Reading Time: 5 mins

LOOK OUT FOR A DAQMAN DERBY OUTSIDER TOMORROW: Daqman today delves into the debate about team tactics and jockeys’ instructions, and finds that Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore are likely to be ordering the champagne after Epsom tomorrow. Or is that the version they want you to think? Whether or not it satisfies the conspiracy theorists, Daqman will have an outsider against the field tomorrow. Watch this space.

HE’S ALREADY AT THE BIG OFFERS: 9.7 AND 10.0 TODAY: Sea Sister (WON 9-4) kept up the wave of Daqman winners yesterday. Now he looks for win-and-place returns from 9.7 and 10.0 BETDAQ outsiders. His Haydock nap was 4.1 this morning.


There’s a supposed Derby scenario that goes something like this. Aidan O’Brien is talking to his six jockeys in the parade ring. He says: ‘Get out in front Padraig (Vatican City) and don’t let them pass you.

‘Unless it’s Ryan on Mogul or you, Seamie, on Russian Emperor. The three others of ours are there to keep the rest of them boxed in to give you a clear run.’

Any such tactics are vehemently denied by the master of Ballydoyle; no such instructions are ever given. Each horse runs on its merits. Such a script is fake news.

O’Brien told the Guardian: Team tactics ‘never ever’ form part of pre-race preparations; there would never be a plan to do this or that to any other horse.

Bjorn Nielsen, owner of Derby favourite, English King, had told the Racing Post: ‘A lot of people with good horses are worried.

Team tactics threaten to devalue racing. A pacemaker is one thing but forming a peloton is quite another.’

In defence of any punter who dreams up a tactics scenario, may I suggest to the Ballydoyle Chosen One that his polite but dismissive phrases about a horse’s chances are now well worn out: ‘Look, he’s ready to start out.. Listen, we don’t know ourselves which horse is best until the race is run.’

Unfortunately, these platitudes have spread from O’Brien to half the trainers who get ‘on the box’ and to almost every jockey, interrupting his interview as he’s led in on the winner, with: ‘Listen..’ or ‘Look..’

Your ears grow like antennae for a moment, until he then churns out the usual – ‘he’s a really good horse; we always knew’ – sales pitch for the trade Press and the breeding catalogues.

Because of so little transparency on the part of some trainers, and minimal prodding from good-boy-am-I telly pundits, the response of ‘we always knew’ comes as a painful kick in the private perplexities of all punters who at that very moment are rueing the fact that they knew absolutely nothing and have done their dough.

Reverential interviewing and genuflecting is pathetic. Why not remind the trainer what the great Seamus McGrath said: ‘First time out the horse belongs to me – after that he belongs to the public!’

What little we may or may not know in the case of tomorrow’s Derby is that O’Brien has seemingly persuaded Ryan Moore, who was leaning towards Vatican City, to ride Mogul because ‘much improved at home.’ Or so they say. According to the latest script.

Perhaps ITV Racing should ask to listen in to the O’Brien paddock briefings, though maybe with social distancing in the paddock, we will be able to hear the jockeys’ instructions.

And they will turn out to be nothing more than Aidan planning the party afterwards:

‘Look.. Padraig, don’t forget the crate of Guinness; listen now, Seamie, the hard stuff’s down to you.. I don’t drink, of course, but The Lads will want the best shampoo, Ryan.’

EPSOM DERBY RESULTS BY STALL Last 10 years: 8, 7, 5, 10 12, 8, 9, 14, 10, 7. Can I just throw that one into the paddock, Aidan?

Potentially badly drawn tomorrow: English King (1), Mogul (2), Pyledriver (3), Emissary (4) and Amhran Na Bhfiann (5), Mohican Heights (15), Gold Maze (16).

Last Derby winner from the one stall, Oath (1999), and just two others since 1967. Kris Kin, Motivator, Sea The Stars and New Approach won from stalls 3, 4 or 5 this century; 1 and 2, none.


⭕ 1.00 Haydock You can rely on Haydock to ride soft(ish) most of the time, and on local trainer Tom Dascombe to have something lined up for a meeting there.

He’s had two winners in the last five days, and Godfather could be improved by gelding since he was a six-lengths winner at Southwell in February.

Godfather made virtually all over 7f that day and Richard Kingscote could try the same trick from the one stall over this tough 6f this afternoon.

Progeny of his sire, Night Of Thunder, have a 50% record on good-to-soft ground. BETDAQ made me an offer of 10.0 Godfather that I couldn’t refuse!

Broughtons Gold performed the same stunt, winning over 7f and then travelled strongly throughout his 6f win at Newbury, so goes for a hat-trick here.

Snag is that all around him – placed in those two races – have blown out since, and maybe Leicester winner Esprit Rose is a bigger danger, with his stable 3-7 in the last five days.

⭕ 1.30 Haydock Marietta Robusti hasn’t troubled the judge in eight starts since winning for a lady amateur rider 11 months or so back.

Autumn Flight went up 10lb for scoring in the mud at Hamilton last autumn, and will need to have improved.

My eye was attracted by the change of stables of 4.1 BETDAQ offer Erissimus Maximus to a top sprint trainer, Robert Cowell, and his booking champion jockey Oisin Murphy for this race.

‘Max’ has dropped 13lb since scoring a grade higher at Windsor last Spring, and is a winner in class 3 at Ascot over the minimum on the soft.

⭕ 6.00 Wolverhampton Alan King’s winning run has petered out to 3-17. So, too, Archie Watson’s but even more so (2-41).

King and jockey Tom Queally, who is at Wolver for the solo ride, are trying to squeeze one more success out of Gavi Di Gavi (1-12) who is 6lb higher than for his only victory, which was at Kempton, and his Wolver form is 0430.

Watson’s hope, Hawafez, is in a different ball game, having had two quick runs in June to give him the required number of outings for this, his first handicap.

But course ability might beat them both. Street Poet is back to form, dropped to around the mark (63 today) that brought him course returns of 221111 between May 13 and July 23 last season, off between 60 and 71.

Also down in the weights on his Wolver debut is the one for the money this morning, Harbour Vision, recently switched to David Brown, who is 3-3 right now.

It’s a fascinating little contest. I’ll take the BETDAQ 9.7 Street Poet, of course, but save on 4.3 Harbour Vision.


1.00 Haydock (win 20, place win 10)
BET 2.25pts win, 4.25pts place GODFATHER

1.30 Haydock (win 20 nap)

6.00 Wolverhampton (win 20, place win 10)
BET 2.25pts win and 4.75pts place STREET POET
BET 2pts win (stakes saver) HARBOUR VISION

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