SMULLEN AN ABLE DEPUTY FOR FALLON, SAYS SHAMROCK: Our Irish ace tipster, Shamrock, stands by Recital for the Epsom Derby, with Pat Smullen a seven times Classic winner in Ireland.
UNBEATEN OXX ‘OWNS’ TRAMORE RACE: To complete the double, Shamrock finds a Tramore race in which John Oxx seems unbeatable.
What Fallonious nonsense! It can only happen in England, where they have that perpetual tennis semi-finalist Murray and those World Cup football also-rans, that a sportsman is lambasted for wanting to obtain the best chance of winning. In this case, Kieren Fallon on Recital. Or rather, not on Recital.
The truth is that ‘jocking off’ was an English pastime in the days of Lester Piggott. And, over fences, even the best have had to sit it out since the twin colossus of A P McCoy and Ruby Walsh bestrode the jumping world.
EPSOM: The jury is out on whether Recital will win the Epsom Derby but, if asked, I plead guilty to having had a few bob on already.
The first judgment in the Native Khan case said that disallowing Kieren Fallon his ride on Recital would rob punters of their expectation of the horse. Well, Pat Smullen will be out to disprove that this afternoon, with seven Classics from Irish (1,000) Guineas, Derby and St Leger wins, and famous for the Vinnie Roe Leger four-timer.
I can’t back Recital’s stablemate, Seville, since he seemed well stuffed by Carlton House in the Dante and those who thought the favourite had a big lump on his leg should rehearse another well-known English matter that concerns a storm and a teacup and, in this case, better odds that were had by all his fans.
If, in fact, Carlton House really is below par today, then I would have no hesitation in expecting a Ballydoyle one-two, which mastermind Aidan O’Brien has already pulled off in a Classic this season with Misty For Me and Together (Irish 1,000 Guineas).
TRAMORE: As far as I can tell, John Oxx is unbeaten in the fillies’ maiden after five years with four in a row – no runner last season – and Dimona (2.25) should put him back in business.
Dimona ran second to Malayan Mist, a winner since, in a similar contest at Gowran Park; my concern is that those behind have done nothing since. But she may get away with it in a weak race.
First of all, three-year-olds have swept the board in those five years; second of all, the opposition among her contemporaries here doesn’t amount to much.
Bay Swallow (3.30) attempts back-to-back wins in the fillies’ handicap, a pound lower than last year when she won easily despite the narrow verdict (she idled in front).
Patrick Flynn hoped to raise her game after that but she’s without a win since off higher marks, and will need the fast pace she likes if she is to repel Sounds Of Thunder, who’s been in good form over hurdles and just missed out on the Flat at Wexford.
The winner of that Wexford race was Grand Cru but both Action Master and Ghareer (5.05) bring better hurdles form to the 14-furlong stayers’ race, though it’s four years since Ghareer won on the Flat.
Golan Go, a winner a fortnight ago, is with an in-form Paul Magnier, but his hurdles rating is more than a stone behind Action Master, who is 41lb superior to Grand Cru over obstacles.
NAP: Recital (4.00 Epsom)
NEXT BEST: Dimona (2.25 Tramore)
OUTSIDER: Bleuker (4.05 Tramore)
DAQ MULTIPLES: Dimona (2.25 Tramore), Sounds Of Thunder (3.30 Tramore), Recital (4.00 Epsom), Action Master (5.05 Tramore)