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Saxon Warrior Is Still On Course For The Derby

Aidan O’Brien notched up another English Classic at Epsom on Friday. Even in the pre race interview though MV Magnier of Coolmore admitted that it was all about Saturday and the Epsom Derby for which O’Brien’s Saxon Warrior is the warm favourite.

Moore glory for Aidan and Ryan
Richie Forristal pointed out in his Racing Post column that Ryan Moore is on the verge of becoming Aidan O’Brien’s most successful retained jockey at Ballydoyle in terms of Group 1 winners and Saxon Warrior looks set to be the latest.

Saxon Warrior comes here with so much expectation hanging over him but the son of Deep Impact doesn’t know that. The weight of expectation could be even greater when all the postscript will be about his credentials to be the Triple Crown horse that the game seems to crave.

Johnny Murtagh said that Saxon Warrior had won the hard leg of the Triple Crown and you can see where he’s coming from with that.

The Guineas is a tough ask at that time of year and many horses can be caught on the hop there. While some are questioning whether or not Saxon Warrior will get the trip in the Epsom Derby it shouldn’t be forgotten that he looked a prime candidate for further even last year when he won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

Hazapour has his chance, Roaring Lion looked really good in the Dante and I’d be interested by Masar at a big price but Saxon Warrior just looks to be a class above. Really only luck in running would look his biggest danger and that is something that can never be predicted.

He’s a short price for such a race but expect him to get bigger mid morning and that might be the time to strike about this very, very talented type.

Ship can get punters off to a good start
In the opening race at Epsom Ship Of The Fen looked like a colt who could win for the second time this season. These lesser rated three-year-olds will give us some sort of a guide as to how the Derby track is riding and Ship Of The Fen is a horse that could be capable of backing up his Doncaster win back in April.

Martyn Meade’s charge was a short price favourtie for a Nursery at Newmarket last season. That was on quick ground and the quickest he has encountered and it looks like he is a horse who apprecitates a bit of give in the ground and he’ll get that here at Epsom.

Few of his rivals are proven over the trip so Ship Of The Fen’s ability to handle the ground and get the trip look two big boxes to tick for this.

Queen of Irish racing to win with The King
Jessica Harrington further confirmed herself the Queen of the training ranks last weekend at the Curragh when bagging her first Classic. Her charge, The King, can defy top weight in the Royal County Handicap at Navan on Saturday.

The King does hold an Irish Derby entry but unless Hazapour manages to win at Epsom by half the track today you’d imagine that The King’s Derrinstown run wouldn’t just make him a prime candidate for that Curragh Classic.

However, the son of Mastercraftsman won his maiden well at Gowran Park last year and while he has to concede a lot of weight here, he is representing a yard who are in incredible order and that Derby entry wouldn’t have been made without some good reason so he has obviously always been highly thought of.

The King wouldn’t need to be a Group 1 horse to win this but he could easily fit into pattern class before the year is out.

Recommended bets
Ship Of The Fen (5/1) – 2.00 Epsom
Saxon Warrior (10/11) – 4.30 Epsom




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