SHAMROCK MIXES UP DERBY DAY AT EPSOM WITH TRAMORE ON SATURDAY: Shamrock’s NAP runs at Tramore but starts his Saturday preview on the Epsom Downs.

D-Day has arrived.

The question is – is the ‘D’ for the Derby, Dawn Approach, or both ?

It actually comes down to one very simple question, and it’s one that colleague Donn McClean has argued so well in his column today – will Dawn Approach stay ???

If you believe the answer to that question is YES then you are getting 2.4 on BETDAQ about an odds-on shot, because if you take his ability to stay as a given – then there are few that could argue he isn’t the best horse in the race by a considerable margin.

Pedigree only tells you so much and it’s not an exact science. His sire New Approach won the Derby and of course was responsible for the remarkable performance of Talent in the Oaks at Epsom yesterday.

I prefer to look at the form of the horse in question – and in particular how he has finished off his races over the shorter distances.  He powered clear to win the Guineas over a mile and there were no visual indications of him tiring. But however you argue it, or try and predict – the important thing to remember is no one knows for sure. Basic maths tells you it’s a 50% increase in distance to what he’s been tried at before so we really are into unchartered waters.

The ability of Kevin Manning to get him switched off in the early stages will be vital but that might not be as easy as it seems. This is Derby Day with all the commotion that goes on pre-race, the fairground, the noise, the crowd and from the start of the race this is no ordinary race. There will be hustling and bustling and jockeying for position. There’re sure to be hard luck stories too around the helter-skelter Epsom terrain.

For an Aiden O’Brien horse, partnered by Joseph with form figures of 311111 Battle Of Marengo is almost becoming the forgotten horse of the race. Indeed, despite the jockey booking there is no certainty that he will even start favourite of Aidan’s quintet as Ruler Of The World is pressing hard for that status.

Battle Of Marengo hasn’t really caught the public imagination but keeps getting the job done and there is more evidence with him that he will get the trip. At the odds, he makes more appeal, win and place on BETDAQ.

O’Brien should already have bagged a Group 1 on the card with St Nicholas Abbey who bids to win the Investec Coronation Cup for a third year running and is impossible to oppose.

I’m staying at home for the nap and siding with St Jean in the 2.30 at Tramore. His Curragh third to Ruler Of The World reads pretty well given how fancied Ruler Of The World is for the Derby.  If you fancy Ruler Of The World at Epsom – you’ll get an early form pointer from the 2.30 at Tramore !!!


NAP: St Jean (2.30 Tramore)
WIN and PLACE: Battle Of Marengo (4.00 Epsom)

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