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Globeform’s Derby Day selections
by Handicappers ( / Globeform (
Last update: 2007-06-02 07:41:40 (First published: 2007-06-01 12:34:14 )

As always the supporting card is filled with tricky handicaps on Derby day at Epsom, making it a day when one should bet selectively and to small stakes.

The Diomed Stakes (G3) presents a very disappointing field – but also a good opportunity for Frankie Dettori to warm up with a win before he rides Authorized.

The Woodcote Stakes (LR) is more interesting, with some talented juveniles lining up for a 6-furlong dash. One name sticks out in this 13-runner field, and we have also found reasons to back a couple of horses that seem to be well treated by the handicappers.

Vodafone Make The Most Of Now Hcap (3yo) 10 fur

Ekhitaar comes here off a long break and running off his juvenile handicap mark. Two-year-olds with a profile like his are, almost as a rule, too high in the ratings in England – where the young horses are being handicapped by one man, who seems to be out of touch with the rest of the team. So, backing a horse like this can be risky indeed, as he needs a run or two to get back down to a realistic mark. But in Ekhtiaar we have a different case, as he won twice on the all weather last year. Firstly, those race can be underestimated, still, by the HRA handicappers. Secondly, Ekhtiaar is more of a turf performer. Thirdly, he was quite green when winning last year and has been gelded. Solid improvement can be expected and, though it is tough to make a seasonal debut in a heat like this, he is the obvious selection.

He beat Whazzis by 2 ½ lengths in his maiden. That filly has won since, was a good second in a 0-85 handicap at Newbury in May and finished third in the Surrey Stakes (LR) here on Friday. After beating her quite easily, Ekhitaar went on to win a Novice Stakes by a head from Deadshot Keen – who was fourth to Warning Zone in the Generous Stakes (G3) at Hollywood Park on his next start. Deadshot Keen performed to Globeform 91 in California and Ekhtiaar, who beat him while conceding 2lbs, is now racing off 91. It is not hard to image the Gosden horse producing much better form than that, and he appears to be well handicapped.


Vodafone Woodcote Stakes (LR) (2yo) 6 fur

Declaration Of War, a neat and attractive son of Okawango, produced a taking debut when beating Silver Guest by half a length at Newmarket in May. Silver Guest had plenty of experience and was coming off a third to Warsaw in a Listed race in Ireland – and he was a clear favourite at Newmarket. It all looked good for favourite backers as he headed Declaration Of War, but the Chapple-Hyam trained newcomer fought back gamely and got home by half a length. He was much the best, and there is plenty more to come from this colt. Formlines via his runner-up lead us to the Irish challenger Irish Jig. He had been beaten by Warsaw in a maiden at Leopardstown in April, and went on to win a maiden there by 5 lengths in May. Declaration Of War seems the more classy of the two, his debut was one of the best seen thus far among the juveniles in England, and he should have a good chance here – despite a difficult draw.


Vodafone Diomed Stakes (G3) 8.5 fur

A disappointing field, for a race that has thrown up high class performers like Intikhab and Nayyir in the past. That said, Godolphin’s runner Blue Ksar is well on his way to become at least as good as Nayyir, who won this in 2002 and again last year. Blue Ksar should have no worries in this small field, and a smooth win here will be very welcome for supporters of Frankie Dettori and Authorized in the Derby. It is most likely to happen. Blue Ksar, a 4yo half-brother to the Prix du Jockey-Club (G1) winner Blue Canari, is a horse who has needed time, and he is an improving sort. He may have been a bit flattered by his win over Hard Top on his seasonal debut, as that rival has disappointed badly since, but it was a perfect start to the new season – for a colt who closed out his 2006 campaign very much on a progressive note. His price will be short on Saturday but he is impossible to oppose.

Unless one has backed Authorized for the Derby already, and secured a more realistic price than the odds-on offers floating around now, a win double on Blue Ksar and Authorized is the way to go.


Vodafone Live! Handicap 12 fur

Hernando Royal is an improving performer, and he is well handicapped here, following his 3-length win over Cavallini over 12 furlongs at Kempton Park in May (all-weather). The son of Hernando was up with the pace throughout, and drew right off for an easy win. As we saw in virtually every race on Friday, early pace is vital at Epsom this weekend and Hernando Royal’s ability to handle an all-weather surface also augurs well for a good run on soft turf. He ran some fine races in defeat as a 3-year-old, after having been unraced at two, he stays well and he must have a great chance. Travis Block, a good apprentice, is taking off 5lbs. This really looks a tempting bet.




3 win bets, 3 win doubles, 1 ew treble


1 win double



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