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Hopeful of giving Salouen his Group 1 Coronation

30 May 2019

More Classic action is around the corner as the Investec Derby Festival swings into Epsom on Friday. The party atmosphere on the Downs coupled with top-class thoroughbred racing make for an incredible two days. Friday sees the fillies take centre stage in the Investec Oaks – the 2nd fillies’ Classic of the year, and before that there’s more Group 1 action with the Investec Coronation Cup.

I’m very fortunate to have another top ride in a big race aboard the ever popular Salouen who tries to go one better from his close 2nd in the Coronation Cup last season.

He gave champion Cracksman a real run for his money that day and certainly deserves to win a big Group 1. He won his prep run at Ascot very nicely and is bound to come on from that. In what looks like a pretty hot Group 1 it’s definitely going to take some winning, but his course and distance experience will count for a lot.  It’s certainly exciting to have a live chance going into this.

I wasn’t that impressed with Lah Ti Dar at York, although she is likely to come on for that run and John Gosden wouldn’t be running her in this if he didn’t think she had a great chance of winning the race. Of the others it’s going to be interesting to see how Kew Gardens bounces back, as he sets a good standard on last year’s Leger win.

Sadly I haven’t got a run in the Investec Oaks this year. All the talk this week has been about jockey bookings and Rab Havlin and Frankie Dettori. I think both of them have an excellent chance, such is the strength of John Gosden’s hand. If I had to pick however it would be Frankie’s mount, AnapurnaMeeyadih was eye-catching at Chester, but I was taken by the way Anapurna hit the line despite running green in her last outing. She definitely has some progress in her.

Pink Goodwood has a big reputation and could be the one to beat, but I’m quietly confident that Frankelina will run a big race for William Haggas. She’s a beautiful filly and is certain to come forward from her run at York. I think she will run well.

Hors De Combat (Investec Mile Handicap, 2.35) ran really well at Newbury  last time. I would have preferred a higher draw if I’m honest, but we will see what we can do from stall 5. He’s a good horse on his day- it just all depends on how he takes to Epsom.

Lorelina (Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap) has course and distance form here.  She improved massively last year but it will probably come down to whether she bumps into one a bit better handicapped on the day.

In the Listed Investec Surrey Stakes I ride Vintage Brut who comes off the back of cracking run at Haydock Park. That run for me was absolutely huge and I’m looking forward to getting on his back. The one to beat for me though will be Charlie Appleby’s Dubawi colt Space Blues.

Alemaratalyoum (Investec Zebra Handicap, 5.50) got no cover last time at Ascot.  I’ve got a better draw tomorrow, he just needs it all to fall into place for him.

Horse To Follow: My Motivate Girl Monday, 2.30 Brighton

She ran very well at Leicester despite falling out of the stall. She’ll improve going up the extra furlong and we’re happy how she has come out of her last race.