Steamers and drifters. 14/9/2018 Pic Steve Davies/

Wisdom the smart choice for Derby honours

Ancient Wisdom can spoil the Ballydoyle party in the Betfred Derby at Epsom.

The Charlie Appleby-trained colt has barely put a foot wrong in his career to date, picking up the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster on the final start of a juvenile career that has even seen his sole defeat at two work out very well, with Rosallion winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Everything about his performance on Town Moor pointed to him being a real stayer this year and there is no knocking that form, either, as runner-up Devil’s Point has taken the German Guineas, fifth home Dancing Gemini was just denied in the French Guineas and sixth-placed Diego Velazquez is favourite for the French Derby.

His reappearance in the Dante was rather usurped by the performance of the winner Economics, but Ancient Wisdom stayed on encouragingly to be second on ground not really in his favour.

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Much talk pre-race has surrounded Aidan O’Brien’s City Of Troy and in the last few days his stablemate Los Angeles, but while City Of Troy could still be the superstar it was hoped he was, Ancient Wisdom just appeals as one who will truly excel for the mile and a half on a surface more to his liking than York.

And while O’Brien is a master at bringing his horses back from defeat, Appleby has been here before, too, as Adayar was beaten in his trial before winning the blue riband in 2021.

It seems a bit harsh on Breege that she only has a debut win to show from 12 career starts and hopefully she can add another one by way of the Princess Elizabeth Stakes.

Trained by John and Sean Quinn, the four-year-old filly invariably keeps good company and just missed out on a Group Three prize when beaten less than a length in the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood last year.

Back at Goodwood for her first run since October, she again ran her race, finishing a close third in Listed company.

She actually goes really well on her visits to Goodwood, which gives hope to her handling the undulations of Epsom. The ground will also be fine for her.

Embesto is given another chance in the Betfred Diomed Stakes.

He was well fancied on his return in the Earl of Sefton at Newmarket in April but he took a keen hold early on and eventually dropped away to finish fifth, with the reopposing Regal Reality ahead of him.

The four-year-old had progressed with each start last term and with a run now under his belt, he can resume his upward profile.

Tears Of A Clown shapes as one that can go well in the Betfred 3YO ‘Dash’ Handicap.

She has plenty of speed, which will be crucial, and is relatively unexposed with just five starts to her name. She again showed up well on her first run back before tiring and Henry Candy can be expected to have left a bit to work on with this in mind.

The equivalent ‘Dash’ for the older horses is always fast and furious. Sprint king Robert Cowell may hold the key with his two runners, Clarendon House and Democracy Dilemma. It is hard to split them, but preference is just about for the former.


DONCASTER: 4.38 Plus Point, 5.08 Make Love, 5.40 King’s Gamble, 6.15 High Order, 6.50 Silver Samurai, 7.20 Burning Cash, 7.50 King Of Tonga, 8.20 Giselles Izzy.

EPSOM: 1.25 Bubbles Wonky, 2.00 Breege, 2.35 Embesto, 3.10 Tears Of A Clown, 3.45 Clarendon House, 4.30 ANCIENT WISDOM (NAP), 5.15 Relentless Voyager, 5.50 Mums Tipple.

HEXHAM: 4.15 Book Of Secrets, 4.55 Backbyjet, 5.30 Ashington, 6.05 Kaaress, 6.35 Halpha Soleil, 7.07 Rumble B.

LINGFIELD: 5.35 Chagall, 6.10 Everywhere, 6.45 Robusto, 7.15 Amestris, 7.45 Usuario Amigo, 8.15 Resonance, 8.45 Jungle Charm.

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LISTOWEL: 2.25 Media Naranja, 3.00 Jet Setting Jim, 3.35 How About No, 4.10 Jake Peter, 4.50 Ceroc, 5.25 Rising Dust, 6.00 Bective Queen.

MUSSELBURGH: 1.40 Canaria Prince, 2.15 New Image, 2.50 Up The Clarets, 3.25 Princess Alex, 4.00 Watcha Matey, 4.45 Batal Zabeel, 5.20 Scarriff.

STRATFORD: 5.23 Wales, 5.55 Minella Miracle, 6.28 Kankin, 7.00 Secret Trix, 7.30 Musical Slave, 8.00 Hot Fizzy Lizzy, 8.30 Forget The Way, 9.00 Supreme Yeats.

TRAMORE: 5.10 Miss Oreo, 5.45 Three By Two, 6.20 Walmix, 6.55 Tingarran Express, 7.25 Wolfhill, 7.55 Mercury Mission, 8.25 Ocean Brew.

WORCESTER: 12.40 Chemical Warfare, 1.15 Optimistic Joe, 1.45 Wiltshire Wonder, 2.20 Shengai Enki, 2.55 Urban Soldier, 3.30 Hiconic, 4.05 Soir De Gala.

DOUBLE: Ancient Wisdom and Breege.

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