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Narrow the Field: A 59/1 double on the Epsom Oaks and Derby

by Sean Goff | June 5, 2015

A Classic weekend so we’ve got the Venn Diagrams out again to try and Narrow the Field.

As always, inside the box is all good while outside is mostly good but just needs to step up to the plate.

Best price guaranteed 1430

Not exactly the start we were looking for as there’s no standout candidate for the first of the weekend’s mid-season Classics – but that can also mean there’s value to be had away from the market leaders.

Legatissimo sets the standard after her 1,000 Guineas win where race-fitness saw her chin Lucida with the pair well clear. She’s shouldn’t fail on stamina grounds but the Guineas/Oaks double hasn’t been done since Frankie Dettori steered Kazzia home in 2002.

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Everton were league champions the last time Sir Micheal Stoute last won the Oaks (Unite in 1987) and there’s been plenty of money for Crystal Zvezda who put in an eye catching performance at Newbury in Listed company but still has 7lbs to find with David Wachman’s market leader on ratings. And there’s not much juice in the price now.

Star of Seville eventually saw off the attentions off Together Forever in the Muisidora at York but she was race-fit and getting 4lb off Aidan O’Brien’s filly. Will the form be reversed over the extra 2f?

Ballydoyle’s other contender Diamondsandrubies was a game winner over the trip more or less) at Chester so won’t be done for stamina and neither should neither should Lingfield Oaks Trial second Bellajeu.

Dark horse

But the dark horse in the race could be Irish raider JACK NAYLOR.

Although untried over the trip (very few are) she has been dining at the top table in her last two starts when third to Found (who would have started a clear favourite here) in France and a staying on fifth to Pleascach in the Irish 1000 Guineas.

Crucially she beat both Legatissimo and Together Forever over 1m at the Curragh last August when carrying a Group 3 penalty and is joint second-highest rated in the race on 110. If getting the trip she looks the value play in a wide-open contest.

Selection: Jack Naylor

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A life on easy street awaits the winner of the Epsom Derby with an after-racing career at stud likely to dwarf anything connections earn at the track – except possibly for Carbon Dating.

Aidan O’Brien has won the last three Epsom Derbys but has been struggled more than Newcastle United his season to find a stand-out contender from his enviable list of blue bloods.

Hans Holbein ticks all the boxes after winning a soft-ground Chester Vase over the Derby trip (beating Storm the Stars) and Ruler of the World took that route when following up here in 2013.

But Ryan Moore (looking for  a hat-trick in the Classics this year) deserts him now for stable-mate Giovanni Canaletto and we’ve seen more money for him than a FIFA official at a World Cup bid since he switched.

Key trial

But the Dante Stakes at York looks the key trial here with the winner Golden Horn, second-placed Jack Hobbs and third Elm Park all re-opposing and all have something to prove.

John Gosden is convinced Golden Horn will stay 1m 4f – even if his owner has his doubts – and he was as smooth as silk when comfortably putting stable-mate Jack Hobbs and Andrew Balding’s Elm Park away on the Knavesmire.

Both Jack Hobbs and ELM PARK will need juice in the ground to show their best but Andrew Balding’s runner was making his seasonal debut at York and was an impressive winner of the Racing Post Trophy over 1m last year – although the ground was soft.

Has a similar profile to last year’s second Kingston Hill and looks a bit of value unless the ground rides lightning quick. Any losses should be recovered in the St Leger come September.

Selection: Elm Park

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