Turf Talk: Passenger could do the business ahead of The Foxes in Epsom Derby

Harrogate Advertiser horse racing correspondent Jeff Garlick’s latest weekly column.
Action from the Dante Stakes at York Racecourse, where The Foxes (blue/white) triumphed ahead of Passenger (black/blue), who came in third. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty ImagesAction from the Dante Stakes at York Racecourse, where The Foxes (blue/white) triumphed ahead of Passenger (black/blue), who came in third. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Action from the Dante Stakes at York Racecourse, where The Foxes (blue/white) triumphed ahead of Passenger (black/blue), who came in third. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Armchair racing fans are in for a treat this weekend with the ITV cameras covering 13 races from Epsom, with five of them shown on Friday where The Oaks is the feature race.

The entire eight-race card is televised on Saturday with the Derby being shown at the unusual time of 1:30pm.

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The Epsom Derby looks a very competitive affair this year with six or seven horses boasting a genuine chance of winning.

Auguste Rodin has been the favourite throughout the winter but blotted his copybook when running a stinker in the 2,000 Guineas. His trainer, Aidan O’Brien still retains faith in his horse’s ability and who would bet against a man who has won the race eight times already.

In my view, the Dante Stakes at York was the best trial for this race with the first three home that day all doing battle again on Saturday.

The Foxes won that day from White Birch, but it was the third horse home, Passenger, who was the eye-catcher. He met trouble in running several times and really flew when a gap appeared.

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His billionaire owner has paid £85,000 to supplement Passenger for the race and it could be money well spent. He is my selection with The Foxes nominated as the best value bet at 10/1.

The Foxes is owned by the family who own recently relegated Leicester City and if they don’t win the Derby they have a good chance of winning the Ebbissham Handicap with Fox Journey.

In The Oaks on Friday, I like the look of Soul Sister. Frankie Dettori rode her to a four length success in the Musidora Stakes at York and he rides again.

Savethelastdance was even more impressive when winning by twenty-two lengths at Chester but she has only ever raced on soft or heavy ground so is worth taking on with Soul Sister.

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It could be a good day for Dettori as I also fancy his Emily Upjohn in the Coronation Cup.

Garlick’s Goodies: Friday Epsom 3:10 – Emily Upjohn; 4:30 – Soul Sister; Saturday 1:30 – Passenger; 3:55 – Fox Journey.