Stan Hey: 6-5 Against
Take a punt on Ocean War to sink favourite
Saturday 04 June 2011
Fifteen years ago, the Derby was run at half-time during the England-Switzerland match that opened Euro 96 so that punters could enjoy both Shaamit and Shearer.
Protocol is reversed today as another Euro-encounter with the Swiss is held back until 4.45 to prevent Wembley being upstaged by Epsom – the Queen having the Derby favourite probably counted.
Not that her Carlton House looks a certainty – a banged leg last Monday, a messy win in a slow time in the Dante Stakes, and an outside draw do not encourage investment at 9-4. Of Aidan O'Brien's four horses Recital is clearly talented but looks an awkward ride. French challenger Pour Moi impressed on his recent course gallop but has twice lost on good ground.
Having blown an ante-post bet on Sea Moon – yet to race this season – I'll risk £5 each-way, at 16-1, on Ocean War who has two fast-ground wins and whose pedigree – sired by 2003 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Dalakhani – suggests he'll improve over this trip. His trainer, Mahmood Al Zarooni, enjoys a 23 per cent strike rate. That's enough straw-clutching.
Over at Wembley, it's time to give some love to Darren Bent with £10 to be first scorer at 7-2, in what should be a comfortable England win.
Last week Barça shredded our 9-1 bet on United, while Saracens and Luke Donald landed the cash but only after prolonged squeaky bum time.
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