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The Mandarin’s Derby Day Racecard for 1st June 2024

The Mandarin’s Derby Day Racecard for 1st June 2024

Hong Kong Jockey Club Lester Piggott Handicap 1.25
The switch to turf this season has worked a treat for Andrew Balding’s Gleneagles gelding, winning here on his course and Handicap debut. Up in class here, but one going the right way and looks easy to back, with Oisin Murphy adding to the appeal. Tim Easterby’s Bubbles Wonky should take to this longer trip and is feared most, along with Richard Hannon’s Persica. Portsmouth to score, with a draw in Stall 1 adding to the case for

Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) 2.00
Running Lion (nap)
We’ll take our chance on Oisin Murphy again with Running Lion. This Roaring Lion filly went well for a long way in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket last time out, only conceding to Hughie Morrison’s Stay Alert inside the final furlong, so this drop in grade leaves less on her plate. Last year’s prolific Sparks Fly really took to the change to turf last year, clocking up a six-timer through the divisions, and David Loughnane’s filly can only strip fitter for her seasonal reappearance at Haydock Park in April. With Sparks Fly in Stall 1, and Running Lion in Stall 4, there’ll be plenty of pace from the off, but Running Lion and Oisin Murphy get the vote

Betfred Diomed Stakes (Group 3) 2.35
Royal Scotsman
Paul and Oliver Cole’s proven Group 1 colt Royal Scotsman is given the green light to improve from this year’s seasonal reappearance, when down the field at Newbury. It’s easy enough to draw a line through that run, and last year’s 2,000 Guineas third can bounce back now down in grade. Royal Scotsman has a diary full of summer Group Ones to look forward to, so is expected to feature here

Betfred 3YO ‘Dash’ Handicap 3.10
From an ideal draw in Stall 2, Michael & David Easterby’s Invincible Spirit gelding can repeat his Chester run to take this Dash Handicap. Nudged up 3lbs by the Handicapper, if David Probert can fire him into an early lead on this fastest 5 furlong track, Knicks can dominate from the front again. He had the re-opposing Vince L’amour, Due For Luck and Blue Storm behind in second, third and fourth in that Chester run, and these are the three to mix it up with Knicks once again. Solid each way claims at the least

Aston Martin ‘Dash’ Handicap (Heritage Handicap) 3.45
Looking For Lynda
Clarendon House and Looking For Lynda were the one-two from a York Handicap just over two weeks ago, and both should be in the picture again. However, Stall 1 gives Hollie Doyle and Looking For Lynda the advantage over Clarendon House who comes out wide from Stall 12, so those placings can be reversed. It’s a frantic five furlong dash here at Epsom, but Looking For Lynda was a runner-up over course and distance last year, and can go one better on Saturday

Betfred Derby (Group 1) 4.30
Los Angeles (nb)
Aidan O’Brien has dominated the ante-post markets with City Of Troy and Los Angeles, so a Ballydoyle success is surely on the cards. However, this is The Derby, and there’s plenty of depth to this year’s field. We think the Derby trial at Lingfield is the most notable trial, so James Fanshawe’s Ambiente Friendly has shot up in the reckoning, while the in-form Moulton Paddocks yard of Charlie Appleby has Ancient Wisdom lining up. Smart at two Ancient Wisdom, he couldn’t reel in Economics in the Dante at York last time out, but gave notice that he’s a real contender for the Derby, with that rival not having been supplemented for Saturday’s Classic. City Of Troy needs to bounce back from a no-show in the 2,000 Guineas, to follow the same route that Auguste Rodin took last year, but Los Angeles hasn’t put a foot wrong in his preparation, signing off last season with a win in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud, and winning the Derby Trial on home soil at Leopardstown on his seasonal reappearance last month. Los Angeles to take the spoils back to Ireland, ahead of Ancient Wisdom and Ambiente Friendly, with Ralph Beckett’s Macduff and Roger Teal’s Dancing Gemini the each-way picks

Long Shot Northern Dancer Handicap 5.15
Gary & Josh Moores’ Kotari has been on a bit of a roll this term, notching up a quick hat-trick over a month from mid-April to mid-May. Moving up in Class again here, but clearly thriving at the moment so has as good a chance as any. This French import never did much over timber for Gary Moore, but the switch back to the flat has really made something click. Ralph Beckett’s If Not Now and Andrew Balding’s Relentless Voyager carry high ratings, but it’s quite likely Kotari isn’t in the grip of the Handicapper yet. Hollie Doyle is up top in charge just to add to the appeal, so Kotari to keep the momentum going

JRA Tokyo Trophy Handicap 5.50
Apollo One
Second in this last year, Apollo One should be good to go after a fine start to this campaign, when a runner-up at Newmarket four weeks back. With a date in the diary for the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot in three weeks time, this Class 2 Handicap should be just the ticket to get him ready for another stab at that Heritage Handicap, where he was second last year. Plenty of dangers lurking in this field, not least Tom Clover’s hat-trick seeking Al Barez and David O’Meara’s Misty Grey, but Apollo One can score in the closer

The Mandarin

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