Friday 4 June 2021 4:59 pm

Duke could be Diomed in the rough

Bill Esdaile is City A.M. racing editor and managing director of Square in the Air.

BEFORE Frankie Dettori bids to ride his third Derby winner, DUKE OF HAZZARD could provide him with the perfect warmup in the Diomed Stakes (3:10pm).

A bit like his rider, he’s a battle-hardened performer with plenty of experience, and on the pick of his form he should be bang there.

The Oliver & Paul Cole-trained five-year-old is the second-highest rated horse in the race and a winner at Group Two level, but what is maybe most interesting is it’s his second start after a wind operation.

He faded fairly tamely in the final furlong of the Listed Queen Anne Trial at Ascot in April, his first start since disappointing at Goodwood in August, and should be much fitter for that.

I’m often happy to put a line through one bad run, particularly when first time up in a while and after a wind op, and he’s a decent each-way option here at around 15/2.

Punters looking to take advantage of the monster World Pool available via on Derby Day could look to pair him up with likely favourite Century Dream and Mark Johnston’s Marie’s Diamond in a Quinella – predicting the first two horses home in any order.

There’s an argument to be made for Bell Rock, who’s had just the 10 starts and won well on his seasonal reappearance, but all the rain that’s fallen may have dampened his chances.

Century Dream is bidding for a third win in the race at the grand old age of seven and sets the standard, while Marie’s Diamond looks the type who could easily pop up in a race like this.

He’s been placed in Group One company, has a couple of runs at Epsom under his belt and could be hard to peg back if making all under Silvestre de Sousa.


Duke Of Hazzard e/w      Epsom 3:10pm

Duke Of Hazard, Century Dream, Marie’s Diamond (Quinella)