A cracking Derby this afternoon at Epsom. Will the master trainer Sir Michael Stoute manage to win with Desert Crown who arrives here off an exciting win in the Dante Stakes but lacks experience with just the two runs! I am siding with an Aidan O'Brien runner at big odds. We target the Epsom Dash which is one of if thee fastest sprint in the world.
Moktaatil is a course specialist who won this race last season off of 82. He won again last season over 5f at Musselburgh and is a fast horse. This season he won again here in April on fast ground powering clear over the final half furlong with Harry Davies claiming 7lbs. The handicapper has him rated 87 today following two more good efforts, especially his third to Raasel at Goodwood. Raasel has gone on to win at listed level. Ian Williams will have had this race as the plan all season and Harry Davies is a top claimer and great value for his 5lb claim. Mokaatil is racing off similar terms to last season and nobody knows what sort of rain is going to fall at Epsom this morning. The less the better for Mokaatil who is drawn in stall 9.
Tone The Barone is a big price considering he beat Highfield Princess at Wolverhampton over five furlongs on his penultimate start. Highfield Princess has won twice subsequently including the Group 2 Duke of York stakes at the Dante meeting. Of course, we cannot take that form literally with Highfield Princess improving dramatically but it was a big run by Tone The Barone to beat Highfield Princess giving her 2lbs with Alligator Alley a good yardstick back in third. Tone The Barone ran behind Raasel at Goodwood on his latest start when not running to his best. A higher mark of 105 on the all weather tells its own story but our selection does have good turf form as well. Twice he has won over 5f at Ascot and with some good luck in running today, he can come home strong off a fast pace up front.
Epsom – 3:45
0.5 Point each way Mokaatil 8/1 Paddy Power, 6 places.
0.5 Point each way Tone The Barone 25/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB, both 6 places.