Andrew Balding: Masakela could run a big race in the Derby
The Betway ambassador previews his eight runners at Epsom, Doncaster and Lingfield on Saturday, including two in the Derby.
Swilcan Bridge (14:00 Epsom) runs from out of the handicap, but that shouldn’t make too much difference. He ran well last time and, with a low weight on his back, should run his race.
Majestic Glory (14:35 Epsom) was third in the Fred Darling, but the form didn’t work out as well as it could have. The step up in trip should suit her now, though. We’re trying her in a hood with the aim of helping her settle better. Three-year-olds have a good record in the race, so it would be nice if she could continue that!
Hoffman (15:06 Doncaster) wouldn’t want the ground to dry up too much. Although he won on fast ground at Brighton, I think his optimum would be good ground. Chester came too soon, but this looks a good opportunity for him.
Stone Of Destiny (15:45 Epsom) runs in the Dash and has a very good draw, which I’m happy with. He was disappointing at Goodwood last time and I have no excuses or reasoning for that. He needs to bring his a-game, as these races take plenty of winning, but he’s not without a chance on his day.
We have two runners in the Derby and while they’re big prices, they’re two horses who could run well.
Hoo Ya Mal (16:30 Epsom) deserves his place in this field on the best of his form. The obvious question is the stamina element but he’s a talented horse. He stayed 1m2f well but will need to relax early in the race to give himself a chance of seeing out the trip.
Masekela (16:30 Epsom) is another who has stamina question marks, but his form is good and his homework has been very good. It all went wrong in the Dante, but that’s the hand we were dealt and while we didn’t learn much more, we know he’s a good horse and, like Hoo Ya Mal, could run a big race.
Eikonix (19:45 Lingfield) was a little unlucky to run into Gary Moore’s horse the last time. He’s run well on both occasions though and shouldn’t be far away this time.
Emulation (20:15 Lingfield) has been a bit disappointing, but these are more her conditions. She got lost on soft ground at Goodwood last time but a return to a synthetic surface should help her.
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