Alston Speedsters worth a look

June 3rd, 2016 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

The Derby is such a prestigious and important event within the horseracing world that it commands thousands of column inches. Nothing changes if the race looks imponderable – which this year’s certainly does – because journalists and advisers still have to ponder and come up with something. I have never felt the need to do this and shall watch the race with interest without offering any strong opinions, beyond the observation that the Dante at York, won by Wings Of Desire, who may start favourite, looked a pretty ordinary affair.

I like the “Dash”, though, and expect to see Eric Alston’s pair, RED BARON and BLITHE SPIRIT, blazing the trail to half-way and beyond. That matters little if they fail to hold on, of course, but Red Baron has tremendous early pace and, if he handles the track, I can see him going very close indeed. One feels so foolish if the ‘other’ one wins that I shall cover Blithe Spirit whilst acknowledging that Chester is the horse’s favourite course.

Otherwise I like French challenger SAYANA in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, which looks a weak renewal, and Jamie Spencer may be the man to coax a late winning burst from Richard Fahey’ GEORGE BOWEN in the last. The way Spencer rides, being drawn wide in stall 11 may not matter all that much.

In the mile and a half handicap after the Derby I wouldn’t entirely discount last year’s winner Blue Surf, who had the run of the race twelve months ago and has been highly tried since, including in classier company last time. Repeater is an interesting challenger from Ireland but is drawn very wide.

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