Weld On Top As Harzand Storms To Epsom Derby Glory

By Dave Stevos

On a personal level the two classics at Epsom couldn’t have gone much worse. My selection for the Oaks, Diamonds Pour Moi, was pulled up lame but thankfully she should make a full recovery. My decision to lay Minding backfired spectacularly as she proved the doubters wrong with a commanding win. She did so despite everything going wrong during the race and she is a special horse that will be even better on quicker ground. She certainly looks to be the best filly of her generation and she will be hard to beat in all the big races this summer.

There are few top class races around the world that Dermot Weld hasn’t managed to win, and the Epsom Derby was the one prize that eluded him down through the years. Harzand put that right on Saturday, relishing the cut in the ground and showing real guts and determination to put his rivals to the sword. My fancy for the race, Moonlight Magic, was one of the first beaten and he didn’t look at home on the ground. US Army Ranger proved best of the Ballydoyle quintet and he maybe would have won if the ground had dried out a little bit more. Take nothing away from the winner though as the best horse definitely won on the day.

The other filly that I fancied this weekend, Tears In My Eyes, ran a cracking race at Listowel on Sunday, just missing out on place money in fourth. She didn’t get the clearest of runs and with a bit more luck she would have got a lot closer to the eventual winner. She is a filly that obviously relishes quick ground and she is capable of getting her head in front kept to a similar surface and trip. Hopefully she can recoup losses next time out.

For Monday’s long shot of the day I am going to take a chance on Pat Flynn’s 7yo son of Oratorio He’s Our Music, and he runs in the 7f handicap at 2.35. This fella’s mark has been on the slide since an easy win at the Curragh (8f gd/fm) off 90 in August of last year. He has run some excellent races in defeat at Dundalk in the meantime, fourth in a Listed heat (8f) and then placed in handicaps off 94, both over 8f. He has had a few runs to blow away the cobwebs this term since his break, but he has yet to get his optimum conditions.

He was miles behind on heavy ground at Cork (10f) when he returned to action and he likely needed his next run at Dundalk too (7f). Good to yielding ground was no good to him again last time at Navan (10f). He should be spot on for his return to quick ground and he was a good second over course and distance in June last year off 92. He races off the same mark here and he could get an easy lead if he breaks well from stall 5. If he gets to dictate from the front he could be hard to peg back and, once the ground doesn’t soften, he has sound place claims at odds of 20/1 with Bet365 for a yard that has been amongst the winners.