Trainer Aidan O’Brien will saddle five of the 16 declared runners for Saturday’s Investec Derby (4.30pm) in his attempt to win the world’s most famous flat race for a sixth time.
Ryan Moore has chosen to ride US Army Ranger in what looks to be the most open looking renewal for many a year.
A few weeks ago I recommended ante-post wagers on both French raider CLOTH OF STARS at 12/1 and PORT DOUGLAS at 20/1 and I see no reason to abandon either of them now.
Andre Fabre’s colt is now best-priced 7/1 with Betway having looked comfortable on the track at the recent Breakfast with the Stars mornin.
His stable followed a similar route to Epsom with Pour Moi back in 2011 and there is no reason to think that this fellow can’t go close five years on.
As for Port Douglas, it may seem strange to be keen on what looks to be O’Brien’s fourth string on jockey bookings, but I’m convinced he will run well at 20/1.
He ran a great race behind stablemate US Army Ranger at Chester, almost getting back up on the line.
It’s almost been forgotten that he was lumbered with a 4lb penalty that day on what was his seasonal reappearance.
I expect him to strip fitter tomorrow and was delighted to see that the blinkers that served him so well in the Beresford Stakes last season are reapplied.
The one real concern I have is all the recent rain as he looks best suited to decent good ground.
That said, the weather looks set fair for the next couple of days so hopefully the word soft won’t appear in the going description on Saturday.
Cloth Of Stars e/w 4.30pm Epsom
Port Douglas e/w 4.30pm Epsom