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We would like to put on record our condolences to Lester Piggott’s Family, friends & colleagues. We dedicate this blog to him.. Sleep Well Lester.

Yesterday’s Oaks was a fantastic race won by Tuesday, with a fine ride from Ryan Moore, although you do have to feel a bit for connections of Emily Upjohn..

We have some special guests today – @AOBFS & @WattyRacing have kindly contributed to the day, along with the 4 of us to make this a mega blog…..

Charlie – 2.00 Kazoo Handicap Class 2 over 1m 2f and 17y

Selection – Blue Trail – 3 year old Colt out of Teofilo and Pietrafiore. Has had 5 career starts winning twice with one 2nd place finish and one 3rd place finish. The wins have came at Southwell on the 25th January this year when beating Benedict Wildes by 4 and 3/4 lengths over 1m 13y. Won again on next start at Kempton on the 2nd March when beating Harrow by a nose over 1m. Was 4th on next start at Chelmsford on the 31st March when beaten 8 lengths by winner Dark Moon Rising. Most recently was 3rd at Sandown on the 22nd April when beaten 2 and 1/4 lengths by winner Wanees. Although hasn’t won since that Kempton victory on the 2nd March has hinted that a step up in trip is required, if handling the course and the extra yardage could easily win here. Biggest threat to the selection comes in the shape of War Horse who is out of Sea The Stars and Santa Anabaa who has 2 wins and has finished 2nd twice from 6 starts.


Chris –

3.10 Diomed Stakes

A small but select field go to post for this Group 3, and I’m siding with Mutasaabeq here. Lightly raced for a 4yo, he has shown smart form this season, winning a conditions contest over 7f before a close 2nd in the Group 2 mile at Sandown last month. just failing to get up on the line. That form is amongst the best on offer today, and he seems versatile regarding tactics and ground.

coming soon

AOBFS takes us through the 3 Ballydoyle runners..

Aidan sends 3 to Epsom to contest the world renowned Epsom Derby a race he has won a record 7 times Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Camelot (2012), Ruler Of The World (2013), Australia (2014), Wings Of Eagles (2017), Anthony Van Dyck (2019), Serpentine (2020).
I honestly could not put you off any of them each of them have solid claims.
Changingoftheguard – Galileo x Lady Lara – Wayne
Race Career – Starts 5 Wins 2 Places 1 Career Earnings £71,746
Major Race Win – Chester Vase Group 3 Changingoftheguard’s Dam Lady Lara was a Group 2 winner on the track in America. He is a full brother to Shining Bright who was unraced and was obviously sent straight to the breeding sheds.
Changingoftheguard had 3 failed attempts to break his maiden tag as a juvenile but put that right on reappearance at Dundalk in April making all in maiden company and scooted up by 6 lengths. He was then sent to run in the Chester Vase against the highly regarded New London again he made all and burnt off his rivals with ease. I can see him attempting to make all again
in the Derby.
I’m always wary of horses making all but if Changingoftheguard gets an easy lead he certainly could take some pegging back it will be all about timing and getting a breather into him at the right time something that Emmet was able to do beautifully on Serpentine in the 2020 version.
Wayne rode Changingoftheguard in his victory at Dundalk he is a talented & experienced Jockey hopefully he can get the fractions spot on.

Star of India – Galileo x Shermeen – Heff
Race Career – Starts 3 Wins 2 Places 0 Career Earnings £60,465
Major Race Win – Dee Listed Stakes
Star Of India’s dam Shermeen was a Stakes winner of the track he is a Half Brother to Group 1 winner Sudirman. Star Of India only ran once as a juvenile when winning on debut at Leopardstown in October.
Made his reappearance in 2022 when he was sent to represent Ballydoyle in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket. He was to finish 5th behind eventual Irish
Guineas winner Native Trial. Clearly the trip was way too short for him forgive and forget that run.
Got back to winning way next time out when he was sent to contest the Dee Stakes at Chester. Coming into the turn Ryan was working hard on Star Of India but really galvanized him and he powered up the straight to go away with plenty in hand. After seeing that you would imagine the further 2 furlongs step up in trip will bring a lot more from him.

Stone Age – Galileo x Bonanza Creek – Ryan
Race Career – Starts 7 Wins 2 Places 4 Career Earnings £117,013
Major Race Win – Leopardstown Derby Trial Group 3
Stone Age’s dam Bonanza Creek is a race winning Daughter of Anabaa. Stone Age is a half brother to the unraced Perriand & multiple race placed Siyoulater. Interestingly Stone Age was previously named Statesman.
Stone Age made 5 starts as a juvenile and was placed in the group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud. Stone Age came into 2022 as a maiden but broke that smartly on reappearance in a Navan maiden at the end of March winning by 9 lengths. Stone Age was then sent to contest the formerly named Derrinstown Derby Trial.
He got to the lead early on and coming into the later stages around 2 furlongs from the winning post Stone Age kicked on for home and he powered away winning comfortably by over 5 lengths pretty much dismantling the field non of his rival ever landed a blow on him. To me he shaped like a very very smart colt with bags of potential.
I have been with Stone Age since his maiden victory in March I have him backed at 28/1 & 25/1. Ominous that Aidan said very early after his Leopardstown win Ryan will find it very hard to get off Stone Age in the Derby and that this trail stacks up very well against the others.
Another pointer is that Stone Age is Aidan’s only 3 year old colt entered in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

I have the greatest respect for Sir Michael Stoute’s runner Desert Crown clearly he looked a very smart colt when winning the Dante Stakes at York. I also think Donnacha’s horse Piz Badile will run a big race.
As previously stated I could not put you off any of the Ballydoyle candidates for the Derby but my firm pick is STONE AGE.


Neil –
Seventeen runners from twelve different trainers for me means that this possibly one of the most wide open Derbies in a long time.

In recent years big priced horses have been involved at the business end and with that in mind and as someone who likes to find one that could go well at double digits I have one for you in Masekela from Andrew Balding’s yard. Priced at around 50s at the moment of typing he had some fair juvenile form and finished 2021 when fourth in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket behind Royal Patronage who was second in the Dante and the 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus.
He began the season at Newmarket when second behind Eydon in the Feilden Stakes over 1m 1f but shapes like he wants further and I can see him getting involved and outrunning his odds under Jason Watson providing he handles the undulations of Epsom which will be a question asked of all of this field.

Charlie –

I put up Nations Pride as my flat horse to follow and said in my writeup that he could be a big player in the summer flat calendar, he didn’t have an entry for the Derby at time of writing, he has since been supplemented for 75k and i couldn’t be happier that he gets to take his chance, hasn’t put a foot wrong since finishing 2nd on debut at Yarmouth on the 15th September last year. He has won his last 4 starts by a combined total of 18 lengths, he definitely looks like he will stay the trip and has plenty of gears to get him out of trouble. Biggest dangers are current favourite Desert Crown who has won both starts and Stone Age who has won his last 2 starts.

Chris –

I’ve backed Stone Age ante-post and I’m not going to abandon him now on the big day. He showed smart form last term, being placed at the top level in France last Autumn before he landed his maiden first time out this season and followed up with an impressive win in the Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown last time, keeping on strongly over 10f there which gives more than enough hope todays trip will be within range. By Galileo, I have few doubts about stamina today and he could go very well here.

Jamie –

Selection: Stone Age  

Aidan O’Brien is going for a record breaking 41st British Classic winner and I believe that Stone Age has a big chance today of giving him that record. Stone Age improved throughout his 2yo campaign last year without actually winning a race. But he was still runner up at G1 level on his final race at 2. Stone Age looks to have made the typical Galileo improvement from 2 to 3 judging by what we have seen so far in 2022. He eventually shed his maiden tag easily at Navan and then powered away easily in the Derrinstown Derby trial last time out. The way he won that race screamed ‘Derby horse’ and there should be more to come. The rumour from the Ballydoyle camp is that this is their number 1 for the Derby and one thing seems certain, Stone Age will be doing his best work inside the final furlong. He’s a big strong staying type. Everything is set for a bold bid under Ryan Moore.  

Rich –

Walk of Stars – Dubawi X Sound Reflection
The Godolphin colt has James Doyle on board, fresh from winning his double Guineas & he rode Walk of Stars to victory at Newbury over 1m 2f in a Class 3 Handicap on April 17th by a neck from Hafit. His last run was at Lingfield in the 1m 3f 133yd Listed Derby Trial on May 7th, when a 3/4’s of a length 2nd of 4 to United Nations.
Has a nice draw & hopefully the extra 1f will bring out improvement in the colt who has 2 wins from 4 career starts – EACH WAY

Jamie –

2:35 – Princess Elizabeth Stakes (G3)
Selection: Potapova

Potapova has always had a big reputation since winning that Ripon Novice and this Group 3 should be well within her compass. Since that Ripon success last May things haven’t worked out for Potapova. She was given a chance at the top level in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot but she found it all too much (heavy ground didn’t help either). I think connections will have been pleased by her first start of 2022 where she was just held off by Roman Mist at Kempton, who she faces again today. That run should suit her up nicely for today and the market suggests there is confidence behind Potapova. Big chance if she gets the breaks.

5:50 – JRA Tokyo Trophy Handicap (Class 2)
Selection: Bergerac (E/W)

Bergerac may have run poorly at York last time out but I am willing to forgive one bad run. It was his previous run at Newmarket that gives his supporters hope for this 6f contest today. He flew home late on in a Class 2 Handicap at the Craven meeting, just being denied by a nose. A fast run 6f with a stiff finish is ideal for Bergerac. If he could find that Newmarket form again and handle the track then at 9/1 Bergerac does make each way appeal. Hopefully not too much rain falls as all his best form is on good or better.

Neil –

4.20 Most Important 3-Year-Old Race Today Juvenile Hurdle, Class 4, 2m, 3yo, Hexham 

Perfect timing by the executives at Hexham to have this race just ten minutes before the worlds most famous flat race but like Epsom this place is also a tough course to negotiate as it does go uphill and downdale a lot and you need a horse to be well balanced and to settle.

The first 3yo hurdle race is never as strong as the Triumph and I very much doubt any of these will be at Prestbury Park come next March but I do like one who could prove hard to beat if handling the jumps ok.

National Charter is rated 62 on the flat and since her last flat run for William Haggas she has switched to the Chris Grant yard,  third at Wetherby in April over 1m 6f she seemed to stay on pretty well and should be in the shake of things if taking to hurdling, this isn’t a strong race but I can see her running a nice race.

Rich –

3.45 – DASH – Handicap – Class 2 – 3yo+ – 5f….

I have 2 for you in the 5f DASH today,,,
Mid Winter – Burwaa X Cayman Fox 6yo Mare.
A ready winner on May 28th over 5f at Catterick in a Class 3 Handicap by 1 & 1/4 lengths, which was a 3rd run of the season. She finished a 3 & 1/4 length 3rd on May 15th in a Ripon 6f Class 3 Handicap having finished 4th of 12 in a Beverley Class 3 5f Handicap on season return.
Her form over 5f since her wind operation in the winter of 2020/21 –
2/4/3/1/7/2/8/4/1 Good draw in stall 13 & is happy to be up with pace or go from the front –EACH WAY
Tees Spirit – Swiss Spirit X Mistress Twister 4yo gelding.
The gelding has won his last 2 starts since returning to action after 229 days away from the track. Both wins were going from the front, when taking a Beverley 5f Class 5 Handicap by 4 & 1/4 lengths on April 21st & last time out at Nottingham in a Class 4 5f Handicap, beating Four Adaay by 1 length, who has won since… EACH WAY

That is everything from this ram jammed edition from us at AOLR, a huge thanks to the lads for their hard work & to you guys for visiting, we really appreciate it…

Good Luck – AOLR Team
Pictures – Lester via Epsom RC Twitter account

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