How To Bet £20 on Saturday: Eagles set to soar in Irish Derby

By Andy Stephens@StevoGG
Fri 30 Jun 2017

By Andy Stephens

The victory of Wings Of Eagles in the Derby looked no fluke and he can follow up in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on Saturday (5.20).

If anything, the son of Pour Moi deserves extra credit for his exploits at Epsom because he was going away at the finish after getting stopped in his run a couple of times.

Some have suggested the trio who chased home home - Cliffs Of Moher, Cracksman and Eminent - softened each other up but the acceleration shown by Wings Of Eagles in the final furlong was striking and to my eye the best horse definitely won.

Wings Of Eagles went off at 40-1 and was showing much improved form but Epsom represented the first time he had been in a 1m4f race run at an end-to-end gallop and he clearly relished it.

The Irish version features five Aidan O’Brien-trained challengers and also promises to be run at a true gallop. The more galloping nature of the Curragh should suit Wings Of Eagles even better and this time Ryan Moore is on his back.

Cracksman was off the bridle a long way out and, of all the principals, appeared to have the hardest race. He needs to show that bruising battle has not left a mark and has been easy to back in the ante-post betting this week.

French raider Waldgeist rates a bigger threat, even if his near-miss in the French Derby came in a muddling affair and may not represent reliable form. If nothing else, he should appreciate moving up in distance.

The top six in the market for the Stobart Rail Northumberland Plate at Newcastle (3.30) appeal on one level or another but I won’t be able to resist having a small bet on Seamour.

He looked certain to end Brian Ellison’s elusive quest to train the winner of the race when surging to the front a furlong out last year only for Antiquarium to come from out of the clouds and collar him.

Seamour, who also went close in the 2015 renewal, has to operate off a 4lb higher mark than 12 months ago but he shaped well in a Listed race won by Dal Harraild on his return and this will represent his Cup Final for the year.

Ben Curtis will probably count to ten before inviting him to hit the front this time, not that he was to blame 12 months ago.

The best bet on the card at Newmarket could be Second Step at a general 7-2 in the Betway Fred Archer Stakes (2.05).

The official ratings suggest he has a bit to find under his 3lb penalty but he was rated much higher this time last year and seems to have been rejuvenated by the switch to the yard of Roger Charlton.

He shaped really well on his reappearance at Newbury and built on that when getting the better of the bang in-form Desert Encounter at Goodwood last time.

The form of the latter race, in particular, looks strong with Barsanti, who finished third, subsequently chasing home Idaho in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Midterm heads the market but he finished behind Second Set at Newbury and a first-time visor did not help him snap a 14-month losing run last time.

Home Of The Brave seems certain to make a bold bid in the Betway Criterion Stakes (3.15) and hopefully you took the midweek advice of my colleague, Angus McNae, who suggested backing him at 6-1 in his Something For The Weekend column.

The Charlie Hills-trained four-year-old was a smart juvenile and did not do much wrong in a light campaign last year, either, with highlights being an all-the-way win in the Free Handicap (off a mark of 107) and  a close fourth to Ribchester in the Jersey Stakes when not quite getting home on the testing ground.

A drop back to six furlongs on what turned out to be his final start of the year did not work out, in a race won by The Tin Man, but he might easily bounce back with a bang after the best part of a year off the track.

His absence is not a great concern because he has gone well fresh in the past (has won first time up in each of his two campaigns), he is racing over his optimum trip and will get the bit of juice in the ground he enjoys.

In addition, Charlie Hills has his stable in great form.

Finally, the unbeaten Dance Diva has plenty going for her in the Betway Empress Fillies' Stakes (2.40) but whether she should be as short as 4-1 is debatable.

At 12-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power, preference is for Ellthea, who left her debut running a long way behind her when a commanding winner over 5f at Carlisle last time.

This is a deeper race but there was some substance to that Carlisle race and there was plenty to like about the way she won it.

The stiff 6f of the July Course seems certain to suit her much better because she is bred to stay well.

Her dam won three pattern races at up to 1m2f and her offspring include the useful Von Blucher, who won at the July meeting last year.

How to bet £20 on Saturday:


2.05 Newmarket: Second Step £6 win at a general 7-2

2.40  Newmarket: Ellthea £2.50 each-way at 12-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power

3.15 Newmarket: Ibn Malik £2.50 each-way at a general 10-1

3.30 Newcastle: Seamour £2 win at a general 11-2

5.20 Curragh: Wings Of Eagles £2 win at 9-4 with bet365


£1 Win Lucky Fifteen

2.05 Newmarket: Second Step (7-2)

2.40  Newmarket:  Ellthea (10-1)

3.15 Newmarket:Ibn Malik (10-1)

5.20 Curragh: Wings Of Eagles (2-1)

Plus £5 win on 2.05 Newmarket: Second Step (7-2)

The Score weekend naps

Saturday:  2.05 Newmarket: Second Step (7-2)

Sunday: 4.20 Curragh: Journey

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