Thursday 9 May 2019 5:32 pm

Horse Racing Betting Tips: Back Francais to throw his Cap in the Derby ring

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

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

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PREPARING a horse for Epsom is difficult to say the least.

The tight left-turning and undulating track is unique, and many horses, no matter how good, simply do not act on it.

Tomorrow’s Racebets Lingfield Derby Trial (2.30pm) gives trainers a chance to overcome part of that fear by testing their Classic hopes over something similar.

Lingfield Park’s final bend and home straight can give horses an idea of what careering around Tattenham Corner on the first Saturday of June will be like.

A horse who is doing things in reverse by taking his Epsom experience to Lingfield in the race is CAP FRANCAIS.

This Ed Walker-trained son of Frankel ran in the Investec Blue Riband Trial a couple of weeks ago, finishing second to Aidan O’Brien’s Cape Of Good Hope.

Another furlong and the runner-up would likely have got his head in front.

He was doing all of his best work in the closing stages, narrowing the gap between himself and O’Brien’s runner with every stride.

Over today’s extra furlong and a half, Cap Francais looks a very solid bet at 7/2 with Ladbrokes.

Ballydoyle will attempt to scupper Walker’s chances again, this time with Anthony Van Dyck.

This son of Galileo, already a two-time winner at Group level, will be making his seasonal reappearance and has to be respected.

O’Brien has been on target with his runners in the UK recently, winning both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas last weekend and tasting success at Chester this week.

Anthony Van Dyck is bidding to give him a fifth win in this race since 2008.

He has some strong Group One form in the book, finishing third to Investec Derby favourite Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst and second to Quorto in the National Stakes, but he may just need the run here.

Andrew Balding’s unbeaten Ranch Hand is also interesting, but he’ll have to take a big step forward to land this off the back of winning just a pair of all-weather contests at Southwell.

Eagles By Day is the other one to take note of.

His superb seven-length win at Salisbury saw the bookies introduce him into the Derby betting at 25/1, but again he’s another that’s pitched into deeper waters here.

The fillies will be running over the same course and distance in the preceding Oaks Trial (1.55pm).

John Gosden unearthed a fine filly in the shape of Mehdaayih at Chester this week and he may have another one up his sleeve here in ANAPURNA.

This daughter of Frankel was not seen on a racetrack until December, when she was very green and finished down the field as a result.

She knew her job much better second time up on Lingfield’s all-weather track a month later, turning over a hot Godolphin favourite to score by five lengths.

Even though this is obviously a much tougher contest, she’s a filly full of potential and big things can be expected of her over the course of the summer.

Tauteke and Frankellina are her market rivals.

Both have bags of potential but neither have been seen since last autumn and will likely be in need of the run.

Those three are vying for favouritism at the head of the market and Anapurna looks the best option at 10/3 with Coral.


Anapurna 1.55pm Lingfield

Cap Francais 2.30pm Lingfield

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