Derab will be target for the ‘big-hitting’ brigade!

Derab is strongly-fancied to justify obvious favouritism in a thirteen-runner Novice Stakes over the famous Newmarket Rowley mile today, when a hundred and fifty miles or so North the third and final day of the ‘Spring ‘Dante’ meeting should answer a few group class posers on ground which was pounded unceremoniously earlier this week.

Several ‘classic trials’ might prove misleading given the Knavesmire surface will probably contrast sharply to what we’ll witness on the Epsom Downs and Chantilly next month in the traditional Derby races. Be careful and don’t even think about venturing forth in ante-post markets, why guess?

Better to stick with my daily patent/trixie selections which will definitely feature twice-raced John and Thady Gosden-trained Derab, clear best-in on the time-handicap judged on his recent second (again!) over the straight Newbury mile, also a searching test.

Rivals to Derab include previous first-up Salisbury winner Great News and two other Godolphin-owned ‘super-breds’ which obviously will not justify colossal yearling price tags, unless managing to triumph at either group one or two level; it’s extremely unlikely!

Realistically Derab has a gilt-edged opportunity of going one better and making it third time lucky; certainly immensely disappointing to ‘Big John’ if the Sea The Stars colt doesn’t.

Those who follow this column will not be surprised by my York selection, Nymphadora, in the prestigious listed Fillies’ Stakes over five furlongs; Andrew Balding’s charge was a close fourth to Desert Dreamer over a similar distance at HQ, thirty days ago; what a bonanza it’s become since one profiled the exceptional time-figure of the first NINE!

Nymphadora and champion jockey Oisin Murphy went off at 9/2 suggesting there was a deal of confidence behind this No Nay Never filly; reports are favourable from recent home-work on Kingsclere gallops where so many wonderful thoroughbreds have developed under supervision of the racing family Balding. Mill Reef started it all!

Murphy is booked at HQ for Great News and so Jason Watson will partner Nymphadora; that’ll do, he’s excellent.

Newmarket, York, 1.40 Nymphadora; Newmarket, 3.20 Derab; Newbury, 3.55 Mojo Star (e.w).

Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019