The long-awaited Investec Derby Festival is finally upon us, which is sure to have punters across Britain raging with excitement.
The Festival gets underway on Friday with the Investec Oaks lined up to present us with a captivating race, full of potential, excitement and a new star in the feature contest of the Ladies’ Day.
Secret Gesture is the market leader after her impressive trial win, where she destroyed the modest field leaving today’s opponent Miss You Too some 10l behind. Boylesports are offering the best price of 9/2 for the impressive filly, who looks to be a real powerful presence in with a solid chance.
Aiden O’Brien’s first choice Moth, could prove the biggest danger, following her third to Sky Lantern and Irish 1000 Guineas winner Just The Judge. The step up in trip should not be a problem and she won well at Curragh on her reappearance, so everything is pointing at another big run. William Hill and Coral offer the best price of 7/2.
Liber Nauticus and Banoffee are the two unbeaten entries, both in with a decent chance if things go their way. They both have fantastic potential but this will probably take something extra from the pair, who add depth to this phenomenal contest.
Champion jockey Richard Hughes will saddle Talent, who is a fantastic stayer who won well over a mile and a quarter previously. Say is another who should definitely stay the distance, whilst representing good each-way value. Stan James offer best prices for both, with the former at 16/1 and Say at 14/1.
Roger Charlton’s Thistle Bird is the market leader for the opening race of the fascinating two day festival, although this highly competitive field should supply some fantastic action. She will need to find her old form, whilst Gifted Girl and Ladys First are both consistent and on the up. The latter is appealing after a fine run at York last time.
Starscope was behind Ladys First last time, but a reverse in positioning would not be a surprise and with Buick aboard, a good performance is likely.
The Investec Diomed Stakes is another wide open renewal sure to cause punters some problems. Gregorian is a consistent type who has proven quality amongst Group 1 company whilst Gabrial and Producer are both likely to give a good account. The latter has won 4 from 4 here and Hughes is booked, which could make the difference.
The Investec Surrey Stakes is the last Grade 1 contest of the day and it looks to be another exciting dual between Hasopop and Here Comes When, who met at Newbury in April. The latter finished second ahead of today’s favourite, however he was carrying a stone less then which could make all the difference here. The favourite is 9/4 with most bookmakers, whilst Balding’s entry is 3/1 with BetVictor.
Niceofyoutotellme is another one of Ralph Beckett’s best entries for the day, and he creates appeal with only a 5lb rise in the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap. Hi There and Maverik both represent value in the 3.20, as do Love Magic and You Da One in the last.
Saturday’s horse racing action is also available from Catterick and Market Rasen during the day, with evening action available at Bath, Down Royal, Goodwood and Tramore for punters wishing to bet elsewhere.
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