Monday 24 September 2018

Air Force Blue could be the one to watch at Epsom

Season so far has thrown up some future stars who deserve ante-post attention

Air Force Blue
Air Force Blue

Every punter loves some early value with their bets and backing ante post is often the best route to do this.

With a quiet weekend ahead of next week's Epsom's Classics, we have a look at where there might be some money to be made.

You couldn't but be taken by Jim Bolger's Marbe Hill winner Round Two last weekend and time and time again Bolger just continues to prove he rarely gets it wrong with his placing of good horses, so whichever route he goes down for the remainder of this season and in the big races next year, he is going to take a lot of beating and already he is just 10/1 to win next year's 2,000 Guineas.

Another juvenile which could well develop into a big player over the next year or so is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Air Force Blue. Sent off a seemingly unfancied 4/1 shot on his debut at the weekend, he ended up in front at an early stage and stayed there and you may do worse than have a small Guineas wager on him. Air Force Blue is 8/1 for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot for which Round Two is 3/1 favourite and Air Force Blue is among the entries for Naas this coming Monday.

Obviously, with just over a week to go until the Epsom Derby, plans for the Ballydoyle team are still very much up in the air but looking further ahead to the last Classic of the British season and one of his Derby contenders, Hans Holbein, may be a good bet at 12/1 for the St Leger.

Indeed, the Coolmore operation could have a strong hand in the Doncaster showpiece as they also have the John Gosden-trained Christophermarlowe at 16/1 for that race and they look tailormade for the 1m6f trip and it could be a case that whatever they do before then is well and truly a bonus.

Still looking further ahead, BoyleSports were yesterday forced to cut Treve for her three-in-a-row bid in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and she is now just 4/1 ahead of her seasonal debut in her native France today.

A lot of water has to go under the bridge before we get to the first Sunday in October but if Dermot Weld can get Free Eagle there in good shape you would have to believe he'll be a lot shorter than his current odds of 20/1, which makes appeal.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to this coming weekend and the unbeaten Limato tops the field for the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock for which he should justify favouritism for Henry Candy and Graham Lee.

Limato began his career winning twice on the all-weather this time last year but has since progressed to win a couple of listed races and a Group Three and there's no reason to suggest he'll be overturned here.

Three Irish raiders travel to Haydock with Sabrina Harty running Ansgar at 2.35 and Empress Toorah at 4.55, while Dermot McLoughlin steps Dragon Fei up to Group Three company at 2.00.

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