TO SAY that Charlie Appleby’s stable is red hot at the moment would be a complete understatement.
The form figures of the last 10 runners from the yard read as follows: 1111211122.
It’s been a lightning start to the campaign for the master of Moulton Paddocks and I’m expecting his sole runner at Epsom Downs this afternoon to continue the purple patch.
NAHANNI takes his chance in the Cazoo Blue Riband Trial (2.20pm) after winning a novice event at Leicester by nine lengths earlier this month.
That was over 1m4f but I don’t anticipate the drop back to 1m2f will cause any problems for the son of Frankel.
He likes to get on with things up ahead and Epsom is generally a good course for front runners.
He comes here fit and well, having already made three starts this year, and I expect William Buick to be aggressive and try to run the finish out of his rivals.
The biggest danger is likely to be Mighty Ulysses for John & Thady Gosden, the yard responsible for four of the last six winners of this race.
An impressive winner on debut at Yarmouth in September, he is thoroughly unexposed and currently a best priced 50/1 for the Cazoo Derby.
I certainly wouldn’t be ruling him out, or Aidan O’Brien’s United Nations, but it’s Nahanni for me at 13/8.
In the opening Indigenous Handicap (1.50pm), last year’s World Pool Dash winner Mokaatil is the obvious favourite back down to the same mark he won that race off.
Harry Davies takes seven pounds out of the saddle, so he’s clearly well weighted, but I’m going to side with last year’s winner RECON MISSION.
He’s a pound lower than when successful 12 months ago and is now two from three at Epsom after winning over six furlongs in August.
Marco Ghiani takes over in the saddle and if he can navigate his way across from stall three, I think he can run very well again at 5/1 with William Hill.
FAIRMAC looks interesting for Charlie & Mark Johnston in the City And Suburban Handicap (2.55pm).
The son of Lethal Force made his first start of the year at Ripon last Thursday, leading from the front before getting tired in the closing stages.
That will have done his fitness levels the world of good and there is no finer judge of pace from the front than Franny Norton.
At 11/2 with William Hill, he should give you a decent run for your money.
Recon Mission e/w 1.50pm Epsom
Nahanni 2.20pm Epsom
Fairmac 2.55pm Epsom