Epsom 4-30
Drill Sergeant 6 12
Coin of the Realm 7 7
Storyland 8 10
Martyr 9 9/2
Love Galore 10 16 BET 16 early
Bandama 13 10
Group Captain 16 10

Quite a few unknowns in this race and I left them all in on low scores – it’s more likely to be right than to ruthlessly rule out horses. They all add to the total ‘pool of uncertainty’ even if not likely winners themselves. In the event, my scores parallel the bookies sufficiently to inspire confidence though Martyr is 9/1 in my book, 9/2 at Ladbrokes. Lightly raced and appears progressive, maybe he should be shorter – perhaps I was put off by the grade of his recent race (Cl 3).

Drill Sergeant was 12s early, 6 on my book, a good bet and I see he is shorter now, 11/1 at Ladbrokes.

I follow the ‘longest-priced value’ rule though, and have backed Love Galore at 16, vp 10s. Mark Johnston trained Tartan Gigha yesterday so is on form. Love Galore has not been obviously good in his recent runs but they were in Dubai which, to my mind, seem like prep races over the winter. He ran too freely in a Listed race last time here but is now on a better mark. Significantly, he is Topspeed’s top-rated by a few points which makes me quite happy with the bet and his win at Goodwood last year, same D and G, class 2, was impressive. If he can be restrained at the start he can challenge when it counts.

No opinion on the Derby :-)

Result

1 Coin Of The Realm 6/1
2 Drill Sergeant 6/1
3 Martyr 13/2
4 Storyland 9/1

My first four filled the first four places but not in the exact order – a good result though, assessment-wise, and a £307 trifecta just missed (I had Coin 2nd and Storyland 3rd.) Encouraging.

The win single was not so good – Love Galore came 10th of 16 at 10/1. My 16/1 early bet beat sp nicely but the horse was disappointing, held up next to last and given an impossible distance to make up as the leaders swung into the home run, even if he did make some ground. The jockey reported he ran too freely.

This kind of result is nenetheless intruiging. Close, actually, (indeed my trifecta would have been considerably more then £307) but somehow you have to look carefully to see just how near. Ignore the win single, which was value but could have gone either way, just look at the several hundreds on offer for a bit of skilled form reading. That’s the second such near thing (the Scottish National was one horse out from nearly £2000) so every reason to maintain the focus in the coming weeks.

Note to self: Put the results next to the odds line so it’s easy to see the record.

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