Matt Chapman | Saturday’s best bets
First things first – remember the Irish Derby is 6.30pm this Saturday, which means no late shopping or any early trip to the pub.
Two Derbys on one day is a real treat. While the purists will all be watching the Curragh, those who enjoy a tricky handicap will check out the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle – the Pitman’s Derby.
Let’s start with the Curragh Classic. Nine runners go to post and Epsom hero Ruler of the World could become the 17th horse to land the English-Irish Derby double.
Less than two lengths separated Ruler of the World, Libertarian and Galileo Rock when they met in the English Derby. Libertarian now has the disadvantage of having to travel across the Irish Sea to make his challenge. I would have thought Galileo Rock will be well suited by the expanse of the Curragh so may reverse the form with the runner-up.
However, Ruler of the World is an absolute lump-on job. Aidan O’Brien had a plethora of possibles for this event – he’s won it for the last seven years – and the fact Ruler of the World is his only serious contender says it all. He’s unbeaten, open to much improvement and I think will win easily. Expect a Yeeehaaa!
Really decent each-way bet
We have a very different puzzle at Newcastle in the Northumberland Plate (3.15) and I am going to have a really decent each-way bet on the Alan King-trained Ardlui.
He returned this season with a gutsy success at Ripon. Last November he stuffed Lieutenant Miller at Newmarket and there is not much difference in the weights this time.
The latter ran a cracker at Royal Ascot, but hasn’t had much time to recover. Ardlui by no means has a disaster draw in berth 12 and I expect him to run a huge race.
And don’t be surprised if Ermyn Lodge runs well too at a fancy price. I’ll keeping an eye on that one but it’s Ardlui all the way for me.