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Gary O’Brien: My selections for the Oaks and Derby at Epsom

30 May | BY Gary O’Brien | MIN READ TIME |
Gary O’Brien: My selections for the Oaks and Derby at Epsom

The horse racing broadcaster has four selections across Friday and Saturday at Epsom, including one in the big race of each day.

FRIDAY

15:10

It appears that HAMISH / has already been the subject of considerable support in his quest for a belated top level breakthrough and it’s not difficult to see why. Early quotes of 20/1 can only be considered ageist as the eight-year-old doesn’t have a huge amount to find on the figures, and unlike some of his rivals is coming here with all guns blazing following a Group 3 success at Newbury on his return. With conditions to suit it will be a surprise if he doesn’t make a bold bid to notch a remarkable sixth victory in a row.

15:45

Kevin Coleman boasts an impressive strike rate with his British raiders and DERRY LAD / has certainly played his part in that with wins at Hamilton and Pontefract last year. The six-year-old is 5lb higher than when recording the most recent of those in June but there was considerable promise in his latest effort off the same mark at Naas earlier this month and he should give another good account of himself here, with Hayley Turner an excellent booking.

16:30

Irish runners dominate the betting for this fillies classic and the one who appeals most is EZELIYA / . Dermot Weld’s promising daughter of Dubawi was good value for the half-length margin over Purple Lily in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan last month, and the runner-up certainly didn’t let the form down when fifth in Sunday’s Irish 1000 Guineas. Ylang Ylang appears to have had this as her main goal for some time and is feared most with Forest Fairy, who is open to plenty of improvement, completing the shortlist.

SATURDAY

16:30

This year’s Derby, while perhaps not the strongest edition at first glance, nonetheless presents a fascinating puzzle with City Of Troy clearly the key horse as he bids to atone for his 2000 Guineas flop. If the Justify colt can return to his top two-year-old form he will be very hard to beat, and his trainer – whose faith in his stable star seems unshakeable – pulled off a notable feat when landing the 2023 renewal with another Newmarket disappointment in Auguste Rodin.

I find it difficult to support him on the back of that run though, and unbeaten stable-companion LOS ANGELES / looks the solid option. Wayne Lordan’s mount didn’t impress everyone when landing short odds in his trial at Leopardstown but is sure to have come forward significantly for that run and was a Group 1 winner at two. Stall four is a decent draw as well. Another son of Camelot, Dancing Gemini, is a great ride for Dylan Browne McMonagle after his fast-finishing second in the Prix d’Essai des Poulains at Longchamp while Lingfield trial scorer Ambiente Friendly must also be respected.

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Gary O’Brien

Gary O’Brien

Widely known as ‘the voice of Irish racing’, Gary is a horse racing broadcaster, presenter, and enthusiastic racehorse owner.

Gary O’Brien

Gary O’Brien

Widely known as ‘the voice of Irish racing’, Gary is a horse racing broadcaster, presenter, and enthusiastic racehorse owner.