at home since the Dee Stakes, but unless he has a charmed run will need to be a much better horse than the one we saw there. Looking at the rest of the field, there's no doubt in my mind his main rival is CRACKSMAN.

Personally, I think it's fairly safe to assume Cracksman would come here as the Dante winner and a hot favourite if the ground had been suitable for a run at York. Despite every kind of disadvantage, he got the better of Dante winner Permian in the Epsom Derby Trial (lack of experience, greenness, luck in running and slow early fractions). Cracksman ended up in a pocket and in the circs, with greenness to overcome, did extremely well to overhaul a very tough horse, with far more experience who got first run.

Opting to give Cracksman an Epsom course gallop in 'Breakfast With The Stars' looks a shrewd move and they've been rewarded with a prime draw in stall 7. That should be enough to give Frankie first run over Cliffs Of Mohar. If Anthony Oppenheimer's colt can get to the front in the last two furlongs, I don't think anything will get past him.

Good luck,

Cracksman, 1.25pt EW 5/1 generally, 4x1/5

Herbie is one of the resident pro-gamblers in ENIGMA:


** Feedback: a close up 3rd, excellent run, easily beat the Dante winner Permian. Ballydoyle mugged the field with two strong running pacemakers, everyone fell for it and the race was set up for those held up. Cracksman the only horse in the first 5 home who was to the fore and lasted home, which underlines how well he ran **

Cracksman might prove the answer in an average quality renewal of the Investec Derby

No comments: