THE INVESTEC DERBY
It’s Oaks and Derby weekend, folks, and we start with the big one on Saturday. Favourite Dawn Approach will face a maximum of 13 opponents in the Investec Derby at Epsom.
Jim Bolger's unbeaten QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner has stamina questions to answer, having never run competitively further than a mile, but that has not stopped layers making him their even-money favourite. It’s simple: Dawn Approach is a class act and if he stays, he wins. But how will he handle that stamina-sapping extra four furlongs?
Shrewd Ballydoyle trainer O’Brien can also call on Derrinstown Trial winner Battle Of Marengo, Newmarket Guineas sixth Mars, unbeaten Chester Vase winner Ruler of the World, Flying the Flag and Festive Cheer – so a top class field.
On the each-way front we like the David Wachman-trained 66-1 shot Galileo Rock who will relish the step up in distance and could well run into a place at those big odds. He looked a stayer in the making when hacking up at Leopardstown on his debut and although he has been beaten on his last two starts he looked at Sandown like a horse who would relish an extra two furlongs when finishing third behind Sugar Boy.
THE PG QUAD
It’s the last day of La Liga as the season ends in Spain and I will miss this more than any other live soccer. The end of August can’t come quick enough for the PG.
Still a lot to play for at the weekend and we think DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA (13/8) can kill off Real Sociedad’s Champions League dream and at the same time save themselves from relegation.
REAL BETIS (6/5) can win at Levante and snatch a place in Europe at the expense of Malaga.
GRANADA (11/8) are now safe and can finish the season on a high with a win against Getafe.
RAYO VALLECANO (6/5) can follow up last week’s win away at Getafe with a home win over Athletic Bilbao.
Take both teams to score in the following games this weekend: Celta Vigo v Espanyol, Deportivo v Real Sociedad, Granada v Getafe, Levante v Real Betis, Real Zaragoza v Atlético Madrid and finishing with the Rayo Vallecano v Athletic Bilbao game.