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Today’s Racing News: Mighty Ulysses can confirm star potential in Derby trial

Epsom takes focus in today’s column, notably the Derby Trial at 14:20, which is our feature race of the day, but they have plenty of good supporting action as the course host’s their first meeting of the new season.

Let’s get cracking.

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John Gosden could be a trainer to keep on side at Yarmouth today. He has a 24% strike rate at this venue in the last five years and today sends four runners. The trainer’s best chance could be handicap debutant Dream By Day 3.7511/4 in the 17:10.

In the 15:40 at Yarmouth, The City’s Phantom 5.59/2 will bid for back to back wins in the race. This was trainer Richard Spencer’s only winner at Yarmouth in 2021.

At Sedgefield in the 13:40, trainer Gary Hanmer has had three winners from nine runners 33% over fences. Today he has booked Brian Hughes for the ride on Costly Diamond 3.7511/4, and the pair have a 20% strike rate when partnering.

It’s the seasonal opener at Worcester today as the summer jumps racing course opens its doors to racegoers. They have a seven-race card meeting this evening. Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch partner for just one runner at the meeting with Poniente 2.35/4 in the 17:20. Williams has a 18% strike rate here.

Epsom returns today for their spring meeting kicking off at 13:50. Dark Shot 17.016/1 has finished runner-up in this contest for the past two years, Recon Mission 6.05/1 will look for back to back wins, Just That Lord 8.515/2 will look for his second win in the race, but it could be Mokaatil 3.7511/4 who bounces back to form under this useful claimer off a falling handicap mark.

In the 14:55 at Epsom, jockey Hollie Doyle has a 50% strike rate when riding for trainer Simon Dow, and they partner with Arenas Del Tiempo 4.03/1.

Trainer William Knight is looking for his third win in nine years in the 15:30 at Epsom. He saddles Year Of The Dragon 7.06/1.

Horses for courses

This section highlights the best bets from horses that have won twice or more at today’s tracks.

13:50 Epsom – Mokaatil – Has won here twice (67%)
14:30 Yarmouth – Goddess Of Fire – Has won here twice (17%)
14:55 Epsom – Soto Sizzler – Has won here twice (50%)

Weighted to go well

“Weighted to go well” highlights horses running that are more than 10lbs below their last winning handicap mark.

14:45 Sedgefield – Instant Replay – Has won off 115 runs off 105
17:00 Wolverhampton – Street Poet – Has won off 65 runs off 53
17:35 Wolverhampton – Tom Tulliver – Has won of 64 runs off 52

Furthest traveller

Today’s joint furthest travellers are trainers Bernard Llewellyn and Oliver Signy with their runners at Sedgefield. They have both made the 255-mile journey and have two runners at the track.

Race of the day

Today’s feature race is the 14:20 Cazoo Blue Riband Trial at Epsom, and there’s a horse I was really taken with on debut that makes his seasonal return.



Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Jockey: William Buick
Age: 3
Weight: 9st 1lbs

Charlie Appleby’s Nahaani heads the market and has a race fitness advantage over many of his rivals today after three runs this season. He has been impressive to a degree but is not your usual flashy type and rather more a grinder who will undoubtedly progress with racing.

He lacks a turn of foot and today’s drop back from 1m4f to 1m2f doesn’t look an obvious plus after needing every yard to claim the scalp of a 78 rated rival at Kempton on his penultimate run. Still, he was impressive at Leicester in first-time blinkers on the switch to turf, and connections now replace those with cheek-pieces he worse on his first two starts. He has obvious claims.



Trainer: John & Thady Gosden
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Age: 3
Weight: 9st 1lbs

I was very impressed with the impression Mighty Ulysses left on debut at Yarmouth last term, and the presence of Frankie Dettori and the yard’s excellent record in this race can given punters confidence he will be fit and ready first time up.

He always wanted to travel a yard quicker than his rivals on debut and his response to the stick, when asked for his effort, was electric. He is clearly held in high regard, and his closing sectionals at Yarmouth suggest he could be a very useful horse indeed.

Big race verdict

This race can again go to the Gosden yard with Mighty Ulysses taken to confirm his debut promise. He should have too much pace for Nahaani over this trip, and without getting too excited after one run, his 40/1 price tag for the Derby may be long gone after this reappearance.

Timeform offer up three of their best from Yarmouth

Timeform’s Andrew Asquith highlights a NAP and Next Best selection at Yarmouth on Tuesday.

Final Word

This will be the last word on the Constitution Hill Honeysuckle saga this week. Now we all knew this was highly unlikely to happen, and to be honest, whether they decided to run in Ireland or not didn’t bother me in the slightest, although I think we all hoped that it might happen given the excellent viewing it would make.We have learnt a few things from this, though. The first is that adding an extra GBP100,000 to the winner’s prize fund is not enough to lure connections over – so prize money is not the answer to getting the best of the best to race against each other.The second is that so many people on racing Twitter are brainwashed by the word “Novice”. The notion that it’s unacceptable to race against an open company horse now but acceptable in three weeks when he loses this mythical status – is absolute garbage. Constitution Hill being a Novice is not an excuse, especially given he is the highest rated in history.We all know that Punchestown was not on the agender for Con Hill, and it’s not Nicky’s style to do this, so there’s no anger towards him, but why not have a go? That’s our point. Why not do something out of the ordinary to fuel an amazing moment for the sport? Why not think outside of the box? Why not take a chance? Roll the dice. He’s a young horse that’s had just four career runs, have a go and make history – and that goes for all.The third was arrogance, arrogance to suggest that only trainers or owners (Michael Buckley in this case) know anything about horses – and yes, that also goes for those tweeting the following, “People think they know more about training racehorses than Nicky Henderson” nonsense.This was Buckley’s eye-rolling quote this week.”I imagine the people he gets it from don’t know anything about horses. I think it’s disgraceful and if people want to see good horses run they should respect the trainers and – to a far lesser degree, because the trainers are with them every day – the owners.
Apologies, your lord. Please let me and many others know when we are worthy of talking. Should we simply agree with you, oh great one, or keep one’s mouth firmly shut?
We now have this air of hierarchy where anyone who dare criticises or even takes an opposite view is branded as clueless or not worthy of speaking on horses. You’re an owner, mate, and you’re not the leader of the free world deciding who can and can’t speak on matters in racing and in regards to respect, it’s earnt, not given.The whole debate has been frustrating because there are few opportunities to really ramp up a clash like Con Hill and Honeysuckle, and people like myself and others that have felt fed up because we want the best for racing, and it’s yet another clash that doesn’t happen.That’s my thinking anyway, and no one has any malice or grievances with Nicky and Michael. Still, maybe I know nothing about horses, so we roll our eyes and move on again.The guys on the Weighed In podcast summed it up brilliantly. Have a listen here. I just wish people stopped being so PC and in line with what the “norm” thing to do is, there’s no progression with normality!Until tomorrow, be lucky.Follow Daryl Carter on Twitter @DarylCarter7

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